Artist Statement - why I wanted to do this exhibit:
I have long been fascinated by how the human mind ‘records' things, events and moments in time and how those memories are later evoked thru the means of storytelling. The emotional tonal value of memories often shape-shift until they calcify into a ‘story' worth telling. These tales, in turn, provide us with identity. They act as cohesive glue and connect us as families, friends, group-tribes, and even, nation states.
We all carry emotional connections to past incidences. These emotional connections often ‘exist' in a fuzzy zone that swirls between fact and fiction. What ‘authenticates' a memory is often a physical thing, some kind of talisman or ‘keepsake' – like a piece of furniture or jewelry, a familiar landmark or a photograph. The physicality of these items ground the story and sets the tale in Real Time and Place.
However, our current superabundant capacity to photo-document everything has begun to dramatically alter and even replace the other means by which we do ‘record' our own individual human experiences. For example, we all know that television is omnipresent in every North American home and is often the ‘focus' of family life and early education. There, we are inundated with an assortment of ‘crafted' memories that are primarily designed to induce us to buy stuff. Interspersed throughout these commercials is ‘entertainment' or ‘news' that supposedly inform us of all that goes on in the world outside the realm of our own experience. As a net result, our memories are increasingly ‘built' by producers/directors, writers and photographers that have absolutely nothing to do with the day-to-day evolution of our own physicality in our own naturally evolving landscape. Most now willingly accept this as ‘the norm'. Collectively, we have allowed external manufactured memories to define, and bind, us. Friends now ‘connect' when they talk about their favourite ‘tell-a-vision' shows …
Lately though, within the past decade, there has been a major shift in our memory or image consumption because, increasingly, through the internet, and with such distribution channels as YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook, we are no longer at the mercy of bulk mass-produced corporate image-makers of memories. We are now telling our own quirky stories, yet using the same tools. We too can now ‘play back', ‘rewind', ‘fast forward' or simply ‘surf'. We can drag a past moment forward into the present, and then, if we like, physically reshape that moment to have a future ‘life', as a ‘new' image. We can now manipulate and edit our own recorded photo images with ease. We have all become our own producers, directors, writers and photo editors. We can all technologically manufacture our own memories.
My own sense though is that this heavy emphasis on the technology to actually re-place our authentic Selves in time and space acutely undermines our own INNATE capacity to ‘remember' who and what we have been and are doing. We have FORGOTTEN that photography is ONLY a tool to document a memory - not the ‘memory event' itself.
With this book (and exhibit), it is my desire to stimulate a deliberate ‘dissonance' and force the viewer outside the seamless ‘comfort zone' of contemporary ‘DOC-U-ME photojournalism'.
I want to re-engage the viewer's Mind's Eye using the innate memory mechanisms OF OUR OWN MINDS to re-awaken the inner Self to the essential non-chronological components of our individual capacity for ‘memory making' and authentic self-expressive ‘story telling'….
I have done this by juxtaposing the eerie grounded Black and White ‘realism' of pinhole photography with the ephemeral capriciousness of heavily edited transparent collage colour photography.
I think it works - IN THE MIND ... What do YOU think?
- 22 images will be in Exhibition at the Burlington Art Centre
- 78 images are in the book - here
COME TO BURLINGTON THIS SUMMER -
See you soon !