Jessica Thalmann: two truths and a lie

April 1 to May 14, 2021

Jessica Thalmann is attracted to the limits of photography and the ways in which she can push the parameters of the medium both formally and conceptually. She is not interested in using the camera merely to document, but as a tool to explore how images can be de-constructed and re-contextualized. As seen in the series of works included in this exhibition, Thalmann uses manipulation techniques to reveal the porous boundaries that exist between the image and the object. The rips, folds and collaged elements you see in her work further accentuate the push and pull between the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional. These techniques also make the viewer question what they see, what is real and what is not.

Thalmann adopts architectural concepts to extend her photographic practice and to devise new presentation methods. For example, she is interested in how the poetics of space inform our understanding of spatial and pictorial relationships. This concept underscores the importance of considering both the context and the lived sensation of a particular place or architectural form. The artist is interested in the formal qualities of the sites she photographs, but also how these places hold the lived experiences of the people who have passed through them. While it started as a means to make sense of a personal tragedy, this practice has been extended to consider the ways that ruins, monuments, and abandoned public squares embody the failed utopian aims of Brutalist architecture.

Jessica Thalmann is an artist and educator currently based in Toronto and New York City. She received an MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies from ICP-Bard College and a BFA in Visual Arts from York University. She has been an artist in residence at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity (Alberta) and at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles (California, USA.) Her work has been shown in various exhibitions in both Canada and the United-States. These include Aperture Foundation, International Centre for Photography, Camera Club of New York Baxter St, and Humble Arts Foundation (New York); VIVO Media Arts Centre (Vancouver); Museum of Contemporary Art, Harbourfront Centre, Art Gallery of Mississauga, Angell Gallery, Gallery TPW, Art Spin, and Gales Gallery at York University (Toronto). She is represented by Angell Gallery (Toronto).

The artist would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts for their support.

This project is part of right here | right now, an initiative to help foster the work of contemporary artists from York Region by providing them with exhibition opportunities and ongoing professional development. We would like to thank Jessica Eaton for her participation in this mentorship program.

Curated by Anik Glaude

Image credits: Jessica Thalmann: two truths and a lie, Installation view. Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 2021. Photo: Jessica Thalmann

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