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Coming attractions: Nice place to visit

January 23, 2008

Starting February 1st at Arts Underground Gallery, I'll be debuting my new series "nice place to visit" - an exploration of my complicated relationship with my home town of Whitehorse, Yukon.


Artist Statement:

I moved here in 1975 just in time for my third birthday. Because Whitehorse is my home town, we share the kind of complicated intimacy that can only be experienced and truly understood by blood relatives or very old friends.

At times you love them, suffer untold embarrassment at the sight of them, can’t wait to get away from them.

Sometimes you don’t talk for a few weeks. Sometimes a few years.

You grow together. You grow apart. They make choices you can’t for the life of you understand.

They know you. They never knew you. They know things about you that you’d rather forget.

No matter how far away you go, they follow.

They welcome you in when you show up at their doorstep suitcase in hand and never ask how long you plan to stay.

Eventually you may come to appreciate them. And one day when they’re gone, you miss them.

The look was inspired by the Becher school – a decidedly stern mode of working characterized by unflinching objectivity and an emphasis on the whole body of work rather than the individual image. Images were shot on my trusty old Broncia SQa and cross-processed to achieve an unnatural colour-shift effect that I like to call “Bechers on acid”. I’m not sure Bernd and Hilla would have approved, but I found it an effective way of marrying the skewed perception of memory with the deliberate detachment of documentary.