Drawn from Miner’s doctoral dissertation “A Photographic Ontology: Being Haunted within the Blue Hour and Expanding Field” this exhibition presents works by five Canadian and international artists – Joi T. Arcand, Kapwani Kiwanga, Colin Miner, Grace Ndiritu, and Kara Uzelman – that collectively act as a proposition to consider the futurity of the photographic image.
The fugitive and cyclical are ongoing starting points for Colin Miner, whose work traces the ontological anxiety that, in his words, “shadows” the photographic. Considering qualities of lightness, darkness, reflection and refraction, Miner seeks to evoke rather than capture photography’s qualities of relation. In The Blue Hour, a constellation of disparate objects and images are brought together to create converging lines of inquiry, which elliptically surface and resurface. Here, Miner approaches the photograph as a state of suspension; a manifestation of “space-crossed time.” Plaster and latex casts of dust covers for photographic equipment (collected by the artist for potential future use) are tinted by different hues of red light thrown by two neon sculptures whose spiral forms recall early 20th century Czech physician Jan Purkinje’s empirical studies of afterimages in the eye. A large-scale print portrays the slippage of silver emulsion across the surface of a photographic plate – quite literally, an image of photography’s unfixed state. This movement of glittering emulsion is echoed once again in the diminutive but mesmerizing video Untitled (snail) (2017), which follows, in an endless loop, the barely perceptible movement of a large Peruvian snail – an animal which, one might argue, both secretes time and carries it upon its back. As writer Jacqueline Mabey remarks about Miner’s work, in a statement that might also be applied to the conditions of photography as a whole, “you can try to fix the image, but it will never stick. The temporality of the photograph is not the ‘there-then’ but contains the kernel of potential futures, held in eternal ‘yet-could-be.’”
Exhibition at The Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver, 2018). Installation views. C-print, Dibond, spray paint, silicone ear plugs; inkjet prints, wood, cast bronze, mat board, tape; polymerized gypsum, inkjet print, cast silver, analine dye, stones, tape; zink prints; HD video, gold iPad mini, iPad soft cover, external battery, USB cable; neons; HD video, isolant foam, foil tape