Shreepad Joglekar, Curator
March 31 – April 13, 2014
Attempted Meanings exhibits two bodies of works by artists with very different intentions. Individually each body of work responds to (and also preserves) the scientific and technological contexts within which it is created. While seen together these works reference, in Salvoj Žižek’s words, the unknown known(s) that the same scientific and technological contexts have shaped in our psyches. In this way, the meanings attempted here necessarily exist outside the visuality of individual images.
In Gregory Davis’s images we witness the material genealogy of computer technology, marvel at generational progress, but also interpret some of the contraptions as instances of rebellion against corporate hegemonies of the cyberspace. These contraptions are visualizations of a hacker’s dreams. Witnessing Davis’s work we become the hacker (geek by necessity) to survive the predestined obsolescence. His images visualize our ingenuity fueled by the addictive relationship we have with computing and electronic technologies. They can be imagined as illustrations for a future book on twenty-first century historical materialism that would trace our gadgetry enslavement.
Looking at Turner’s work we become a studious apprentice of Darwin – the postmodern geekhood traced to its modern past. Her images, in a subtler way, remind us of the (now-obsolete) assumptions about ecological harmony that thrived before all the animal mystery was lost to the detailed scientific study and categorization. Similar to Davis’s images, the human subject is missing from the depicted scenes. But the curious one-eyed gaze of the camera freezes the animality itself into a specimen.
Four temporal anchors frame this exhibit: distant past, near past, near future, and distant future. Witnessing Kimberly Turner’s images we recede in the near past, contemplating, through the images, an even distant (perhaps imaginary) past without the absolute dominance of human curiosity over the animal world. Whereas Davis’s images propel us into an uncertain distant future condition, from which, again, we look back, at the (futile) near future efforts in data resurrection.
Turner and Davis subjectively interact with reality – found or constructed – in order to generate intended meanings. Whereas the exhibit juxtaposes these intended meanings in hopes of revealing the unintended meanings imminent only within the confines of the gallery space, these meanings are not imminent within any singular body of work, but within the gap between the two bodies. Within this gap, one can observe a shift: mutation of our worldly curiosities and aspirations for knowledge, into individualized tinkering with data. All the images reference the human condition. On one hand, we devise meticulous categorizations, extensive archives, and other ways of converting experience into empirical data; all in order to control the unknown. And on the other hand, we find ourselves in the sisyphean pursuit to keep that data from vanishing back into the unknown. In these two different bodies of works, a set of ‘helping hands’ fixed with a lens recurs. This lens marks our photographic predicament: seeing as knowing and knowledge as power–a Žižekian ‘unknown known.’
Shreepad Joglekar, Curator
About the curator
Shreepad Joglekar (born in Solapur, India) is a lens-based artist living and working in Manhattan, KS. He holds a BFA from Sir J.J. institute of Applied Art in Mumbai, India, and an MFA from Texas Tech University. Joglekar has participated in residencies at Weir Farm National Historic Site in Branchville, the Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerlitz, and A.I.R. Studio in Paducah. Recent exhibitions include American Sites at Kalamazoo College Gallery in Kalamazoo, and Filtered Permeability at Indiana Southeast University in New Albany. Joglekar is currently Assistant Professor and Area Coordinator for Photography at Kansas State University.
About the artists
Gregory T. Davis (born in Hahn, Germany) is a photographer living and working in Lexington, KY. He holds a BFA from the University of Kentucky and an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Recent exhibitions include Swell at Tuska Gallery in Lexington, and Contact at Sinclair College in Dayton. Davis is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Kentucky.
Kimberly Turner (born in Dunkirk, NY) is a photographer living and working in East Lansing, MI. She holds a BFA from SUNY Fredonia and an MFA from Indiana University Bloomington. Recent exhibitions include Pordenonelegge at Galleria La Roggia in Pordenone, Italy, and Mnemonic Amalgamation at Grunwald Gallery of Art in Bloomington. Turner is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography at Michigan State University.
Exhibitions and visiting speakers programs at the School of Art are supported by generous grants from the Helen Jones Foundation and The CH Foundation, both of Lubbock. Additional support comes from Cultural Activities Fees administered through the College of Visual & Performing Arts.