Threshold (4)

Threshold (4)

My practice considers what counts as 'photographic' and how attempts to distill this, paradoxically, explode the boundaries of photography and put it in relation to other media — make it /become/ other media even. It ultimately transposes questions of intermediality, hierarchy, historicity, reference etc. from the pictorial plane into process, material, and form, and taps into photography's ambivalent relationship with the modernist canon, to which it was instrumental but into which it wasn't properly absorbed. Hovering between the handmade, the industrial and the archeological, my work also touches on how the formal generates affect – or an illusion thereof. It fosters a “contemporary ruin gaze” that is "reconciled to perspectivism, to conjectural history and spatial discontinuity [and that] requires an acceptance of disharmony, of the contrapunctual relationship of human, historical and natural temporality.” [Svetlana Boym in 'Ruins of the Twentieth Century', Frieze Projects and Frieze Talks 2006-2008].

My wall-based work over the last few years stands in an evolving dialog with painting and drawing through diverting the use of photographic materials away from producing a mechanical image and toward mark-making and gesture. (Lest we forget, photography is 'drawing with light'.) Previously, I've done this through direct interventions with paint and ink on silver gelatin prints. In my latest body of work, 'Thresholds', the approach is instead paired down; it foregrounds depicted and physical lines/edges and is purer in its treatment of photographic paper as material. The defining attribute of photographic paper is that it is a surface that registers light. I'm using this basic inherent quality to make large solid areas of exposure composed into multi-sheet pieces that deal with various thresholds underpinning my practice – of image and imagelessness; surface and support, line and shape; figure and background; part and whole. The toolkit is photographic, but, in keeping with the overarching dynamics of my work, drawing and minimalist painting are firmly brought into the frame.

[Materials: 15 silver gelatin prints on expired paper, acrylic, mounting tape, printing ink, polyurethane, aluminium. Mounted directly on the wall with no visible fixtures and with a slight floated off effect.]

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