Willhide dedicates “To Adrian Rodriguez, with Love” to the individual who broke into her home and stole various things. Her computer was recovered by the police, but the hard drive had been wiped clean. Willhide attempted to recover the erased data but found her digital photographs corrupted. Rather than delete the images, Willhide considered these corrupted files a collaboration with her machine. She refined them and made additional ones inspired by the mess. – New Yorker: Photo Booth
Sometimes I think we forget the role that serendipity plays in photography. Melanie Wilhide’s project is a great example of finding inspiration in the random twists and turns life throws at us while we work on our photography. Typically when we think of corruption, we think of it in a negative way, Wall St. for example, but in the context of Wilhide’s project corruption becomes transformative and an inspiring force.
Instead focusing on what she lost, Wilhide decided to use her talents to create something new and alive. Sure, we could easily say that these are simply photo-collages, the type that we’ve seen before, but when I was walking through the gallery looking at the photographs I could oddly sense the serendipity that lead to their creation. That’s something that’s hard to quantify naturally, and perhaps the back story put me in a suggestive mood, I’m not sure, but regardless I found the photographs visually interesting.
Even if the photographs don’t necessarily resonate with you, there’s still insight to be gleaned from the project, and the role that surprise and serendipity play in the creative process. Perhaps those obstacles we’re confronted with on our journey are actually signs that we need to move in a new direction.
Melanie Wilhide – ‘to Adrian Rodriguez with love’
February 23 – March 24, 2012
Von Lintel Gallery
520 West 23rd Street
New York , NY 10011