March 14 – May 17, 2013
PPAC is pleased to announce Un-drawn, a group exhibition presenting the work of J Carrier, Richard Mosse, Xaviera Simmons and David Taylor. Un-drawn offers 4 distinct perspectives on displacement and immigration from multiple locations across the globe. Collectively, they address how invisible or contested borders are revealed through images of the landscape, it’s inhabitants and the spaces or monuments in between the two. The images in this exhibition depict exile and migration, conflict and defeat, permeated by the desire to reveal a new understanding of place.
Photographs of vividly beautiful land marred by conflict are juxtaposed with an understated narrative about migration and yearning set throughout Israel and the West Bank. Images of US/Mexico border monuments are juxtaposed with a wall-sized grid of over thirty found photographs, appropriated from news sources depicting migrants afloat in the open sea. Un-drawn presents a series of works that are connected through their depiction of displacement and tensions felt, but unseen.
J Carrier’s Elementary Calculus observes the publicly private moments of these peregrine foreigners as they attempt to connect back to their homes. In his documentation of migrants and refugees in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Carrier explores the distance between reality and desire – the want for what was and the hope for what will be. He traces the manner in which we navigate the points between the unknowns. His photographs resonate with the sense that in a foreign country geographical distance loses its physical measure and home feels like a hazy memory, a half-remembered dream.
Richard Mosse’s Infra uses obsolete military surveillance technology, a type of infrared colour film called Kodak Aerochrome, to investigate ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Originally created to detect targets for aerial bombing, Kodak Aerochrome film registered a spectrum of light beyond what the human eye can see, rendering foliage in vivid hues of lavender, crimson and hot pink. On his journeys in eastern Congo between 2010-11, Mosse photographed rebel groups constantly switching allegiances, fighting nomadically in a jungle war zone plagued by frequent ambushes, massacres, and systematic sexual violence.
Xaviera Simmons‘ Superunknown (Alive In The) consists of a wall’s worth of often indistinct, appropriated photographs of overcrowded boats on the world’s oceans – of people deeply, radically committed to leaving where they’ve lived all their lives. It’s difficult to distinguish many individuals, but not their primal desperation, and the collective courage of their willingness to accept a fundamental unknown. The compassion is up to the viewer, and we’re only seeing single frames from a far more un-unfolded narrative.
For the last 5 years, David Taylor has been photographing along the U.S.-Mexico border between El Paso/Juarez and San Diego/Tijuana. Working the Line is organized around an effort to document all of the monuments that mark the international boundary west of the Rio Grande. The rigorous undertaking to reach all of the 276 obelisks, most of which were installed between the years 1891 and 1895, has inevitably led to encounters with migrants, smugglers, the Border Patrol, minutemen and residents of the borderlands.
PPAC is grateful to the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for generous support of this exhibition and related programming.