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A photo that shows a brick building with a sign with white lettering that reads “CENTENNIAL ARENA”.

Colin Carney: Presence

Curated by

Dawn Owen

Presence features three new bodies of work by artist Colin Carney, incorporating large-scale photographs, audio, and immersive video in a layered exploration of the poetics of space. While Carney’s work has been heavily informed by his encounters with national and international locations, here Carney turns his attention to the local and to the connection between place and personal history – how every immediate experience is at once expanded and deepened by perception, memory, and imagination.

The exhibition maps a conceptual geography across three distinct gallery spaces, examining the specificity of place—in this case Guelph—and the inseparability of presence and memory. While Carney has repeatedly turned his lens on the city in which he has spent the formative years of his creative practice to mid-career, Presence is his first exhibition that activates the local landscape in a sustained investigation of the transformation of concrete places into subjective spaces: an evolving amalgam of influences and impressions, past and present.

A series of eight large-scale layered photographs, equally streetscape and memoryscape, underscore the time-based nature of Carney’s isolated encounters with place. An audio installation, in which ambient sounds have been layered to create nine separate tracks, offers an intimate yet abstracted engagement with location. A silent video installation, looped continuously, depicts specific sites that Carney has frequented or that hold for him a particularly powerful memory. Deconstructed in divergent forms of documentation, the exhibition highlights the hybrid and interstitial dimensions of landscape, providing new insight into the intrinsic connections between perception and place.

Image detail: Colin Carney, Centennial Early Morning, 2016, digital C-print

Presented by the Art Gallery of Guelph with support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

About the artist

Colin Carney

Colin Carney holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guelph and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo. His practice incorporates photography, video, audio, printmaking, drawing, and painting. Carney currently teaches at Western University in London, Ontario.

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