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Monday, February 4, 2013

"Landscapes Mythology" Gallery Opening Thursday, Jan. 31st: Visiting Artist David Semeniuk

     This week, the gallery hosted Landscape Mythologies, an international collaborative show. Featured artists included David Semeniuk, Christine Nyugen, Oscar Lhermitte, and Mike Ruiz. Here are some images from the opening:

     David Semeniuk came to Thursday's opening to talk to us about his two pieces: a composite photograph titled "Landscape Permutation 2" and an installation titled "Mechanical Weathering 1".

     Semeniuk grew up in Alberta, Canada. His photography practice partially responds to influential Vancouver-based photographers. During his talk, he referenced artists such as Jeff Wall and Thomas Roof. He seemed interested in the way these artists changed the functionality of photography as a medium. Semeniuk reflected on photography by highlighting its unique quality in the way that "no other medium is so temporal". It lacks a passage of time: it can only represent a moment in time. But, in contrast, it sustains and lives through time as an object. Relating to time, Semeniuk referred to his interest in representing liminal spaces through photography. His piece "Landscape Permutation 2" features two photographs of fenced landscapes compiled into one cohesive image. The notion of compilation forces the viewer to deal with a push and pull between time, space, and context.

     His installation piece, "Mechanical Weathering 1", includes 1500 6"x4" black and white images put together to create one large piece. This piece functions in a unique way: Semeniuk gives the curator, (in this case Logan), the chance to arrange the 1500 images instead of arranging them himself. The size of this piece is intended to confront the viewer and force a realization that the work inhabits a part of the gallery that isn't normally used. The fans blowing onto the piece represent the idea of weathering, and Semeniuk's investigation into the relationship between photography and time. The fans "weather" the images, and even blow them onto the ground, changing the piece as a whole. Over time, these images become "permanently modified" and in Semeniuk's words, become a "frozen representation of process". 

Photos by: Justin Carella
Text by: Maggie Newman

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