Protanopia by Erin Sweeny investigates color blindness—the decreased ability to see color or differences in color—in literal and metaphorical terms. Visual diagrams, photographs, and text are interwoven in a conversation about how we process space and assign meaning.

Recognized as the most common form of color blindness, protanopia is a red-green color deficiency caused by an inherited trait most often found in males. It is typically diagnosed using a series of color perception diagrams known as the Ishihara test. Inspired by experience with the diagrams coupled with hazy memories of her colorblind father, Protanopia is a layered exploration of space, color and ways of seeing. The book combines risograph printed photographs taken on New York City streets and classic Ishihara test patterns, juxtaposed with the artist’s serendipitous correspondence with an unknown neighbor. The photographs, taken in the blocks surrounding a small post office box on Canal Street, reference the origin of The Landing Project—an ongoing work inspired by the physical dimensions of her first New York address.

Click on image for preview of selected pages.