Very pleased to announce that two (2) major works of mine were recently purchased by The National Gallery of Canada and now are a part of their permanent collection. The works are from the Data Trespass series. Data Trespass: Illegal Photographs is a conceptual suite of panoramic photographic images that antagonize a recent Wyoming statute that makes outdoor photography an illegal and indictable form of data collection. Also acquired is a video work, similarly titled Data Trespass: Wyoming v. Wright, that derives its footage from a mock trial where I was prosecuted for my apparent contravention of the Wyoming ‘no photography’ law. More information about these works can be found here: Illegal Photographs and Data Trespass
When Buildings Take Pictures of Themselves
University of Westminster, Northwick Park, Metropolitan Line
ANDREW WRIGHT: DATA TRESPASS
11 MARCH 2016 – 10 APRIL 2016
London Gallery West is delighted to present works of acclaimed Canadian artist Andrew Wright. The artist’s international solo exhibition features a new London Gallery West commission; a large site-specific photographic installation that adorns the 24 windows of the glazed façade of the entrance to The Forum. This new work, titled Surge, was photographed in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, the most geo-thermically active location on the planet. Consisting of never–before–seen images of tumultuous geysers shot at night with high-powered flash, it presents unquantifiable detail while at the same time inviting a reconsideration of photography’s veracity. These images are a continuation and expansion of Wright’s Illuminated Landscapes series begun in 2001, and are reminiscent of his well-known Water’s Edge (2005), shot at the base of Niagara Falls. Using techniques drawn from the indoor photographic studio and applied to landscape, an overt artificiality characterizes large images that contain both complexities essentially impossible to depict or describe, even photographically, and areas of utter void and empty blackness.
"…the photographic impulse itself is always already held in a tension between composition and incident…"
In recent years, Ottawa based artist Andrew Wright has produced numerous bodies of work that propose new readings on the ontology of the image. In particular, Wright's exhibition at Patrick Mikhail's new Montreal gallery space, titled Untitled Photographic Pictures, presents a series of large-scale photographic works and two mixed-media sculptural works that underscore the artist’s continued effort to use classical motifs and methods as a means to access broader questions concerning the medium of photography itself.
In this series of photographs, Wright opens up a rich interpretive space by taking the motif of the empty landscape and making it strange. Each photograph is a direct-from-camera snapshot taken through the window of a moving train. As he passes by the landscape, Wright makes a deliberate jerking motion with the camera that causes the otherwise clear, focused image to be interrupted. This destabilizing movement leaves the viewer continually distanced from the "original" landscape. Within the confines of the gallery space, these visual disturbances, or “knots,” are immediately apparent to the viewer; yet, the images, captured in the moment between documentation and abstraction, are not clearly revealed. At first glance – without consulting the exhibition text, for example – one might assume that the artist has digitally edited these images to arrive at an ideal formal state. However, the critical viewer will not read these photographs simply as either completely "untouched" or "altered," but will consider the ways in which the photographic impulse itself is always already held in a tension between composition and incident. The queerness of Wright’s arrival of the image is related to his broader interest in shifting the conversation away from representation or iconographic content and toward process itself...
"One of the the aims of the suite of photographs titled Coronae, is to posit the possibility that pictorial content or depiction is not necessarily a precondition of photography. Coronae's images are the result of 'collapsing' the camera, the lens, and light-sensitive emulsion into a single object: tiny holes were drilled directly into and through 35mm colour reversal (slide) film canisters and they were subsequently left to expose in bright sunlight for approximately 1 hour. In a way, the method by which an 'image' appears becomes the very subject of that same image, and the photographs become self-reflexive manifestations. That which is literally depicted is a hole, an absence that stands in for a visual presence. The resulting patterns that float on near endless black grounds remain indeterminant as they variously allude to forms of the cellular or microscopic, while suggesting astronomical structures existing at an infinite scale. These images run counter to the prevailing predescribed and precise methods of photography as exposure times remain guesswork, artistic authorship is held at bay, results are unpredictable, and the notion of 'image' itself is perhaps re-oriented."
Very humbled and pleased to be a finalist for this year's Mid-Career Artist Award from the Ottawa Arts Council: http://www.ottawaartscouncil.ca/en/node/840.
Especially privileged to be included in such illustrious company: Filmmaker Roger D. Wilson, and Choreographer Yvonne Coutts: http://www.odd-cdc.org. Lucky recipient will be announced April 20th.
MOULD is a semi-annual publication for contemporary culture. It is a platform for transdisciplinary investigation, which aims to interpret the complexity of contemporary culture. We believe that the mould, embracing the notions of imprint and tracing, conveys our view of cultural press: a place to record the existing, make it circulate, generate new ideas. We see it both as an archive-like research and a source of creation.
A different guest editor representing a specific cultural area is asked to direct each issue. He/she will appoint contributors to develop his/ her own interpretation of the mould subject, in relation to disciplines such as art, literature, cinema, architecture, design, photography, philosophy etc. and it will turn out to be the expression of the editor’s own creativity. However, Mould is far from being a monographic dissertation: by casting a glance at different disciplines and genres, the guest editors will design personal and polyphonic paths with everchanging features, beyond their usual fields of practice and expertise. All together, our publications will create a subjective, unconventional and multifaceted witness of contemporary culture.
We are inaugurating our project with the guest curatorship of Studio Miessen and the theme of Cultures of Assembly. We would like this title to be a declaration of intents. The intention to produce a repository for cultural debate, a tangible crossroads in a network of relationships that is meant to link people, places and thoughts.
MOULD #1 Guest Editor: Markus Meissen. Architect, consultant, writer
MOULD #2 DEGREE ZERO
Guest editor: Joan Fontcuberta.
World-renowned conceptual photographer. Launches May 15-17, 2015, Reggio Emilia, IT
MOULD #3 Guest Editor: Hans Ulrich Obrist. Art curator, critic, historian
Images are so strong that they can even produce casus belli, as events like Muhammad’s caricatures and Charlie Hebdo tragedy witness. The history of ideas is also the history of images. That’s why philosophy and theory have always urged to figure out what an image is.
Since the 90s, the Visual Studies emerged alongside with a pictorial turn, which came up as a result of a change in the visual stan- dards but also of social and technological changes. This pictorial turn does not just refer to the increase of images and the consequent attention towards them, but it marks as well a study of culture which approaches reality as crystallized into images.
However, if philosophers cannot say what images are, artists are the ones to tell us what they’re made of, what constitutes them. The transition from chemical to digital photography, from silver salts to pixels, encouraged us to focus on its very nature, on its most basic elements. How can we define the degree zero of photography writing? The investigation carried out in this MOULD issue analyses some photo creations that, from the Minimalism strategy on, gather the most essential qualities of photo images (light and shadow, im- print, chemical reaction, dark room, optics...). That is to say those generative, formalist and conceptual operations that, we can say, ground the making of those images that format our visual culture nowadays.