What can a photograph reveal? This investigation lies at the heart of the work of 17 emerging, lens-based practitioners who comprise this exhibition. While photography has a long and fraught relationship with the truth, these artists use their works to probe what it is possible to know and delineate through photography, accepting as a given that truth is subjective, malleable, and time-specific.
Some works are process-based, exploring what it is possible for the medium to represent. Here the light-sensitive surface becomes a site of experimentation and the darkroom a playground to test the medium’s boundaries. These works investigate photography’s relationship to truth – the truth that comes in a recording of an artistic process, or a representation of a moment in time. Through methods of abstraction, these process-based works evoke the idea of illusion as they move away from the representational. They leave us wondering what we see in these images while simultaneously being faithful depictions of light, colour, and surface.
Others investigate identity and representation, questioning the ability to offer an honest or accurate representation of one’s self or one’s subject through photography – where does a performance for the camera begin and end? How can one use the camera to capture the reality of a relationship, which by its very nature is in-between, intangible and ever-changing? In many images, objects become laden with meaning, evoking an emotive or social truth beyond the thing itself. Others in the group consider space – both domestic and interior and that of the street – to explore the way in which their practices can depict change in familial relationships and urban landscapes. Through these explorations, these artists celebrate the complicated relationship between photography and truth, attempting to convey a veracity far deeper than that which is immediately visible.
Curated by Emmy Lee Wall, Executive Director, Capture Photography Festival and Birthe Piontek, Assistant Professor of Photography, Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
Capture x Emily Carr is a partnership between the Capture Photography Festival and the Audain Faculty of Art at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, organized by Shumka Centre.
This program is funded in part by the Co-op and Work Integrated Learning Initiative of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning program and CEWIL Canada’s iHUB, as well as by a generous donation from Wesgroup.