Tuesday, March 18, 2008

in a darkened room

Museé d'art de Joliette: 19,800 seconds, 2007
Code: DR1

People: David Ross, Contact
References: Dark Rooms, Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal

For over two years now, Dave Ross, a good friend of ours, has been engaged in a futile task. He has been photographing darkness. Not just any darkness, but the darkness of artists' storage spaces. The surprising thing about darkness is just how much it reveals. The results of these long exposure photographs (and I do mean long — sometimes days in length) are often amazing and mesmerizing. The images are made by the almost imperceptible drips of light that, over time, eventually saturate the film and are not only a document of the unseen but of the passage of time it took for the image to be created. Looking at the photos you become increasingly aware of the emerging detail you begin to see, in much the same way your eyes adjust to diminished light in say, a dark room. The longer you absorb the blackness, the more your mind wonders what you are in fact seeing. You may even feel as though you are actually only looking at black and the details are more like the after image burned on your retina. Then, if you've been staring long enough, the image becomes an after image that you see even when you've looked away — as if your own eye is behaving exactly as the film did, slowly having the room interior burned into your rods and cones.

This summer, eight of the images will be exhibited at the Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal as part of the Quebec Trienniale. Yet the cost of photographing, printing and framing these pictures is noteworthy. To offset these expenses the artist has made available two smaller scale prints for $125 each. To order prints contact Dave Ross before March 21st and indicate which of the images shown here you're interested in. Find out more about the project here.

Museé d'art de Joliette: 1,260 seconds, 2007

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