The Virtual You (in a me-world)

In this ongoing series of photographs a small piece of jewelry, a pendant in the shape of a doll to be exact, becomes a surrogate for the human figure. The object and its environment are staged in a really small world in my studio.

The images in this series reconcile fantasy, dreams, memory and experience in a form of virtual reality where the distinctions between the real and the fantastic are blurred. In my conceptualist practice, I weave my personal enigmatic imagery and riddles into stories which also draw on contemporary culture, history and circumstances. These concerns are centered on an inanimate object that embodies the female and her engagement in human actions and emotions. At times my photographs echo the pace of modern life and at other times they reflect the advances in science and technology as they affect our lives or impact our feelings. Aspects of human characteristics such as desire, futility, humor, love or obsession are explored by means of this limp object with its innate limitations.

Each image is an exploration of a theme, a juxtaposition of elements, visual, emotional and imaginary. I conceive and create theatrical stage sets from a wide range of materials and natural elements and I fashion the clothes for the doll pendant. My creative process also comprises making many of the small objects seen in my photographs. I am open to chance happenings, such as found objects that yearn to be part of the story. When all the pieces are ready, I place the objects into the sets in my studio and then I take one seamless photograph, with almost no exceptions. The titles of my photographs are an integral part of the artistic expression as they encapsulate my vision of the world as a resource of poetic, often funny or ironic messages.

My work is printed in limited editions and can be seen on my website at www.karinhillmer.com, at the Holden Luntz Gallery in Palm Beach, FL, at Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan, CT and at Art-Galerie Siegen, Germany. A copy of my book entitled Infinity & Dreams is part of the permanent collection at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT and is available at www.satuseditions.com.