February 22 – April 30, 2014
Opening Reception: March 8, 8:00 p.m.
“Decades” is a digital loop of 500 scanned, cropped and decontextualized images from 1960s, 70s and 80s magazines. Viewed as a totality, they represent the values and aesthetics of an era distant enough to feel alien, but yet (relatively) recent enough to provoke nostalgia. The images have been collected primarily from fashion, interior design, popular culture and other vintage periodicals, and thus “decades” examines the extended lifespan of a commercial image after it has outlived its intended utility as advertising and has moved on to its “artifact” stage. The removal of most of the text and ad copy further encourages the images to be read as generic examples of recently obsolete culture (as opposed to specific products, brands or companies) and further emphasizes the transition from ad to artifact.
“Decades” also addresses the concept of the scanner as camera, notions of appropriation and authorship, and the complicated process of “reading” an image divorced from its original era, medium, context, and function. It is a revealing and oddly humorous archive of re-purposed commercial images that causes one to consider the relationship between “past” and “present,” how we as a society advance from one stage to the other, and how we come to terms with what is left behind in the process.
“Decades” is presented as part of the Prairie Light Photography Festival.
Jason Cawood is a multi-disciplinary artist who works both solo and in the collectives Turner Prize* and Phomohobes. His work has been exhibited internationally and written about in numerous Canadian publications including BlackFlash, FFWD, and Canadian Art. Major exhibitions with Turner Prize* include: Golden Jubilee at the Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina 2012; a branch is too big to come out of a twig with Steve Reinke at Gallerywest, Toronto 2012; and Invocation of the Hidden Secret Western Canada performance tour 2011. A selection of his solo works was included as part of the Cindy Baker curated 2005 Saskatchewan centennial exhibition Canadian Idyll at AKA gallery, Saskatoon. Cawood is also a published writer & photographer, and maintains the long-running blogs popular sizes and 80’s art.