Martha Naranjo Sandoval tells It’s Nice That of the first time she looked through binocular lenses at a stereoscopic image: “You don’t feel like you’re in the middle of a scene, but more like you’re spying on a miniature world, frozen in time. .” Among other projects, the artist has spent the past four years experimenting with his collection of stereoscopic slides. This technology was developed between the 1940s and 1970s, allowing amateur photographers to create the illusion of three-dimensional space; the camera takes two images from a slightly different angle. When viewed through a backlit binocular viewer, the images merge and the brain is “tricked” to see an illusion of 3D space.
While now based in New York, Martha is Mexican and was born in Mexico City. Having very few photographs of her family history in Mexico, Martha became fascinated with the construction of memory in the photographs of others. “Family photos mean a lot when they’re yours, but become enigmatic when they’re other people’s,” she says.
Often incorporating elements of humour, Martha layers excerpts from different family collections into her collages. In one image, two women smoking in bed with a bottle of champagne unceremoniously crush a family fishing expedition. In another, someone’s pet dog was transported to the zoo’s dolphin tank. Sometimes subtle, sometimes downright bizarre, the collision of images in the collages reinforces the “evocative and mysterious” stories that the anonymous photographs tell us. “I never get to know them on a deeper level,” she says. “But they all have one thing in common: for one reason or another, they parted ways with their photographs, and I have them now.”