This exhibition considers various techniques of staging in contemporary photography. Organized as three solo exhibitions, Janieta Eyre, Julie Moos and Zwelethu Mthethwa presents work that innovatively revisits techniques established by previous generations of photographers, but with inventive twists and a unique freshness that addresses important issues surrounding contemporary portraiture. These issues include factual objectivity, fictitious narratives, internal musings and external observations, motivation and agenda. The subject of the photographs, mainly individuals, are rendered as critical elements to the aesthetic composition, either as a component of and/or compliment to the color, texture and pattern found or created within their immediate surroundings.
These richly textured, highly saturated color images are about individuals and what they and/or the artist choose to present. Staging examines the role of the photographer in contemporary portrait image making and the relationships between the photographer, subject and viewer. It also explores the artistic motivation behind the manipulation of these images and ultimately the cultural, social and political significance of their portrayals.
Toronto-based artist Janieta Eyre photographs herself, a surrogate in elaborate costumes set within fantastical rooms that suggest possibilities beyond her current reality. She postures herself within elaborately constructed scenarios to create dramatic narratives that exist in the realm of illusion, allusion and revelation. Incorporating complex literary references, art historical symbolism and highly self-referential language, her self-portraits simultaneously place her in a surreal past, autobiographical present and unimaginable tomorrow. Eyre has had solo exhibitions at Christinerose Gallery, New York and in Vancouver, Toronto, Los Angeles and Iceland. She has participated in group exhibitions throughout Canada, Italy and New York.