Sloth Pants, Doom Clock,
Hand Occluding Face
Curated by Sally Frater
APRIL 22 – MAY 28, 2022
OPENING RECEPTION: MAY 13, 2022
Sloth Pants, Doom Clock, Hand Occluding Face brings together photograms from an ongoing series which began in 2016. Photograms—in their simplest form—are made by placing objects directly onto the light-sensitive paper and exposing the paper to light. According to some artists and theorists, photograms embody an unmediated reality because they are just light on paper without the medium of the camera.
While this is true, it remains the case that no reality is unmediated—the scissors and paper themselves, after all, have histories of labour embedded within them. In her black and white silver-gelatin photograms, Behm harnesses what is usually considered an error in the darkroom—“fogging the paper”—to unleash the colour potentials of the paper that are buried under assumptions of process and conventions. (Fogging occurs when the light-sensitive paper is prematurely exposed to white light.)
Instead of seeking the objectivity of representation or the purity of abstraction, Behm creates new images that show the entanglement of the world, our vision of it, and the material possibilities that can expand the rigid categories we have inherited. This series of images uses the conceptual material of the photogram to engage our moment of ecological crisis and social unrest.
Anthea Behm is a visual artist who works across media with a focus on photography, video and performance. Behm received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and attended the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, the Core Program, Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has exhibited and screened work at institutions and galleries including Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2021); 14a, Hamburg, Germany (2021); White Columns, NY (online/2020); Daily Lazy Projects, Athens, Greece (2018); Smack Mellon, Brooklyn (2017); The Kadist Foundation, San Francisco (2015); Artspace, Ideas Platform, Sydney, Australia (2015); the Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore (2014); and the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (2012).
Her work has been discussed in The New York Times, Aperture online, X-TRA, and Art Papers. She has received numerous awards including the New Work Grant, Australia Council for the Arts (2009, 2012, 2014), as well as the Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship, University of South Australia.
She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Art & Theory Program at Jack Shainman Gallery, NY.
Sally Frater holds an Honours BA in Studio Art from the University of Guelph and an MA in Contemporary Art from The University of Manchester/Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Curatorially, she is interested in decolonization, space and place, Black and Caribbean diasporas, photography, art of the everyday, and issues of equity and representation in museological spaces. She is the curator of contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Guelph and is the co-director of Artistic Programs at Emerging Curators Institute.