Friday, February 29, 2008

C.W. Carson “Stories from the Inner City” Latitude 53 Gallery, February 22 to March 22, 2008

Perhaps more suitably titled as “Collecting for a Story About the Inner City,” C.W. Carson’s roaming collection of image transferred LP’s at once stretches out and contains itself in a gesture towards a bigger story. Rolling across the back walls of Latitude 53’s main gallery, the illusion that the discs are in motion, as well as each fragment of a story, are moving within a continual circuit that is exaggerated by the skewered figure horizontal eight that could easily double as a pair of watchful eyes. This duality of reaching out/containment reappears throughout Carson’s pieces, in his 3D collage works of abandoned buildings filled with jutting windows, as well as the found objects strewn about and marked by clear encasements, the life hidden within these objects remain static for observation as a specimen--and accomplishment in form as much as in content.
Most of the stories come from media clippings and snapshot photography, connoting a case study aesthetic of surveillance and observation. The faces range from happy smiling friendly neighbors to mug shots, and as an archive, the show presents a slice in a fluctuating time in Edmonton’s inner city. A coherent story, or narrative, however, remains undetectable.*
The collage works communicate the clearest idea, and it’s difficult to say whether these pieces begin the series or end it, but they are the most actively sympathetic and scathing and works as both an entry point and an exit point into/from the larger discussion of the inner city as a sustaining community.

No comments: