Zachary Cummings

Region: MFA Annual

My most recent body of work is derived from crime scene photos used in violent cases that my mother has tried as a prosecutor.

Banal, uncomposed, and indexical, crime scene photos lay bare the gaze of the law at the moment of its encounter with the traces of human trauma. Beyond the scene itself, they depict the overlapping gazes of criminal, victim, and law enforcement. When looking these images myself, I embody the perspectives of all and none of these viewers. In this somewhat detached and unstable state, I offer no obvious recourse to form or content.

I see crime scene photos as the inevitable waste of the meaning system known as the law. It is because of their status as judicial excrement that these images hold so much symbolic potential.

My painting process entails a sublation, the immediate doubling and reversal of a thing into its opposite; the evidence for a case becomes a painting for itself.