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Shadow Archive: Meggan Gould

Shadow Archive

Meggan Gould

California Museum of Photography

February 22, 2025 to July 27, 2025

Meggan Gould is a contemporary photographer whose work often explores the rhetorical, semiotic, and material ways in which photography and its tools—namely, cameras—have been socially constructed. She places under the lens facets of camera technology that usually reside comfortably outside the resultant image—the varying structures and functions of viewfinders, film frame counters, and camera icons—questioning the particular ways in which these seemingly natural and neutral attributes shape the photographer, and the medium itself.

During the creation of her series 7 Pictures Remaining, the artist’s images of camera counters took on a surprising new dimension when she discovered that many of the cameras documented contained rolls of undeveloped film. Gould opened nearly all of the cameras in the collection and discovered hundreds of never-before-seen images residing within. This yielded fascinating discoveries and intimate moments connecting cameras, and former camera owners, to their images, effectively operating as a “shadow archive” within the CMP technology collection. A selection of prints made from these anonymous images are presented alongside Gould’s own work, attributing personal histories and biographies to these otherwise mute objects.


Shadow Archive: Meggan Gould
is curated by Kathryn Poindexter-Akers, Exhibitions Manager. Exhibitions at UCR ARTS are supported by the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at UCR, and by the City of Riverside.

Image: Assorted images by Meggan Gould (in color), from the series 7 Pictures Remaining, lumen prints on paper, and anonymous (black-and-white) images processed by Gould from undeveloped film found in cameras in the California Museum of Photography’s Bingham Technology Collection.