This document is essential.
We propose that the artworks in this exhibition function as individual documents; they are essential in and of themselves. If, how or why they utilize the photographic medium, they all respond, in one way or another, to conditions specific to photography – namely, the seemingly transparent documentation of a given time and place.
The pieces on view address these ideas, but transcend them as limitations to meaning. They are documents of the conditions and processes underlying their creation; serve as signifiers of meaning not only for their authors, but also for the viewers that encounter them; and point to the histories of these places and subjects, which have led the photographic content to its iteration at the point of exposure.
Ashley Blakeney’s interest in an audience’s interaction with, and conversations about, a series of photographs unmasks the history of a “project” and how the meaning of an image changes over time. Yrneh Gabon Brown explores the cemetery landscape and it’s living inhabitants as a place for life after death, while Chris Hanke contemplates the corporeal contours beneath and within us. Kaitlyn Fong attempts to photograph “nothing” and Brandon Jardine negotiates spaces of cruising, pre-existing structural systems of sexual exchange and cruising as a means to understand spaces, their histories and our place within them. Finally, Devon McDonald-Hyman dissects a methodology for formulating truth(s) and Ian Stanton analyzes systems of social media-based self-representation, negotiating the intersection of simulation and simulacrum.
These artworks touch upon projected identity, mediation of the internet, cultural tradition, histories, attribution of meaning to a work, dynamic relationships between author and meaning, as well as the modes through which we convey these ideas. To name a few: everything, nothing and anything at all. As for the final meaning, it is up to you, the viewer, to decide exactly how essential these documents prove to be.