The 2020 Exhibition has been proposed as an online exhibition due to the lack of time for a field trip in 2020 after the Light Paths website was launched in late October 2020. It was felt that Light Paths needed some thing to announce its presence in a crowded digital space and that an online exhibition that celebrated photographic collaboration would be a good way to start things up. Creative energy from collaborating with editors and designers and publishers and writers is what is opened up by a digital culture.
The 2020 Exhibition is open to South Australian art photographers to show a sample of their recent work from a current minor or major project that they have been working on. The photos/work/images can be from a project that photographers have been, or are currently working on; or it can be work from a recent series in 2020; or it can be work from an embryonic or emerging project that is still conceptually vague.
The 2020 exhibition is also open to other (ie., non-South-Australian) photographers who have made pictures on South Australia. The exhibition’s emphasis is on place.
Lars Heldmann, images from his newNormal project/series
Barbara Martin, images from her Abandoned Railway project
There’s no theme to the online 2020 Exhibition. This show is about highlighting artists from around the region. The 2020 exhibition’s unifying theme is the year — 2020. This means that the exhibition is designed to show a low key, cross section of art photographies in South Australia that are in progress, or being worked on. The work does not necessarily need to be made in 2020—it is the photographic project that is being worked on during 2020 that is crucial.
The 2020 Exhibition is open to all the different approaches to photography and the technology used to make a photo. Photography is changing rapidly as a result of digital technology and social media and we are struggling to understand the significance of what is happening, and where a photographic culture is going. In so exploring the photo culture that surrounds us the 2020 Exhibition showcases the variety of talent living and working in this part of the world; and ultimately, to recognize South Australia as the vibrant hub of photographic practice that it is.
South Australian art photography exists in the shadows cast by the photography being produced in the Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane axis — the eastern seaboard. That is where the population is. The shadows cast are deep and long and so the work that is being produced in South Australia is not noticed. The light from the east is too strong and bright and the shape of the shadows is interpreted as provincial.
So what exists within the shadows is deemed to be of little relevance to what is happening in the eastern seaboard. The art photographers in the shadowland by necessity, are left to their own devices. Many leave for the eastern seaboard for that is the centre of the art institutional power/knowledge network that shapes our cultural order and provides for the stablization of the movement of change. The conception is is that in order to “make it” in the art and photography world, one has to live in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane. The most renowned galleries, institutions and bluest of the blue-chip commercial galleries reside there alongside those who can afford to buy art and support artists’ careers.
Within South Australia there is little institutional support for art photography in the state; the dominate photographic ethos is that of the photographic industry; the art school faces continual cuts in funding; there is little to no writing about photography produced by the 3 universities; independent art criticism barely exists; and the threads of the photographic art community are torn and frayed.
Provincialism is interpreted as regionalism by those in the shadowland. This underside of the relations of power is a point of resistance that turns against the historical situation by setting out the starting points for the transformation of our experiences. Regionalism as a creative force is a position of concealment against the prevailing relations of power, with its emphasis on blockbuster exhibitions and cultural marketing. Regionalism opens up opportunities to fill a lack and to make something new.
Photographic regionalism in an era of neo-liberal globalisation emerges through photographers using their cameras to understand the place they call home–to make sense of the people and places that inspire them. They do so by blending personal observation and regional knowledge to produce photography that interprets this place in a different way to how South Australia has been, and still is, framed by the art institutions on the east coast of Australia. The internet and social media empowers each of us to shape the photographic conversation by participating in its ongoing creation and curation.
This online, digital exhibition space can be understood in terms of Khôra, or space as a receptacle, that is understood as a way in which things come to be. As mentioned the 1st newsletter this Platonic conception of receptacle space mediated the duality of the world of forms and the world of appearances.
When situated within the visual arts, highlights how the visual arts can be seen as a cultural form that is produced and reproduced in specific spaces and places (because art cannot be assumed as placeless). Khôra as a receptacle for cultural forms is where the meanings of culture and cultural claims take form already bearing previous cultural imprints.
Consequently Khôra enables the initiation of a new beginning within the current order, thus a generation of a process of transformation. Khôra functions to negate fixity, and it encompasses receptivity and openness. It is a process of thinking differently to the dominant tradition and it enables the possibility of reworking the dominant order on a different level. What comes to the fore is a process of unfolding, reworking, transformation.
Khôra as the ‘periphery’ constituted within duality in the dominant narrative of the visual arts between the light of the eastern seaboard and the shadows of provincial South Australia enables the possibility of reworking the discourse, narrative or remaking the tradition. In mediating this duality Khôra is open to the presence of art’s dynamic force, and it is receptive to art’s capacities for engagement with, and reconfiguration of, the conditions of order in the visual arts. In this receptacle space allows photography’s abilities to resist structures of dominant suppositions, opens up space for reflection, transition, and transformation.
Derrida reworks khôra as the site of différance. Différance refers to meaning coming from the differences between elements in a network over an inherent meaning of the elements themselves. One clear example of this is the meaning of a word in a dictionary being defined only by other words, therefore forming a network of the deferral of meaning which defines words wholly through their differences from one another, and not by their pointing to an outside referent. Khôra is the receptivity to this process and its results.
These supplementary images to the main exhibition extend the limit of 3 images per person in the gallery.