Created over the last three years, Noah Doely: The Expanse of a Fact features a series of ambrotype and tintype photographs generated with photographic tools and methods from the mid-19th century. These images document imagined spaces and pseudo histories that were crafted in a process incorporating aspects of sculpture, installation, performance and painting. The artist built sets and uses performers to enact a story that orbits around a central character–a bearded man from the past who both observes and creates. The photos show the man constructing and displaying a spherical sculpture of the moon and a diorama of the lunar surface. He makes these imagined structures based on a compulsion to gain access to distant realms, and this narrative in turn becomes folded into the artist's own near-manic preoccupation with the construction of that story. Thus is revealed a story-within-a-story complicating the viewer’s perceptions of time, the central character, the artist and the facts.
Born in Golden Valley, Minnesota in 1982, Noah Doely received an MFA from UC San Diego (2011). The Expanse of a Fact is his first solo exhibition at Steve Turner Contemporary. His work has been included in group shows including Wet Paint 3 at Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles (2011), Fring Theories at Agit Prop Gallery, San Diego (2009), Private Universe, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines (2008) and Rediviva at Locust Projects, Miami (2007).