Laboratoire Photo

28 February - 6 April 2019

Galerie Deux Poissons is delighted to present “Laboratoire Photo”, featuring Michelle Bui, Edward Maloney and Alana Riley. This is our second “laboratory” themed exhibition, and as with “Laboratoire Peinture”, this format is designed to allow a group of talented and skillful artists united by medium to showcase a group of works, that may have only that medium linking their practices. The idea of this exhibition context is to examine the contemporary state and status of a medium under the microscope of a single, well-shaped installation, in order to get a closeup view of what and how serious young professional artists are reinvesting in a longstanding approach and history.

Michelle Bui makes images that can be described unabashedly as both very beautiful and strongly repellent at once, although the beauty is overt and the grotesque elements hidden in plain sight, lingering below the surface. Her still-life presentations – incorporating “real” and “fake” objects, organic and inorganic – read in a complex and layered fashion, revealing levels of thinking about design, advertising, fashion, and the history of the still-life, along with contemporary and fine art perspectives about representation and abstraction, and the history of style in terms of these formal concerns – and they communicate all this while allowing the viewer a strong dose of pure visual pleasure.

Edward Maloney creates mysterious landscape images that relate to the intellectual concerns of historical pictorialism in photography, as well as contemporary conceptualism. Examining and presenting a landscape image in terms of encoded meaning sets, and programming their existences with invisible narrative histories, he creates a captivating result whose enigmas resist easy explanation. The atmosphere of these photos suggests numerous interpretive possibilities, while compelling the viewer through the seductive use of colour, composition and atmosphere. Verging on abstraction but stubbornly refusing to dissolve, these pixellations resolve into images that linger in the mind as dark instances and systems of memorialization.

Alana Riley’s on-going project involves the highly theatrical, conceptual analysis of a sentimental and quotidian memory of a real occurrence, witnessed in 2003. She saw and overheard a couple unknown to her on a ferry, interacting in a caring manner that moved her, and took notes on her observations and of their dialogue. Rediscovering these notes in 2018, she began recreating the feeling of the experience. She has created new character-driven photos, as well as mined her archive for one of a landscape that dates to 2003, in order to stage a presentation of an experience she had fifteen years ago. She artfully conjures, through mise-en-scene and the directing of hired actors, the meaning of the scene she observed in real life, in place of the experience itself. In so doing she creates for the viewer a fascinating tapestry of memory, nostalgia, pleasure and their interdependent, mutual self-examinations.