‘Old Future’ concretizes Heck's challenge to the assumption of photography as an automatic, documentary medium concerned with the transparent representation of reality. Selected from thousands of photographs for adherence to an ideal of visual beauty, the series’ images resist immediate consumption and everyday categorization, evoking—as its title suggests—both the classical and the futuristic. They are inherently made, more painted image than captured snapshot; in them, human and natural presences alike are means to an end.
That end, here as in all of Heck’s work, is primarily colour, and the series’ selection and pagination emphasize that priority above all. Its secondary order, from nature- to studio-based imagery, thematically represents the movement of photography away from faithful representation and toward purposeful making. As the series progresses, its arrangements increasingly disguise and alienate the human figure in favor of painstakingly constructed abstract compositions, and reduce the natural forms of plants and animals to patterns of shape and colour.