Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square
Over the past ten years, Sara Cwynar's work in photography, installation and, more recently, film has cannily catalogued the ways in which images, objects and ideas circulate in culture, accruing and shedding value over time. Tracing the means by which the once-familiar and desirable—a colour, a material, a widely held ideal—becomes faded and foreign, Cwynar astutely mines the failed optimisms of recent eras to reveal the economic, social and political persuasions of even the most seemingly banal cultural outputs.
For Tracy, her first museum exhibition in Canada, Cwynar presents a trilogy of recent film works that reflect on systems of desire and control. Whether considering the potent emotional and aspirational charge of material consumption, the relationships between new technologies and desire or the ways that colour is instrumentalized politically and economically, these works zero in on the power at play in the production, circulation and consumption of images and things. Shown alongside these films is a series of photographs in which Cwynar draws on overlapping histories—of colour, commercial photography and gendered representation, amongst others—to enlarge on these themes, demonstrating how the images and objects we are presented with shape how we see ourselves, our history and the world around us.
Sara Cwynar: Tracy is co-presented with the Images Festival, 12–20 April 2018.