May 5 - June 10, 2017
“When is a mouth an asshole? How do we know when something ends and something else begins?
Traditional darkroom photography, like clay, requires fixing a material that is otherwise inherently malleable. A moment in time, destined to be lost forever, is decisively arrested on the negative by the action of the shutter. This capture of fleeting appearance accounts for photography’s indexical nature, its eternal betrothal to the Real.
Photographic images are inconceivable without this process of capture. As photographs, Chris Curreri’s Kiss Portfolio partakes in this process of capturing a real event in time – the act of two men kissing for the camera. But for the viewer encountering the work, something else happens that unfixes what was previously arrested with such perfection.
In the Kiss photographs, the viewer is tempted first of all to see ‘an asshole’ or ‘a vagina’ prior to seeing two mouths kissing. The images, in other words, unhinge themselves from photography’s connection to the Real, and assume for themselves an unexpected autonomy. In art-historical terms, we might describe this experience of unhinging as the artwork’s Surrealist quality. Curreri refers to this as the work’s Unruliness – its resistance to fixedness and, simultaneously, its movement towards a renewed sense of instability.
Curreri’s series of sculptures, titled Sixes and Sevens, is the product of the forceful encounter between clay pots resulting in forms reminiscent of distended balloons, flabby corpulence and proud protrusions. They have been glazed to mimic the look of clay prior to hardening in the kiln, gesturing towards a state of unruly formlessness which they refuse to give up.”
Chris Curreri lives and works in Toronto. Curreri holds a BFA from Ryerson University and an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts at Bard College. Recent exhibitions include So Be It at the Gardiner Museum (Toronto), We Are Safe And All Is Well In Our World at Scrap Metal (Toronto) curated by Rui Mateus Amaral, Surplus Authors at Witte de With (Rotterdam), Compassionate Protocols at Callicoon Fine Arts (New York), the 2016 Montreal Biennale, (Montréal) curated by Philippe Pirotte, and the Central China International Ceramics Biennale, Henan Museum, (Zhengzhou). Curreri was shortlisted for the 2014 Sobey Art Award. His works can be found in the collections of Hart House at the University of Toronto, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada and numerous private collections.
Chris Curreri: Unruly Matter is a Contact Photography Festival Featured Exhibition.