Never Letting Us Take Breath
April 30 - June 4, 2016
In taking a photograph, this tourist projects himself in a loop forward, to the comfort of home, where he'll then imagine backward into the memory that he is in the midst of constructing as the photograph is snapped... Caught up in the romance of the rhetorical, he might later describe that moment of shutter-press as one of being perfectly present. But the truth is that when that shutter gapes open, 'the present' is the last thing on anyone's mind.
So intones a voice from the back room of Never Letting Us Take Breath, a nebulous photographic project by Lee Henderson. This installation grows from the fusing of two found slide archives: one a collection of an unknown family's holiday mementos, and the other from a-defunct-travel agency. By juxtaposing personal snapshots with destination promotions (both dating from the mid-1900s) and relaying the images through the mimetic media of print, slide projection and sound, the project points to two aspects of photography that underlie its slipperiness as a discipline: its mechanical ability to re-present the past indexically, and the human desire to fling oneself perpetually into the future.
This was a Featured Exhibition for the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival and the recipient of the 2016 Gattuso Prize.
For more information on the award, click here.