Gerri York’s Alley 1_(112 E. Pender St.) explores the transformation of material matter through print media. Interested in surface characteristics of pictorial space in photography, York views the process of drawing with ink as a concentration toward the materiality of an image, a foundation that bleeds from her background as a printmaker into her photographic practice. In the case of her Alley series, York explores the flowing pool of ink on transparent film, working intuitively and loosely on these forms to examine the ambiguities of chance and circumstance. For York, the spilling of ink on polyester film speaks to the material relationship of light and photography, and the transference of light through the translucent material via the presence of backlighting.
York’s work takes up a multifaceted position within the Lightbox Project Space of Gallery 295, where the qualities of her exploration are deepened through installation as a large-scale backlit photographic image. The pooling of ink overlaid onto a banal street photograph transforms the image into a mise en scène. It is this essence in photography that interests York: the reflective and transparent nature of light and its collaboration with the material context of the photograph as it sets the stage for a juxtaposition of form. The resulting work recalls the past tense of photography, of an event that evokes an ineffable sense of absence.