Section: Arts

Art show casts photography as new form of communication

Art show casts photography as new form of communication

Kim Davidson ’18 and Matthew Garrett ’18 created an art exhibition through the lens of a decades-old camera, using shades of blue and pink and deconstructed portraits and objects. They explored of photography as a way of expressing the connection of family and the passage of time.

Garrett, who wanted to show a different side of his art, is a studio art major whose senior thesis project will appear in the Gund Gallery on April 23. Davidson, a political science major and studio art minor, will not have an opportunity to show his art in the gallery but still wanted to share the culmination of his creative process at Kenyon with the larger community. The pair said they had similar artistic visions, and had previously considered creating a show together. Now, at the close of their time on the Hill, they felt that this might be their last chance to collaborate.

The aesthetics of the show were intentionally eclectic, according to Davidson, and the two kept the exhibit without name or theme, preferring viewers to be inspired purely by the material. The two, who are photographers for the Collegian, found overlaps in their personal work, as they both consider familial identity and the ability of time and genetics to warp emotional and visual connections. This intersected with the presence of modern photography and how our culture has quickly become inundated by images. Davidson expanded on this concept in his artist’s statement: “[Photography] has come to serve not only as a means of representing the world, but as another standard of communication, one to rival written and verbal language.”

Garrett’s pieces were a mix of portraitures of varying abstraction and conceptual sculpture. What appeared to be small letters strewn across the floor composed one work, entitled How to Get Home, which, according to the plaque, were scrambled coordinates created by Google. A wall was dedicated to diptychs of Garrett and his father, both captured with the same camera, but at different times. In shots of his father, the photos are clear because the camera was new. The photos of Garrett are obscured by a pink haze, a product of the aged camera, which no longer functions as it once did.

“I became really interested in this idea of being a certain age, and that age is your relationship to a time,” Garrett said. “I became interested in this false investigation of how I could put myself into my father’s time when he was 22 because the contexts are so different.”

Davidson’s photography project, Pixel-type, was created with an old form that was new to him: cyanotype, the material used for blueprints, a printing process that was invented in the 19th century. Davidson uses cyanotype as a means of combining contemporary photography with historical practice, incorporating the stunning detail of a digital camera into the inky blue created by negatives. From these prints, Davidson pieced together huge mosaics, segmenting the subjects of his images, sisters Anastasia Inciardi ’19 and Alex Inciardi ’21, which exacerbated both the resemblance and contrast between them and the oddity and humanity of the medium.

Both artists reflected on family and time: Garrett, with the person his father had been at his age, and Davidson, between the Inciardi sisters, who are two years apart.

The show was on display in the Lower Horn Gallery from Friday, April 13 to Monday, April 16.

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