The practice of Calgary-based artist Brittany Nickerson examines the representational qualities of images through the deconstruction and fragmentation of the artist’s family’s photographic archive. Her work questions the ability of images to be artifacts of existence and memory or traces and proof of a life lived. She uses autoethnography as a research and production method to situate her personal experience within this archive to critique the cultural practice of family archiving. The photographic archive asserts authority over the truth because of its apparent objectivity; Nickerson’s own family archive was collected and curated by her male relatives, and in turn their own subjectivity controls her family’s collective history.
Nickerson’s practice is concerned less with revealing a truth than with identifying the disappearing traces within photography, thereby uncovering identities that were silenced and diminished through the collecting process. Her practice uses a variety of lens-based processes to acknowledge the gap between representation and image while also questioning the agency of individual identity within archives.
Nickerson’s photographic practice engages with many methods of image making, including analogue and digital photography, alternative processing, archiving, and collage.
Presented in partnership with
Strathcona Business Improvement Association
Capture’s Street Photography project comprises two roving exhibitions and one site-specific exhibition concentrated within the borders of Vancouver’s Gastown, Strathcona, and East Village neighbourhoods. These exhibitions take place on the storefronts and facades of different retail and community spaces, with each participating business showcasing a unique artwork. Residents, shoppers, and those who work in the neighbourhood are able to slowly piece together each exhibition as they encounter the artworks during their daily errands and commutes, with the goal of sparking thoughtful and spontaneous dialogue.