2014-16. Mexico, Canada and U.S.A.
Driver / Passenger consists of ten large digital photographs. Each work is black and white and in the form of a diptych, alluding to the viewpoint of a driver and passenger in the front seat of a vehicle.
“Overloaded with parasitic functions of prestige, comfort, unconscious projection … A whole civilisation could be arrested at the stage of the automobile.”
Jean Baudrillard, Système des objets
For the past five years, my practice has been lens based figurative work. I approach using the camera as a painter expressing social and environmental critical theory concerns through formal and site-specific investigations.
This work questions metaphysical assumptions of neoliberalism by adopting a viewpoint that our contemporary public sphere is whatever is framed from the inside of an automobile.
Problematically, the only common space, our one true shared experience that can be claimed as a universal lens on our cultural, natural and economic states are places that cars can go and see other cars going. Our social and environmental concerns become dissonant spaces not visible from within this public sphere.
Thus is the nature of our symbolic interaction with our environment and each other largely absurd due to the ubiquitousness of the automobile experience—a simulacrum of understanding our world through ego reflected in glass and speed?
Human stories such as rites of passage, divine intervention, love and loss become welded with the notion of transformation by entering and escaping landscapes while being separated from them. A philosophical outlook of either free will or fate, of ourselves and our world, operationally emerges as determined by our position as either driver or passenger through this new mythology.
Cinematic with elements of the surreal, these works hint at myth & narrative that draw from various locations across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. The exhibit addresses common stories we tell each other in context of the above assumptions: transformation, danger, promise and arrival.