Squeezed Coherent States
Clint Roenisch is proud to open the fall season with new and recent photographs by Jessica Eaton, her first solo with the gallery after her introduction in the group show, Sails, Cubes and Folds (2011). The exhibition will present works from several ongoing series, anchored by her monumental triptych, XPOL 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, first exhibited at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art in 2011. The exhibition title is borrowed from a physics term that refers to the photon on a quantum mechanical level in space where the uncertainty principle is saturated.
Using a wide array of experimental, analogue-based photographic techniques such as colour separation filtration, additive colour theory, motion blur, multiple exposures, custom made dark slides, in-camera masking, cross polarization and lighting techniques Jessica Eaton builds images on sheets of film that address fundamental properties of photography. Qualities such as light, chance, duration, illusion and spatial relations become forefront in the works, free of the direct indexical relationship with the world so often associated with the medium. The resulting photographs disregard the mediums ability to depict, embracing instead its particular abilities to create.
Eaton first became known for her CFAAL series (Cubes For Albers and LeWitt) which has been widely exhibited and reviewed. Art In America wrote that “as did the rather dry methodologies of Albers and LeWitt, Eaton’s systematic approach yields surprisingly poetic results. Like Albers’s color variations on a single abstract schema or LeWitt’s wall drawings, executed by assistants according to written instructions, her cubes bloom and glow, their real-life austerity alchemically transformed into unexpected opulence.” For her first solo show in New York at Higher Pictures (2011) the New Yorker remarked that “Eaton’s photographic technique is complex and difficult to describe, but her results are intriguing enough to make detailed explanations beside the point.” Rose Bouthiller noted in C Magazine how “the negatives are built up in blocks of textured colour using light and time. Rarely are negatives so relevant; they usually exist as a forgotten step between event and image…” and that “Eaton’s labour differs from that of Thomas Demand and Georges Rousse, both of whom also create perceptual uncertainty with their photographs but whose efforts go into building something for the camera. By contrast, Eaton builds with, or even inside the camera.” And in that sense “Comparisons with other contemporary photographers don’t readily spring to mind (a pleasant blank)”.
ARTnews gave Eaton the March 2011 cover under the headline, The New Photography. After winning the Grand Jury photography prize at the 2012 Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography, Eaton was interviewed by TIME Magazine’s director of photography, Kira Pollack (who sat on the jury). Eaton said of her photographic process: “It’s a bit of a conversation with the world. With the forces of time and space and contingency and errors that happen, because often there’s so many steps going into one of these, I get back something that’s also new to me, and those are the pictures that tend to be shown.”
Jessica Eaton (b. 1977, lives Montreal) holds a BFA in photography from the Emily Carr Institute, Vancouver. Upcoming exhibitions include Brancolini Grimaldi (London); M+B (Los Angeles), HigherPictures (New York) and the Daegu Photography Biennial, “Photography is Magic!” curated by Charlotte Cotton (South Korea).