When I told you to shoot the sky, I had something else in mind…

For majestic landscapes, insert tab A into slot B

Photo credit to Alana Trachenko.

It’s no simple feat to take something like the mountainous horizons of Banff and make them seem untouched – yet curator Natasha Peterson has managed to do so in her exhibit When I told you to shoot the sky, I had something else in mind… now on display at Platform Gallery. Peterson’s exhibit calls to attention the very material on which photographs are executed, and gives new life to images that have become so common that we are no longer impressed by them.

Peterson harnesses the talents of Canadian artists Sarah Ciurysek, Owen Kydd, Nicolás Lamas, Tyler Los-Jones, and Dominique Rey to produce a pleasingly cohesive exhibit which provokes thought about the nature of digital art: is it enough to snap a photo of something we find beautiful, or do we need to go further?

The small but impactful exhibit is divided into several sections, the first being a series of photos taken of the Banff landscape and then folded over and manipulated.

Another dimension is introduced and, consequently, the veil is lifted between the work of artists and the presentation of art. It is easy and convenient to view art without thinking about how it came to be but it is not always beneficial to do so, as Peterson reminds us.

The larger than life photo cross section of a segment of soil is particularly striking. Rather than adhering the photographs to the wall in the traditional way, the image is left hanging in sections, reminding the viewer that someone has taken the photos, processed them, and hung them up.

The impeccable quality of the images juxtaposes the rawness of the presentation, an element which keeps the exhibit compelling.

The gallery displays a video installation inviting several minutes of observation by viewers. Two twinned screens of vivid blue show the subtle motions of raindrops and water, and, despite being projected from a digital screen, invoke a desire to be wherever these videos were shot.

The images of backdrops displayed on one wall of the gallery, arranged by colour, are also noteworthy. All the backdrops are twisted and folded, becoming the object of focus rather than the customary background. Once again, the viewer is reminded that the process of photography is more intricate than the resulting images.

The sculpture in the middle is the most salient aspect of the multidimensional exhibit. One half is vividly coloured, while its mirrored counterpart is stark white. The sculpture is the one part of the exhibit that can truly be called abstract; no amount of looking determines exactly what is being represented, but it doesn’t stop the confusion from being pleasant.

When I told you to shoot the sky, I had something else in mind… is on display until Jan. 17, and free admission makes this exhibit worth a visit.