Over the past decade, digital media has transformed how we take pictures, how existing images circulate in the world and how histories are written. While many artists have questioned where to locate images in our contemporary context, their ongoing presence in museums and galleries underscores that—alongside more dematerialized forms—images remain with us physically.
Surface Tension presents recent works by Canadian and international artists that readily engage with this persistent materiality. In particular, the works here share an interest in the surface of the image and its susceptibility to intervention. From the rough texture of newsprint to the semi-gloss of a snapshot to the sheen of advertising vinyl, it is surface that establishes our encounter with every image. When that surface is unsettled—as happens to the works on view in this exhibition—new relations between images and objects emerge.
Moving beyond the traditional framework of photography, the meanings of the works in Surface Tension are not limited to the subjects of individual pictures. Instead, meaning is made through strategies of assemblage, with images expanded, illuminated or even undone as they assume material form.
Curated by Jacob Korczynski
Matthew Buckingham, Nina Canell & Robin Watkins, Youngmi Chun, Kelly Jazvac, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Jimmy Robert, Mark Soo