To fall by eye

Scott Massey, The Day Breaks, 2013

Marco Buonocore, Durst, 117mm x 88mm, gelatin silver print, 2015

To fall by eye installation view at Gallery 44. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

To fall by eye installation view at Gallery 44. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

To fall by eye installation view at Gallery 44. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Brunch Talk - September 12, 2015

To fall by eye

Friday, September 11, 2015 to Saturday, October 17, 2015
Opening Reception
September 11, 6:00PM
Brunch Talk
September 12, 12:00PM
About the Exhibition: 

To fall by eye explores the apparatus of image making through works that foreground the objects of their creation. Borrowing from Paul Virilio’s interpretation of “la chute à vue” (to “fall by eye”), which literally refers to a parachutist relying on her own weight and perception of distance from the ground (instead of an altimeter) to determine when to pull the cord. Virilio uses the self-reflexive body in free-fall as a means to illustrate a contemporary metaphysical and political groundlessness, echoing what many theorists describe as the kind of post-foundational thought that emerged in the 1960s when late modernism was taking hold and the political bedrock was crumbling under the weight of the Cold War. Turning the focus inward to examine the technology of their own making, the works in this exhibition form a diverse constellation of reference points that coalesce around notions of fragility in technology and an attempt to reckon with its uncertainty.

Playing with the formal and conceptual language of the moving image, Aryen Hoekstra uses the Seattle’s World Fair of 1962 as a point of departure to speak to the ideological projections of late modernism. Three photographer’s umbrellas displaying planetary images from the Fair’s promotional material are grouped together, blocking some of the gallery light and obscuring the images on the wall behind. Continuing this play with the projection and deflection of light, Hoekstra’s poster-size works on Cinefoil (typically used to mask lights in photography and cinema) feature images created using liquid light (emulsion) of the early space photography displayed in the United States science pavilion at the Fair.

Scott Massey’s The Day Breaks, similarly appropriates the tools of photography to create a self-reflexive sculpture and installation. Using a hand-made scanning apparatus built from salvaged enlarger lenses, plumbing supplies, a desktop scanner and fibre-optic rods, Massey was able to capture a time-lapse image of changing light over the course of a day. Presented with the camera, the colour field image wraps around the contours of the gallery, offering an abstract translation of the rotation of the planet.

Marco Buonocore’s Test Negatives reveal a tool often hidden within the darkroom. Historically used to calibrate darkroom enlargers, these test negatives are given prominence as perfectly rendered, large-scale silver gelatin prints. Presented together, the shared graphic language of the tools speaks to the optimism of the time of their genesis and the desire to not only create perfection in the rendered image but also the ability to accurately represent the world. Due to the age of the negatives, cracks and discolouration begin to reveal the limitations of the medium. There is a reverence for this optimism and simultaneous acknowledgement of the limits of reproduction that is carried throughout the works in this exhibition, opening up how we understand technology as a mediator for how we see the world and shaping technology to allow new ways of seeing.

Marco Buonocore gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance program.


Exhibition Essay by Fraser McCallum:

Artist Biography: 

Aryen Hoekstra (b. 1982, Edmonton, AB) received an MFA from the University of Guelph and BFA from the University of Alberta. Recent and upcoming exhibition venues include, Mercer Union (Toronto, ON); Scotiabank Nuit Blanche (Toronto, ON); The Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton, AB); Forest City Gallery (London, ON); Modern Fuel (Kingston, ON); Blackwood Gallery (Mississauga, ON). His writing on contemporary art has appeared in C Magazine, Border Crossings and Towards Magazine. Hoekstra is the Director of G Gallery in Toronto. 

Marco Buonocore is a Toronto-based, self-taught photographer who works within the black and white documentary tradition. Primarily focusing on Canadian streetscapes, he has worked in Vancouver, Toronto, rural Ontario and parts of Quebec. He is an active member at Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography and has been exhibiting his work for the past ten years.

Scott Massey lives and works in Vancouver, BC. He graduated from the photography program at the Emily Carr University of Art & Design. Massey’s work typically explores the confluence of art and science whereby he accentuates and amplifies natural phenomena, often heightened through artificial means or via slight manipulations. Light as a medium figures heavily in his work, which derives out of research into areas of quantum physics, cosmology, astronomy,and other scientific disciplines. Upcoming and recent solo exhibitions include Unstable Ground (Burnaby Art Gallery, 2015); Light Adjustments (Dazibao, Montreal, 2014/15); Let's Reach c Together (Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver, 2013); Topologies and Limits (CSA Space, Vancouver, 2011). His work has also been included in group shows in Canada and abroad at Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Denmark, 2013); Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver, 2012); the Columbus College of Art+Design (Ohio, 2007); and the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival (Toronto, 2007).


Fraser McCallum is a Toronto-based artist whose work is primarily engaged with the history of photography and visual culture. He is currently a candidate in the Master of Visual Studies program at the University of Toronto. He has recently exhibited work at Xpace Cultural Centre and taken part in Vtape's Curatorial Incubator program.