Friday, 2 January 2015

Stan Douglas at The Fruitmarket Gallery

In an exhibition that is predominantly black and white, the abstract series of photographs Corrupt Files introduce an element of colour into the gallery. These are prints of damaged digital image files that have no visual resemblance to their original image, but remain true as data. 

Notions of representation and abstraction are also referred to in The Second Hotel Vancouver and Hogan's Alley. These large images are meticulously researched virtual sets resembling the sites of East and West Vancouver. In order to make them so accurate, Douglas sourced textures from archival and contemporary photographs. The level of detail is emphasised as the viewer is invited to use a torch to shine spotlights onto the photograph, revealing further depth and detail within the images. 

The artist goes further by producing an app called Circa 1948 with which you can explore the exterior and interior of the two sites that the photographs capture. Using the language of a virtual video game, characters from the two neighbourhoods can be directed to guide you around the rooms of the hotel and the gambling dens of the alley.

This exhibition demonstrates the ways in which technology can be an integral part of the artists artwork, and even though the artist may be using the latest technological advancements, it is for reasons pertinent to the work rather than as a gimmick. 

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