Curated by Paul Laidler The Printed Reality Exhibition was a curated show of photographic works by seven artists presented as a gallery instillation. The exhibition was conceived as a way to bring together the physical exhibition space and the digital gallery space as a means to consider the print as an image and an object. In this instance the physical exhibition subverted expectations by dispensing with conventional and established printmaking exhibition formats. The exhibition displayed no physical prints by the artists or used any traditional hanging and framing method’s - the only physical print was the constructed display. The selection of artists looked outside of traditional printmaking circles and instead engaged with an online image based community called flickr, here the participants work commented upon print but with little or no concern for surface tactility, process or materiality. The presentation was also conceived as an artwork in its own right and therefore added a further blurring of the exhibition format.
Construction: The structure in the exhibition was built as a sight specific instillation; in this instance the specificity of the structure referred to a three metre squared section of wall in the gallery space. Prior to the exhibition a series of photographs were taken of the gallery wall and printed on photographic paper using a wide format inkjet printer. The prints were mounted and draped onto rectangular card panels supported by the photographic paper packaging.
The images exhibited in the Printed Reality show were selected from an online image hosting website called flickr. The site functions as an online community where users are able to view and share photographic images within a virtual gallery setting.
The Printed Reality group within flickr presents photographs of photographically recorded prints using the broad themes of Portrait, Landscape and Still Life. The recorded print captured within the photograph presents both image and object as appearance - a marriage of realities that is presented in the Printed Reality Exhibition. Within each of the artists work the interplay between image and object is not a seamless transition but one of artifice, theatre. Here the photographic image functions as a backdrop, a stage prop positioned and presented in such a manner that we are readily accepting of its fictional role. It is in the recording of the prints relationship to the "real" that the theatrical emanates from within the picture frame. The "real"performance projects from edges and folds that cast both shadows and omit reflections from an external world, a reality not of our own but somewhat more representative of are own.
In keeping with many of the image construction methods from the flickr group the placement and angle of the structure was designed so that features of the real and photographic wall registered with one another. By erecting a three-dimensional form using two-dimensional descriptions the instillation forced viewers into specific vantage points dictated by the cameras monocular vision. Thus reiterating our image constructed perception of reality and a momentary perspective of the two spaces converging.
During the exhibition the Portrait themed images were projected across the structure for five seconds intervals using a continuous loop system. Each image became fragmented traversing one gallery wall onto another alluding to further image and object oscillations.