THRESHOLD

Marcel Duchamp showed how the context of the museum or gallery could elevate even the most ordinary objects to the status of art, making them worthy of our attention. He also recognized the viewer's role as essential to completing the creative act. As part of my broader inquiry, the photographs from Threshold reframe the exhibition space as content, drawing attention to its form, effect and function and how the spaces of display shape our experience.

These large-scale color photographs show contemporary exhibition spaces from across the globe, but do not include any paintings, photographs or sculpture; instead, through the subversive use of digital erasure I remove the art intended for our view, foregrounding the gallery and its audience as de facto objects of interest. Pointing to the modernist ideal of the impossibly pristine "white cube," my photographs make visible the often-unobserved presence of the gallery's mythic space and the fallacy of its presumed tabula rasa. Also on display, expectant spectators stand dwarfed within a monumental space, and gaze upon blank walls as if at the edge of a precipice, sublime vista or natural wonder. Their presence and poses mimicking our own, they implicate our respective roles in activating the artwork.

By employing these strategies of erasure, omission, doubling, and mirroring, the photographs direct attention to the gallery's interior architecture as an authoritative space and psychic arena that colors how we see. Revealed both as spectacle and existential void, the physical material of the gallery's white walls seem infinite; and although the artworks are no longer visible, highly polished floors bear their watery reflection, as if a trace of the past, or palimpsest embedded in once porous concrete. Playing with themes of perception, vanitas and value, the photographs challenge the preconceptions we might bring to the gallery; the images meditate on being and nothingness from within the unlikely context of art's display and commerce. As part of my broader inquiry, Threshold unravels its established order and presents the contemporary exhibition space as microcosm and metaphor for a world on the brink dramatic change.

For sometime now, mega galleries have been playing out a Darwinian drama by expanding their reach, scale and brand through multiple locations across the globe, while mid-size and smaller galleries often struggle to survive; as a result, the latter have found it necessary to downsize, migrate to new locations, close or go completely virtual. Their geographies and futures in flux as they respond to market trends, shifting economies and the hierarchies of branding, influence and power. In an attempt to reconcile the art world(s) within the broader ecosystem and trajectories of time, Threshold demystifies the construct of an idealized white cube and the undeniable influence of its scale and minimalist aesthetic while highlighting the viewer's own role in constructing meaning and attributing value.