Empty

October 16, 2008

Boubane isn’t sure what draws him to documenting moments where things are both absent and present, but he returned to the idea with Melting Words. After finding a letter shaped templates for baking at the bulk barn, he started making batch after batch of letters as ice. Forming stereotypical phrases with the ice, he shot them over ten minutes as the letters melted away.

“Photographs are able to hold and contain a period time or give ideas to a specific moment, and the work is ephemeral in a certain way this idea that these tangible objects fade away but are caught in that photographic moment.”

Campbell is contributing his Beasts of Burden series for his half of the show. The ten works feature people in various rooms slouching and wearing large animal mascot heads.

“The series is about the physical representation of burden and the intangible weight individuals endure,” says Campbell. “It very much deals with melodrama and solidarity, and how those two things combined can escalate into an unmanageable situation.”

He originally conceived the project as an investigation of motivation looking at who motivates motivators like mascots. He found the suits at a costume shop. But once he saw the lone mascot head combine with human gesture it altered everything.

Campbell enjoys working with people as subjects because he likes their awkwardness. He places has his subjects in oddly bare rooms meant to suggest as little as possible about his characters and lend even more ambiguity to the work.

“The term empty deals with the absence of comfort within the images. The images do look very empty, or at least that there is a lot missing. [It] deals with the lack of presence each character has within the frame. They are clearly there, however missing.”

Empty will be on display from Thu October 16 – Sun November 23 at Montreal;s Galerie Push.
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