Jason ODDY | A Is For… at UCA Farnham
Jason Oddy’s photography and video work examines the relationship between human beings and the built environment. There is a silence and a poetry to his carefully considered and contemplative portraits of unpopulated interiors that resonate powerfully. A is for… is a touring exhibition curated by Matthew Shaul and Christine Kapteijn in partnership with Jason Oddy.
Jason Oddy: A Is For…
2 February – 13 March 2013
James Hockey & Foyer Galleries
UCA Farnham/Kent, UK
PR info: Fastened to a greying, scruffy wall, a few electric fixtures. Although the subject matter is mundane, even drab – with three temporary devices, and the trace of a torn-off fourth, fixed haphazardly to an anonymous wall – the composition of the photograph has a neo-classical repose. Whoever installed these fixtures attempted, in some modest way, to bring a structural solidity to the ephemeral. Jason Oddy emphasises this structure, this desire to overcome impermanence, with a photograph of meditative deliberateness.
Jason Oddy is attracted to architectural spaces that are haunted by fear and anxiety, and he poses eloquent questions about these spaces by depicting them with rigorous clarity. When we talk about the meaning of a picture, we usually begin with the content or subject matter: what has the photographer chosen to depict, what has he captured with his camera? Whether the photograph halts a passage of fleeting beauty, a deliberate pose, or a fugacious snap of violence, a photograph offers an interpretation, or perspective, on an event. A photograph is an incarnation of something that the photographer has witnessed, the flow of time interrupted by the click of a shutter, preserving it for memory and for others to see. Or this is, at least, one way to think about photography, and perhaps the one that comes to mind most immediately. Yet why not consider photography a model for how to look? Is it possible for the camera’s mechanical gaze to offer an exemplary approach to how we perceive space? Even how space might perceive us? Oddy has a subject matter – the built environment – but he also photographs the places he visits, from the UN headquarters in New York to the Central Officers’ Club in Minsk, Belarus, in a particular and distinctive way. The locations are usually abandoned, whether temporarily or permanently, and the compositions are at once hyper banal and highly structured. Angles are usually straight and hard, the pictures geometrical, built on an internal rhythm. Many also feature a preternaturally stretched depth of field, which Oddy achieves with long exposures. The compositional severity of his work, combined with sharp focus that extends deep into the space of the places he depicts, becomes a metaphor about looking: the duration of the aperture’s squint brings a measure of time into play, suggestive of a meditative stare shared by both artist and viewer. … (by Craig Burnett) Read more
Info + illus. courtesy James Hockey & Foyer Galleries, UCA Farnham