Xippas Gallery presents, for the first time in Switzerland, an exhibition by the New York photographer Matthew Porter. Marked by an avant-garde aesthetic, Matthew Porter experiments with the photographic medium using old and new technologies, in order to explore the infinite possibilities of image construction and manipulation.
Like other contemporary artists, Matthew Porter has decided to push the definition and categorisations of traditional art to their limits. By using mainly analogue photography in the digital era, he asserts a certain logic in his artistic process, conferring a unique perspective on it. He has decided to construct his images by freeing himself from the traditional leitmotiv of time suspension in photography. He does not seek to capture the instant, but on the contrary, to reveal the completion of a long process of creation and revelation. He therefore explores the techniques and possibilities afforded by photography in order to manipulate it further.
The use of analogue photography is therefore essential to his creative process. In Matthew Porter’s images, the film roll is the very basis for the construction of the image, as a canvas would be for a painter. The medium makes it a physical, palpable object, suggesting infinite experimentation. The film roll, and subsequently, the developed photographs, allow for manipulations, montages, découpages, multiple exposures, superpositions, constructions. From the film roll to the printing, photography is a space of possibilities which merits exploration as much by the eye as by the hand of the artist. Because Matthew Porter’s hands are literally invested in each image. These gestures, involving the hands and the body are purely artistic actions which bring an entirely new dimension to photography. The picture is therefore no longer just a picture, but several arranged, modified, added stories. This process enables photography to adopt a new visual language where different narrations, memories, souvenirs and realities all cohabit within the same frame.
The sensitive surface of the emulsion of the photographic negative is therefore the starting point for all of these experiments. It is through its medium that the image reveals itself, by means of an action which is essential to the birth of every photograph, a unique inscription on its surface: that of light.
The title of the exhibition, “The Sheen, The Shine”, conveys the fundamental importance of light in Matthew Porter’s photographs. The sheen: that which reflects, reacts, and the sheen: that which illuminates, are the two luminous actions in the two series presented in the exhibition. Whilst light enables the existence of every image, here, Matthew Porter pushes this principle to its paroxysm by using light to show the world differently. Light is the composite element of all of his images, which sets the tone and guides all of his experiments. Like a sculptor, the light hollows out, sinks in, burst forth, revealing reliefs, defining spaces, solid areas, voids, and volumes.
Matthew Porter: The Sheen, The Shine
Exhibition from January 18th to March 2nd, 2019
Opening on January 17th from 5 to 9 pm
Rue des Sablons 6 et rue Bains 61, 1205 Genève