Hannah Whitaker is an artist who works primarily with photography. Interested in structural limitations, she makes photographs either by layering exposures onto 4×5 film through hand-cut paper screens or through the aid of elaborate sets and lighting configurations. These techniques allow her to combine the photographic with the graphic. The resulting space is both flat and dimensional, lacking optical coherence.

Her work often depicts women, presented in silhouette, and situated inside graphic spaces. Recalling a screen choked with windows or a city crowded with advertising, her work reclaims the optics that compete for our attention. This accumulation of coded imagery situates the work in complex relation to various cultural signifiers. While the works don’t resemble traditional photographs, they are created through entirely optical means, rather than digital manipulation. These imperfect systems result in the slippages characteristic of human error, like unintended gaps between exposures, accidental overlapping, and a misaligned subject. While the work at first might recall the rigidity of digital clarity, a closer look shows wrinkles, hairs, and veins in their full human splendor. Her figures may be shadowy and abstracted, but they are resolutely individual, idiosyncratic people.