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Darren Knight Gallery
840 Elizabeth Street
Waterloo NSW 2017
Sydney, Australia   map * 
tel: +61 2 9699 5353     fax: +61 2 9699 5254
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One's Own Grey
by Darren Knight Gallery
Location: Darren Knight Gallery
Artist(s): Ben CAUCHI
Date: 15 Mar - 17 Apr 2014

Darren Knight Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of recent photographs by New Zealand artist Ben Cauchi. The exhibition consists of works made by Cauchi during a twelve-month Creative New Zealand Visual Arts Residency at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Germany during 2013.

One’s Own Grey sees Cauchi continue his analysis of the psychological dimensions of viewing by revealing to the viewer certain objects and situations that may ordinarily go unnoticed. In A Corner (2013), the backdrop sheet used in photographic studios becomes the focus of the image, while in Studio Wall (2013) the sparsely dotted pin holes of a workspace are illuminated. By drawing our attention to these seemingly nondescript objects, Cauchi creates a sense of mystery and implores the viewer to question what is going on. In The Portal (2013) an incongruous black door hovers in an otherwise abandoned room, presenting a void full of possibility or transformation. Narratives are hinted at, flirted with, but never revealed. 

In the absence of subjects, the use of light and dark becomes important for Cauchi. These tools act as characters, creating an ethereal atmosphere, at times verging on melancholy and even menace. In But only disaster lay ahead (2013) the viewer is led down a dimly lit hallway and tempted through an open door, the title the only indication as to what waits beyond. 

One’s Own Grey also sees Cauchi continue his examination of the photographic process, through his adaptation of the complicated 19th century collodion wet-plate technique. First, the artist covers a glass or acrylic plate with collodion, then soaks it in silver nitrate solution, and fits the wet plate into the camera. Immediately after exposure, an iron sulphate solution is poured over the plate which produces a unique and direct positive image on to the plate. This antiquated technique imbues Cauchi’s images with nostalgia and highlights the tendency for all things to become superfluous with time. 

"For the past decade I have engaged in a photographic practice examining primarily the nature of photography, the passage of time, and the psychological dimensions of viewing. The images I create live as documents of the period in-between events, the before and the after, the ‘non-decisive moment’, and the lull between breaths when everything stops and reverses."

*image (left)
courtesy of the artist and Darren Knight Gallery 

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