23 Feb 2016 – 2 Apr 2016

PNI, London

DIS

Image Life

Becoming Genre
2016
C-Print in Artist Frame, Winbot W830
165 × 128 × 5 cm (64 ½" × 50 ⅜" × 1 ½") (framed)
Edition of 5 plus II AP

Installation view: Image Life

Apology
2016
C-Print in Artist Frame, Winbot W830
165 × 128 × 5 cm (64 ½" × 50 ⅜" × 1 ½") (framed)
Edition of 5 plus II AP

Installation view: Image Life

Image Life (Related by Contour)
2016
HD video installation
90 × 200 × 11.5 cm (35 ⅜" × 78 ¾" × 4 ½")
Edition of 5 plus II AP

Serenity Now
2016
C-Print in Artist Frame, Winbot W830
165 × 128 × 5 cm (64 ½" × 50 ⅜" × 1 ½") (framed)
Edition of 5 plus II AP

Image Life (Related by Contour)
2016
HD video installation
90 × 200 × 11.5 cm (35 ⅜" × 78 ¾" × 4 ½")
Edition of 5 plus II AP

The realm of commercial stock photography has moved past production value towards authenticity. The digital amateur, photo sharing, and citizen journalism have collapsed divisions between “creative” stock, editorial news, and the family vacation photo. Image life re-presents authentically generic (1) incidents, image cultures that serve to soften reality, and turn our economic, political, cultural, and emotional landscape into saleable products that are representational yet infinitely versatile. Trends distilled from cultural chaos — a viral image, a 24hour news cycle, a commodified family, eroding privacy — become domesticated (2), yeilding aesthetically viable techniques for suburban surveillance and password protection, adoption of political body language for routine public apologies, disaster tourism as prosumer glocal art, and unblended clown contour as a determining and delineating factor of beauty (3) and community. These are the flux of the SEO world we’ve internalized — organic traffic, conversion rates, and optimized low-quality content (4).

Photo Assistant: Christine Hahn
Set Design: David Davis and Dennis Bernard
Production: Capture This
Music: Lizzie Fitch


1. “When I am trying to be true to myself, I turn “myself” into a genre, with readily recognizable and repeatable tropes. I can never be authentic, only authentically generic. I can create and meet a set of established stereotypes of myself.” – Rob Horning, Fear of Content

2. “It was the naming of Pantone’s 2016 colors of the year: Rose Quartz and an ethereal cornflower blue called Serenity. The announcement is a seemingly simple, top-down decision with massive butterfly effects, like the federal funds rate or the dimensions allowed for a photo posted to Instagram. It was the first time that Pantone had chosen two colors instead of one, and as the company explained to the New York Times, the pairing has to do with “societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity” as well as “an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage.” This sounds like a lot to project onto a couple of colors. This sounds like art” – Kevin McGarry, Art Forum Scene and Herd, 2015.

3. “You can see exactly how the look happens. The highlight on the bridge of her nose and darker color on the sides makes her nose look very slim and narrow. The highlight under the eye area makes her look well rested, bright and fresh. The dark contour on the cheek, in the hallow of the cheek makes her face less round/full and more chiseled and defined. This makes her appear slimmer. Highlight on the brown bone makes the eyes pop in the right place and having the highlight in the center of the forehead and contour on the sides makes her forehead appear smaller.” – Jersey Girl Talk, How To Highlight and Contour with Makeup and the Best Products to Use, 2016

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PRESS / REVIEWS

5 May 2016

DIS :: Review of Image Life in ArtForum


3 May 2016

DIS :: Review of Image Life in Art Monthly