The camera receives and frames the world through the lens. This aperture is a threshold that demarcates the distinction between the scene and its photographic echo. It is both an entrance and a point of departure.
Examining the way apertures haunt photographic images long after the shutter has closed, this exhibition attends to and exposes the poetics of the portal.
Each artist featured treats the aperture – the chasm, fissure or interstice – as a thematic or poetic motif. Sink holes and port holes abound. In each crevasse or cavity that appears within the work on display we witness a circumspect allusion to that elemental photographic gesture – the taking of the shot – but also to the edge of the image. It is the lens that defines the perimeter of a photograph’s visual field. Enlisting the lens as both a motif and a means of representation, these artists remind us of its outer limit but also of its limitations. They speak to subjects that remain buried and unseen within (and in spite of) the image and to the black bars that separate each frame on a strip of film – that abyss into which the invisible falls. They speak to the information that gets lost in the blink of an eye and to the inherent instability of perception.
An elegy to apertures returns to origin stories and the point zero of the photographic event, attempting to distill this fleeting instant – to hold the aperture open – and devise an allegorical framework for a self-reflexive study of the medium.
Curated by Isobel Parker Philip.