We were here is an exhibition of work by Laura Dutton and Anna Kasko which, together, describe how photographs reveal our collective desire to get near to something or someone.
Dutton’s photographs are abstracted, candid portraits of tourists visiting the Grand Canyon. The people, standing in the distant landscape, were unaware that scant details of their likeness were being captured by the artist’s camera. Later, Dutton enlarged the iconic landscape to pluck out the tiny portions of portrait information. Through a process of printing, scanning, and reprinting, the results reveal ink dot patterns that are reminiscent of pointillism, as though these people could have been stolen from the background of a Seurat painting, where they had been forgotten.
While Dutton finds her subjects buried deep within her images, Kasko’s work involves a discarded personal archive from a time when vernacular family photography became widely accessible. The artist’s process of superimposing multiple slides results in a blurring of the subject’s identity and permits the audience to make the photographs their own. A familiarity is borne of common-place visual cues – a picnic, a barbeque, an outboard motor-boat ride. The images become both familiar and anonymous, linking then to now by way of our lasting tendency to record the mundane.
Together, these series reveal the voyeurism of both image-taker and audience – a dialectical give-and-take that has become a regular part of contemporary life. This process explores our individuality and binds us as a community of seers.
Please note that this exhibition is not wheelchair accessible.