Tracing intersections

In conversation with the curators of the PLATFORM Centre’s latest exhibit

Traces, which runs at PLATFORM until Dec. 11, features work by five Manitoba artists exploring the “rebirth of images through re-photography, collage and sculpture.”

The latest exhibition at the PLATFORM Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts is a curation of parallels and unforeseen connections between the practices of five local artists.

Traces, an exhibition curated by Tayler Buss and Meganelizabeth Diamond, features a roster of Manitoba-based artists hand-picked by the curators. Running from Nov. 12 to Dec. 11, the group show will feature work by Alexis L. Grisé, Katrina Marie Mendoza, Hanna Reimer, Tobin Rowland and Chukwudubem Ukaigwe.

“It was a lot of working with friends, which was kind of fun, and getting to know their process a lot better,” Buss says.

Through a series of studio visits and conversations with the participating artists, Buss and Diamond began noticing themes between the artists’ practices.

“Once we had done about half of the studio visits, we started to see some parallels and clean lines between everyone’s work,” Diamond says.

From there, the overarching theme (and title) Traces emerged. “Traces explores the translation, appropriation and rebirth of images through re-photography, collage and sculpture,” the program reads. “The colour of what you were. An imprint of then, seen from here. Everything shifted, though nothing changed. Travelling to the view and onto one another. Traces are what’s left, after.”

The theme carries not only through the visual metaphors in the artists’ work, but in their respective practices, as well.

“A lot of (the artists’) work is very process-based. There are processes of image transfers or scanning or taking photographs and transferring them into a physical form as a sculpture,” Buss says. “That’s kind of where ‘traces’ fits in: that action of tracing a line between each work, but also tracing the beginning point to an endpoint.”

Another way the pieces find a common ground is by pushing beyond the limits of their practice. The two-dimensional transcends into the three-dimensional. A single image becomes layered through numerous image processes, forging a new narrative with each transformation.

“I think the prevalent thing that they all have in common is pushing the boundary of photography. It doesn’t necessarily have to be this flat, 2D photographic print, and I think all five artists expand beyond the traditional forms of photography,” Diamond says.

If there’s one thing visitors take away from the exhibition, Buss says she hopes it’s the satisfaction of mining the miniature details that thematically stitch each piece together.

The pieces “look very different, but there are these tiny similarities that bind it all together. I hope they can make these connections and search for it a bit, like a scavenger hunt,” Buss says.

The Traces exhibition will be available for in-person viewing from now until Dec. 11 at the PLATFORM Centre (121-100 Arthur St.). A conversation between the artists will be held at the gallery on Dec. 2, followed by a closing reception on Dec. 11. To book a viewing ahead of time, email admin@platformgallery.org.

Published in Volume 76, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 25, 2021)

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