For his fourth solo exhibition with Republic Gallery, Ryan Peter presents a group of new photo-based works. An extension of his Autogram series, The Moon and Other Myths includes a selection of large-scale unique silver gelatin prints. Along with more traditional darkroom processes such as dodging and burning, the works are made by collaging and contact printing “textures” that consist of acrylic paints on translucent polyester and polypropylene films—plastic on plastic.
This uneasy union between synthetic materials produces uncannily natural results: fractal forms that evoke numerous phenomena, from rock formations to wood panelling. In this way, the works present a temporal excavation, resuscitating the organic ancestries of these petroleum products and, in doing so, conjure Georges Bataille’s concept of the ghost as “the perfect heterogeneous space, between life and death.” These allusions to the distant past—and the prehistoric life forms whose deaths have fuelled the future—are complicated by references to more recent imaging technology, such as Photoshopped drop shadows.
The exhibition additionally includes new cyanotype prints on canvas, furthering the artist’s investigation into the relationship between painting and photography.