At this time of increasing ecological crisis, new Circuit Gallery exhibition asks us to consider our place in, and relationship to, the wider natural world.
Toronto, ON, November 17, 2015 — Circuit Gallery is pleased to present Apprehensions, an exhibition featuring new photographic work by Eamon Mac Mahon (Canada), Jon Wyatt (UK), and Chris Bennett (USA).
This exhibition brings together three artists who, in this time of increasing ecological crisis, are deeply engaged with landscape, and who ask us through these works to consider our place in, and relationship to, the wider natural world.
The Enlightenment concept of ‘man’ as an autonomous, self-conscious, and rational subject hinges on the separation of an ‘outside’ natural world from an ‘inner’ human and subjective one. With this separation in place, nature became seen as something external to discover, appreciate, and study. The ensuing modernist project mutated this view of the natural world into something for us to exploit, master and control for our own ends, in the name of progress, science, and reason. Paradoxically, nature has simultaneously been seen as so vast and resilient that it was safe from our depredations. Both of these ideas have failed us.
Apprehensions engages landscape both as a subject for photography and as a genre, where the traditional aesthetic categories of the beautiful and sublime, often synonymous with the landscape tradition in art, take on new resonances in our contemporary apprehending of, and affective orientation towards, the natural world.
This exhibition situates the work of these three photographers, and their different approaches to this genre, as having been predicated on and motivated by a profound and heightened awareness of our species’ contributing role in global warming and our unfolding catastrophe.
Landscape has always been an important genre and subject for photography. And it makes more sense now than ever that artists are reengaging traditional aesthetic categories and feel compelled to reevaluate our culture’s changed and increasingly fraught relationship with nature and to question our assumed place in the world.
Such art can open up the world and our relationship to it. It can destabilize and move us, reminding us that there are other ways of being in it.
The exhibition is curated by Claire Sykes with an essay by Leo Hsu.
Eamon Mac Mahon is an artist working with photography and video based in Toronto. Raised in northern Alberta, his fascination with the wilderness began at an early age. Mac Mahon’s photographs have been published by the Walrus, National Geographic, Capricious, MIT Press and the New Yorker. His work has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Detroit Institute of Arts and the Power Plant. He is represented by Circuit Gallery (Toronto).
British photographer Jon Wyatt‘s work documents the detachment of modern culture from our physical landscapes, both in the context of landscape iconography, national identity, human ecology and ecosystem transition; and through the perspective of vast spans of time and geologic processes. His work has been published in PDN, National Geographic Traveler, Orion Magazine and The Times amongst others and exhibited in Europe, South East Asia, the United States, and Canada.
Chris Bennett is an American photographer based in Portland, Oregon. He received his BFA from Indiana University in 1999 and his MFA in Photography, from the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, in 2014. Bennett’s work has been shown widely, with exhibitions in Portland at Froelick Gallery, Camerawork Gallery, and the Oregon Historical Society; as well as nationally and internationally at The Phoenix Art Museum (AZ), Center for Contemporary Art (Santa Fe, NM), INOVA – Institute of Visual Arts (Milwaukee, WI), Camera Club of New York (New York, NY), and Kominek Gallery (Berlin, Germany).
Leo Hsu is a writer, researcher and photographer based in Toronto. He is a regular contributor to Fraction Magazine and holds a PhD in Anthropology and Certificate in Culture and Media from New York University. He has taught on the history of photography and documentary photography at Carnegie Mellon University and collaborated with the Silver Eye Center for Photography on several exhibitions, most recently A World Imagined: Kelli Connell and Sara Macel.
Apprehensions runs November 26 through December 19 at Circuit Gallery @ Prefix ICA, with an opening reception on Thursday, November 26, from 6 – 9 p.m.
Eamon Mac Mahon
November 26 – December 19, 2015
Thursday, November 26, 6-9 p.m.
Circuit Gallery @ Prefix ICA
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 124
Toronto, ON, M6R 2G5
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Tuesday – Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Visit Circuit Gallery online for more information and to see more images:
About Circuit Gallery
Circuit Gallery specializes in contemporary photography. Established in 2008 by Susana Reisman and Claire Sykes, the Toronto based commercial gallery represents both emerging and established Canadian and international artists.
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For more information and media inquiries, please contact:
Claire Sykes, Circuit Gallery, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 647-477-2487
Fault Line VI
I’m pleased to announce that Circuit Gallery at the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art in Toronto will be exhibiting images from my Fault Line series. The exhibition will open on November 26th and continue until December 19th 2015. Also exhibiting will be Canadian photographer Eamon Mac Mahon and Christopher Bennett from the US, both also represented by Circuit Gallery. More details to follow.
Fault Line XIV (detail)
Just a quick note to say that I’ll be a panellist at this years Royal Geographical Society’s ‘Explore: expeditions and fieldwork planning 2015’ conference. The theme this year is ‘powerful places, quietly told’ and the workshop will be part of the ‘Communicating your Discoveries’ sessions.
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London, UK
13-15 November 2015.
Orion Magazine is one of the oldest and most respected environmental and cultural magazines in the US and their May/June issue which is out today features my ‘Bamboo (Six Seconds)’ project. The images are beautifully laid out over five pages in a great looking edition ( I would say that..) which also includes, for those of you into the language of landscape, an extract from Robert Macfarlane’s new book, Landmarks.
Every image in the ‘Bamboo (Six Seconds)’ project has an exposure time of six seconds. This idea came from a quote I read that every six seconds fifteen acres of the planet is deforested. The full project statement continues:-
To the Chinese, bamboo holds iconic status, representing the harmony between nature and man – and symbolising civilisation. In myths, literature, calligraphy and painting bamboo’s characteristics embody the finest human virtues – integrity, humility and purity. Comparing a person to bamboo is considered the highest possible praise of their character.
Touted as a miracle crop to counter deforestation, bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on earth. Growing up to four feet a day, one hectare of bamboo sequesters sixty-two tons of carbon dioxide per year. Generating up to 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees it can be used to produce everything from food, fabrics, paper, building material and oil.
However rising demand from the west has brought new environmental concerns for bamboo forests. Increased use of unregulated pesticides for production plus the strong chemical solvents required to process the bamboo have poisoned watercourses and threaten precious animal habitat. Indiscriminate harvesting has resulted in half the world’s species of bamboo now being in imminent danger of extinction.
Civilisation exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice. – Will Durant.
On the wall is a bathymetric map – a map of the topography of a section of the Pacific Ocean floor 2,500 miles east of Australia. Intricate, black wrinkles spread across the map denoting the contours and pressure ridges of the ocean landscape. At a depth of 11 miles those contours coalesce to form a thick, dark crease across the map. At this spot the Pacific tectonic plate dives below the Australian plate at an average of 10 inches per year – by far the fastest plate movement on the planet.
In 2009, in a massive fault rupture, the plates moved 22 feet relative to each other for a distance of 155 miles. The resulting wave was 55 feet high when it hit the nearest coastline – the island of Samoa, 100 miles to the north. It killed 189 people, destroyed 20 villages and left 3000 homeless.
Detail from above image
Visiting Samoa in 2014, I’m struck by the swathes of vegetation that rise, several storeys high, from the roadsides. Comprising one single species – Merremia Peltata – this fast-growing climbing vine with broad, waxy leaves has smothered and killed more than 60% of Samoa’s native forest. The contours of the carpet of vines recalls the contours of the ocean floor map. An inundation of vegetation. A palpable echo of the tsunami.
My project ‘The Sixth Extinction’ is featured this week in the ‘Another Place’ contemporary photography magazine on tumblr – here. The project concerns ecosystem transition and is loosely based around the investigations of a group of scientists into a 200 million year old mystery – a mass extinction event which wiped out around 80% of all life on earth.
Check out my new instagram feed which’ll show my hipstamatic imagery – instagram.com/jonwyattphoto
As a Phase One ‘ambassador’ and long time user of Phase One products including Capture One software, I’m pleased to be able to pass on a discount to anyone who wants to buy Capture One 9 Pro software. Just drop me an email and I’ll send you a discount code which entitles you to a further 10% discount on the advertised price available on the Phase One website. The voucher also entitles the user to 10% off the cost of an upgrade to Capture One 9 Pro from Capture One 7 or 8.
Most of the work on this website has been processed from RAW using Capture One Pro software. Capture One Pro 9 is the world’s best raw converter, rendering precise colours and incredible detail with support for leading high-end cameras. It contains flexible, digital asset management, all the essential adjustment tools in one customisable and high performing solution. For more information on the latest version of the software Capture One Pro 9 go to http://www.phaseone.com/en/Imaging-Software.aspx
Tim Parkin at OnLandscape.co.uk interviewed me recently – the resulting article can be seen here. On Landscape is a UK based bi-weekly magazine dedicated to landscape photography.
The Huangshan Ltd project has been featured on the Lenscratch blog here.
I’ve recently returned from the Photolucida review event in Portland, Oregon where I met with several (mainly west coast) gallerists and curators. More on the outcomes of those meetings in future posts! Meantime I’m happy to announce that I’ve been selected (for the second year running) as one of the winners of the Magenta Foundation’s 2013 Flash Forward Competition for emerging photographers.
My ‘Avalanche UK’ project was selected by Sara Knelman (Talks Programmer, Photographers Gallery) and Rebecca McClelland (Group Photography Editor and Creative Director of the Ian Parry Scholarship).
The work will be published in the Magenta Foundation catalogue and feature in Flash Forward Festival events in Toronto, before touring to various venues.