• Image of Cooper L. Gibson: Ghosts I Saw Portfolio

Portfolio set comprised of prints from Cooper L. Gibson's photographic installation 'Ghosts I Saw' at Institute 193 (September 14 - November 4, 2023).

" A ghost is a projection into empty space. A trick of the light, a bleeding of the past into the present. Whether or not we believe in them or explain them away as a glitch of the brain, as a false conclusion drawn from true visual information, they appear. At such a sight, we are drawn to dream of a place’s past inhabitants and the routines they carried out there time after time. In very real ways, the past stays with us, and its residues are apparent everywhere.

Some places, especially public ones, can even turn us into ghosts, playing out the past dramas of people that came before. We enter a place like a bar, we know what it is for and how to act there, and so we play along. The dark alcoves are meant for close talk and the sidewalk is for catching your breath. A bare arm brushes against polyester slick with sweat on a summer evening as it’s drawn back before a jolt sends a cueball reeling. Pressed hard and anxiously against a dark wall, a man scans his surroundings for what and who might be next for him. We know the script and it works; we rarely make space for new lines, but when we do, they stick. The roles repeat and are built upon. Sometimes, remarkably, someone writes a whole new role to play.

Dancing is close. Breath is hot and wet. The night is dark and long. The smell of their sweat lingers. Here and there, a greasy fingerprint on black paint from yesterday or a year ago catches the light, shines. A lip print is left on a pint glass and who knows how many will kiss it before it comes off clean."

—Paul Michael Brown

Total of 5 prints; Edition of 5
Dimensions: 12 x 9 inches
Digital print on archival cotton rag paper
Published by Institute 193