Michael Maranda


Archival Treatment

copper and unfixed silver prints
each 20x25cm

statement .  .  .

Languishing in the Archives nationales françaises are the earliest colour photographs. Predating autochromes by several decades (indeed, predating Maxwell’s trichromate process by a decade), these prints were produced with the crucial drawback of not being fixable and thus were sealed in lead boxes to conserve the images for posterity. I seem to remember that the process was developed by Niépce de St-Victor, nephew of Nicéphore.

In the mid 1990s, I invoked these images in a portfolio of twenty documentary photographs. The images produced all relate to an extensive investigation into my familial history. These 20x25cm fibre-based black and white images were printed, developed, and extensively washed, but not fixed. I fabricated copper envelopes in which to store them, safe from ambient light. Once the prints were made, I destroyed both research and production material related to their creation, including the negatives.

In the ten years that have lapsed since this project was initiated, I’ve carefully stored and transported the images. I’ve long since forgotten what the photographs depict.

exhibitions .  .  .


•  Group. “Techne,” Hartnett Gallery, University of Rochester

publications .  .  .


•  in a Gallery 44/YYZ books publication as an artist project