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DK Photo Group ‘New Works’
What is it about remote locales that evoke instant curiosity? Stripped down, such subjects are vulnerable and enticing without warning.
How does one react to these images of urban decay?
The associates that operated galleryDK (prior to the birth of gallerywest), consisted of Russell Brohier, Sean Galbraith, Steve Jacobs, Laurin Jeffrey and Mathew Merrett. The ‘group’ has been regarded as a collective of photographers who share a fascination for neglected environments, the exploration of various inanimate objects and capturing subjects in ambient lighting. Churches, bridge ways, mines, desolate land masses, and abandoned cars are among some of the works previously exhibited by these contemporary photographers.
Showing new works, the artists assert there will be familiar seeds of commonality, but new visions and subjects will be the focal points for each narrative. While some viewers may assert desolation is a somber, melancholic, and perhaps unnerving experience others play witness to the bareness as an environment rich with genuine prose.
Exploring with infrared, resin coating, specific metals, mounted collages and poignant symmetry—each approach to ‘urban decay’ is individualistic, illustrating varying modes of perceptive realities.
“The onlooker is a witness to environments that are often neglected, ignored or not readily seen. Here are the works of urban exploration, the abandoned spaces.”
Viewers can expect embossed artistry and creative subject matter with photographs ranging from cloud-cluster forests to auto junkyards.
Also on display will be never before seen photographs of an abandoned prison located at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility in Cuba.
Gaining access, adhering to structural and societal regulations and remaining vividly sound on every snapshot are among some of the challenges each artist faced when creating their narrative. However, these challenges of capturing desolate beauty has in turn helped create a plethora of images that are full of raw sensibilities.
In addition, this is a nostalgic showing as gallerywest occupies the former space where galleryDK operated. After closing its doors in Spring 2010, galleryDK’s artists have continued to grow and expanded as creators; this is their homecoming.
Join in the homecoming.
New works group exhibition, by Russell Brohier, Sean Galbraith, Steve Jacobs, Laurin Jeffrey and Mathew Merrett runs from February 1st until February 28th, with the opening reception on Thursday, February 3rd, 2011.
About DK Photo Group
In the ruins of a steel mill on a cold December Sunday in 2005, five photographers came together to form the DK Photo Group. Though each has their own artistic voice, what binds them together is their common subject matter. Exploring the forgotten, decaying and derelict relics of society, this group photographs and documents those buildings which once stood as bastions of social institutions. Now silent and testament to the history of our social past, they are artifacts left to deteriorate.
Photo courtesy of Laurin Jeffrey
You might make it after all…/ I am a Closet New Yorker
“I am interested in romanticized portrayals of big cities as well as the aesthetics, social behavior and conversations, which occupy frenetic environments.”
Depicting an existence far beyond our social proximity is a challenge, but an artful one. Bridging the realism of modernity with the idealism of past relationships, “You might just make it after all…/ I am a Closet New Yorker” explores various attachments to metropolis living with specific references to New York City.
Through audio, visual and ideological insertions—the latest exhibit to be featured at gallerywest is not only a reflection of the artist’s mind-collective, but also acts as a sensory catalyst expressing a common thread found at the core in many of us.
As part of the opening reception, the poem “I Am A Closet New Yorker” will be read aloud by acclaimed Canadian poet and playwright Sheri-D Wilson.
One of the videos featured in this multi-media installation issues footage appropriated from the theme song of the “Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
Focusing on the transition of rural, small-town living to that of fast-paced urban centres—Tyler presents his connection to the attractiveness of big city occupancy and his continuous arrival into idealistic urban geography.
“I want to express a constant arrival to a place, and a continuous affirmation of the more romantic ideals of city living,” Tyler states.
A second video serves as a reaction to the early 1990’s “Ghostbusters 2” motion picture. The film is revisited through a process of physical and metaphysical connections. These connections are formed through visual and audio variations that help to glamorize and validate the enticing appeal of New York City. This mesmeric allure is a seeding ingredient in Tyler’s overall presentation.
The notion of the ‘urban uniform’ continues to expand as our culture transitions with a modern dexterity witnessed through our daily discourse, interactions and desired identities.
In a series of sound recordings, Tyler takes to the streets of New York City posing as a modern-day Manhattan businessman.
Tyler asserts a style to presenting and preserving his ‘deemed’ identity through a bundle of fake phone conversations. These phone conversations are representations of Tyler’s assimilation into New York culture. The conversations may be fictional, but the premise of such banter is strikingly real.
The fascination with urban centers continues to be of intrigue to many and it is through a modernized template of conceptual and innate realities that such attachment furthers.
“You might just make it after all…/ I am a Closet New Yorker” focuses on this ongoing metropolis temptation as it relates to the artist and the habitat in which we co-exist.
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 3rd, 7-10PM.
“You might just make it after all…/ I am a Closet New Yorker” runs from March 1st until March 31st.
About Sheri-D Wilson
Sheri-D Wilson is a Canadian playwright and poet who has won awards such as Global TV’s Woman of Vision Award (2006), the SpoCan Award (2005) as well as three ACE awards (2003). She has participated in the Vancouver International Writers Festival, Bumbershoot and Voix d’Ameriques. Sheri-D Wilson has seven collections of poetry with her most recent work ‘Autopsy of a Turvy World’ launched as part of the 2008 Calgary International Spoken Word Festival. Her ‘ReZoom’ collection was also shortlisted for the CanLit award. Sheri-D Wilson currently resides and works in Calgary, Alberta.
About Evan Tyler
Evan Tyler is an emerging intermedia artist with works in photography, video, writing, drawing and performance. Tyler assesses the modern metropolis and urban uniform by using a combination of sound performance, and visual components. One of Tyler’s most known solo exhibits, ‘My Girls’ has been featured at the Godfrey Dean Gallery (Yorkton, Sask.) as well as Toronto’s galleryDK. Tyler’s work has also been exhibited at the University Club in Regina, Saskatchewan and the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Evan Tyler is a graduate of the University of Regina, holding a BFA in Intermedia. Evan currently resides in Toronto, Ontario and is the owner and program director at gallerywest.
Article: The Metropolis Self: Exhibit on Urban Exploration :: Zouch Magazine :: www.zouchmagazine.com (click photo)
Perhaps it’s the commotion of the world— the influx of sensational commentary, the habitual string of offsetting images or the plaguing use of social media that has encouraged our moments to become so fluid. Have we forgotten to retreat? Or are we constantly living in standby?
Immediacy doesn’t necessarily express continuity or a sense of togetherness. Nor does such a fast paced co-existence allow for any casual pondering; things are determined, dictated and delivered, and sadly often quickly forgotten.
Title: Young Attractive Cool People
By: Evan Tyler
Medium: Photography Series: die coupler prints on Kodak-Matte Paper
The uniform of the urbanite is a curious phenomenon. It can easily be criticized and torn apart by pointing out the fashion conscious narcissism associated with the culture of “hip”.
My sense is that the re-popularized ‘Ray Ban’ sunglasses and the minimalist, tight fitting aesthetic of ‘American Apparel’ clothing are some of the biggest viral phenomena to occur since the resurgence of ‘Apple’.
In a humourous attempt to confront the urban uniform and expose the threshold of mysticism that surrounds “cool”, I set out on an adventure through the streets of Toronto to ask young, hip and fashionable individuals if they would like to participate in a photographic project entitled: “Young Attractive Cool People”.
The art project, in essence, is the moment where an individual decides whether this is a compliment or a criticism. What protective barriers exist in the acknowledgement of being young, attractive and cool?
The photographs are secondary to the interaction; they function as a type of scrapbook time capsule of Western civilization’s current version of “hip” - that contemporary cutting-edge sophistication of those in the know.
The gaze and facial features of each individual, for the most part, is read as happy, welcoming and fun. This is what pleases me most with this series. It successfully knocks down, or perhaps bypasses the cold and elite demeanour which plagues the culture of cool.
My intent with this work is to demystify a cultural phenomenon and to humanize the subject within, while retaining a simultaneous diplomacy and objectivity with which I can celebrate as well as critique.
Want to be part of the series?
Email us: email@example.com / Subject: Young Attractive Cool People