Megan Plunkett Interview - The Hopper Prize

Megan Plunkett

Megan Plunkett on upcoming exhibitions, making a claim on photography, & a practice mediated through the world.

How did you get into making art?

I think the answer to this is that I just have never stopped?

What are you currently working on?

I am finishing up some new works that are headed off to a few places this Spring – a group show at Shivers Only in Paris, and a couple works for Independent and Frieze NY. I’m in deep shooting/planning mode for a solo presentation at Liste with Sweetwater this June.

Materially, I am interested in making a claim on photography as an object (but which is not sculpture.)

Megan Plunkett

What inspired you to get started on this body of work?

A few years ago I did training in forensic and crime scene photography, which is something that lurks around the edges and finds its way in. I’ve been shooting a lot of objects – often specific things I rent from prop houses, but also things I’ve found or otherwise ended up with. Materially, I am interested in making a claim on photography as an object (but which is not sculpture.) I’ve been shooting overnight in the desert, and have been shooting using a lot of old Hollywood tricks to deal with things like smoke and controlled fog in the studio. I want to see how much this can become a part of the overall associative condition of the image.

artwork from pull back dolly show curated by Danielle Neu, photographed by Evan Walsh

Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?

Both. I believe in having a daily practice and try to maintain some specific studio-based routines and habits. But my practice is, by necessity, mediated through the world, so there is a lot that takes place outside of the studio and on its own schedule. I have a list of places and things I want to shoot, and usually some of those things require more planning and unfold in a more project-based way, usually because of travel or the logistics or sourcing specific materials or props.

What’s a typical day like in your studio?

Listening to music, looking at images, trying to keep it moving. I try to keep a porous approach to what kinds of activities are more systematized and what is more open, this helps me to be playful with association, reiterations, resemblances. Ways of drawing thoughts and forms out.

Who are your favorite artists?

Barbara Ess, Joy Williams, Llyn Foulkes, Vermeer, Christopher Williams, Pope L., Valie Export, Dr. Harold Egerton, Pippa Garner, Beverly Buchanan, Sturtevant

Where do you go to discover new artists?

Mostly through people I know, trying to see shows, asking friends what they are excited about.

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