New works by Jessica Eaton
Opening Reception Friday June 12th, 7:00 – 11:00pm
June 12th – July 12th
1879 Powell Street
Jessica Eaton’s work is photography about photography in an expanded sense that includes both modernist formalism’s concern with medium-specificity and the conceptualist critique of illusion, authenticity, and convention. In her hands, concern with the medium becomes concern with perception in general: not just vision, but our whole experience of apprehending the world. So her method is experimental in the best sense. It is free play, games, and sensuous curiosity – and her images are often strikingly poetic – but it’s also serious business. Eaton’s investigations are guided by specific hypotheses, constants, and variables, and her field of study is nothing less than the nature of reality and how we perceive it.
Eaton uses elaborate, time-consuming analog techniques to achieve images that mimic digital effects or foreground elements of the photographic process that normally remain hidden. Recently she has begun explorations that take on digital manipulation but in her characteristically counter-intuitive way. Prompted by the discovery that one of her photos viewed as raw binary data was equivalent to 32,000 pages of text, and that altering even a few characters could visibly, even drastically change the image, Eaton has started manipulating photographs directly in the binary code. She is, in effect, hacking her own photos, but doing it blindfolded. In another new work, a diptych, she uses one of the oldest forms of analog manipulation – motion blur – to perform a wry abstraction of the canon of Canadian painting. Another piece, a “straight” photo, denatures a domestic environment. Whatever the approach, Eaton’s abstractions exert a strange pull, a deft fusion of idea and image that prompts endless reflection.
Artist in attendance and will be sitting the gallery on Saturday June 13th from 3:00 – 5:00pm.