For James Hansen’s Grandchildren

by / May 21, 2012

Enjoy is a public gallery which places its focus on showing contemporary artists to create and further artistic dialogue within Wellington. Their current offering is Lance Cash’s For James Hansen’s Grandchildren, an exhibition which blurs the lines between representational photography and heavily constructed and manipulated images. The exhibition consists of a series of prints suspended from the roof of the gallery, requiring the viewer to undertake a journey through the relatively small space in order to see each print. This curatorial technique works well as it forces the viewer to search for each image, providing teasing glimpses of further prints in the periphery.

Cash describes this exhibition as an exploration of the hydrological cycle, the system that water goes through on its transformations from one form to the next. But the images are not direct photographs of different forms water can take, but are rather presented as essays on the way that digital photography can be manipulated while retaining a form of aesthetic truth. On the opening night it was a bitterly cold evening punctuated by heavy bursts of rain which meant that the damp masses of patrons added another layer to the concept of the subject matter which Cash investigates in this series of images. Several images became quite distinctly wet around the edges which fit quite nicely into the thematic presence of the exhibition. For James Hansen’s Grandchildren is charming and extremely clever; Cash clearly knows his way around a digital image. I was left with a feeling that all the images were a bit similar, but in hindsight I think that perhaps that was Cash’s point. The images as a set create a whispering world of water which is deeply captivating, especially on a blustery Wellington evening.

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