Ashley Pryor Geiger
Ashley Pryor Geiger
My practice is informed by my professional background as an artist-scholar and professor of the humanities. In my digital work, I seek not only to imitate and reanimate old photographic processes like calotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, and daguerreotypes, but also to bring these forms into contemporary contexts to create a bridge between the past and the present. To this end, I spend a lot of time digging through archival holdings (most recently, Tulane University, The Fleming Museum, The Cherry Hurst Archive, and The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History) researching my subjects and placing them within a critically defined social context.
My artwork takes a critical view of the social, economic, political, and cultural issues by playfully (and sometimes irreverently) intervening on old photographic imagery to re-present the subjects in mixed media collage and/or book structures. I am fascinated with what new technologies such as AI algorithms and special effect filters can reveal about the subjects of old photographs, but also what they uncover concerning our own assumptions about the historical past and how it informs our contemporary self-understanding.
For the past year I have been engaged in the intensive study of the book arts working to master non-adhesive book structures, as well as traditional, sewn bindings and letterpress printing. I am fascinated with how particular book forms such as the concertina, blizzard, flexagon, tunnel, etc. can support and even “perform” an abstract idea. I use various processes (collage, print, gel medium transfer, and paper cut out) to marry archival photographic imagery and my own digital and analog collages with the book structures.
Finally, my practice benefited greatly from my participation in two previous Artist Labs and collaborative projects with regional artists of Ohio. The project that I present here is reflective of my attempt to listen to, learn from, and synthesize (often dissenting) ideas from group discussions to create original works of art that are informed by pressing social issues.
Ashley Pryor (Geiger) is an interdisciplinary artist and scholar (Ph.D. Philosophy, The Pennsylvania State University, 2000), who lives and works in Toledo, Ohio. Drawing on her extensive research and teaching in the humanities, her visual work weds digital and analog collage techniques with book structures to create a bridge between the past and the present, especially as it relates to those who have been forgotten, overlooked, or underrepresented in history. Her work has appeared in numerous print and online galleries, publications and exhibitions. Most recently, an article on her work was featured at Kolaj Magazine and her work will be on exhibit at the Limner Gallery and at Birr Vintage week in Birr, Ireland in Summer 2021.
Geiger is the founder of APoGee Press, a fine press dedicated to the preservation of the tradition of letterpress books and related ephemera. Her limited edition letterpress edition (a collaboration with the poet, Timothy Geiger), Holler, is set to be released in early June.
Geiger is currently engaged in a half year community-engaged installation piece, “Toledo Folds” with Barbara Miner, MFA, and Lee Fernside, MFA to address violence against members of the AAPI community.
Ashley Pryor holds a doctorate in Philosophy (Penn State University) and is an Associate Professor of the Humanities in the Jesup Scott Honors College at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio.