Roy Arden, d’Elegance #1 (detail), archival pigment print, 2000, 157.5 x 190.5 cm, KazLaw Collection

Vestige

Selections from the KazLaw Collection

Opening Reception: March 20, 7 – 9 p.m.
Curator’s Exhibition Tour: April 21, 2 p.m.

"Eclipsed by digital media, photography can now be seen as the obsolete, 19th-century technology that practitioners, occasionally frustrated by its limitations, have long suspected it to be. When something comes to an end it is typical to pause and reflect on its beginning."

                                 –Roy Arden, After Photography, 2000

Nearly twenty years have passed since Vancouver artist Roy Arden wrote this statement in an essay about the work of then emerging Vancouver artists, Karin Bubaš, Scott McFarland, Howard Ursuliak and others who were producing “works that are fragments of the everyday.” Since then, digital photography has become mainstream, and with the advent of the camera phone (2007) and subsequent photo-sharing platforms, photographs of everything are everywhere and billions of banal and brilliant images have been uploaded and shared.

Photography, however, has proved resilient. While some artists continue to use film-based cameras, digital technologies have expanded the possibility of the genre. Vestige includes works by artists who established their practices in Vancouver, a city in which photo-based art has established an international reputation. The selections are drawn from the collection of KazLaw, a Vancouver law firm founded by Marc Kazimirski.

This exhibition features works by Roy Arden, Karin Bubaš, Owen Kydd, Evan Lee, Scott McFarland, Victor John Penner, Howard Ursuliak and Stephen Waddell. They have focussed their lenses on seemingly ordinary objects, things, and places that mark human activity: stacked mattresses, burned-out buildings, demolished cars, empty shelters and construction sites.

Howard Ursuliak’s Vestige-(Shelter) (2004) provoked Kazimirski’s interest in collecting contemporary photography. The image, a frank depiction of an empty shelter with a soiled floor and posters plastered to the glass—a structure at the side of a walkway—is a depiction of an emergency refuge installed at the University of British Columbia following a series of assaults on female students. Like the other works presented here, the photograph’s intensity and complex content compel us to look more deeply into underlying societal issues and the social force of imagery.

Curated by Darrin Morrison, this exhibition is presented in conjunction with the Capture Photography Festival.