About

COPIES MAY BE HAD is a collection of carte de vistie photographic objects and an ancillary body of work responding to the concerns of the CDV during its prime (the mid to late 1800s) and today.  This includes presenting my personal collection in a visually driven format, and proposing new means of viewing a format of photography both concerned with the individual and collective.   During the height of its popularity hundreds of millions of these cards were produced and remained a viable mode of representation for decades.  The entire body of work to be discussed steams from the creation of my private collection of 195 carte de visite (CDV) photographic objects accumulated during the first half of 2017.  This project fundamentally explores using the embodied nature of the CDV to inform the creation of a cataloguing system specific to the photograph’s format.  Recontextualizing the CDV in a contemporary setting reveals prominent issues in how photographs are encountered today, through the lens of this specific type of antique photographic format.  The CDV is a raw material, which can give a window into concerns of Victorian visual representation and construction of identity through photographic technology.  They also prompt the contemporary person to contemplate mass culture and the movement of social photographs and socially mediated objects.  If you have any questions or would like to get into contact, please use the form below. 

-Megan B. Ratliff

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