There cannot be black (2012)

The wonderful exhibition ‘Un Litro de Agua’ has opened in Colombia, curated by the talented Number 8 Collective, aka artists/curators Don Hunter and Ana Terry. The exhibition is made possible through their hard work and the support of Casa Tres Patiosin Medellín, Colombia. Please see the wider project they are continuing to do out there, working with the community via their website. I feel very fortunate to be asked to make work for their project. Here is my work in situ in the gallery…

There cannot be black (2012) Rachel K Gillies (Installation Photograph: Number 8 Collective)

There cannot be black [i] (2012) Gillies, R. 
Two inkjet prints 385mm x 305mm (framed) in “Un Litro de Agua” Exhibition.  Medellín, Columbia. Curated by Number 8 Collective,  June 2012

Add, subtract
colour, light, print
More information does not mean more clarity
more is less
Armchair tourist?
I don’t think so
how can I experience these places?
I can’t.
I can access information,
but it adds up to little
Adds up to nothing.

 Having spent my adult life living in three different countries around the globe (Scotland, South Africa and New Zealand) I have more than a fleeting interest in communication across distance. Digital technologies mediate communications more and more, promising tangible, real-world relationships that collapse distance and time.

I view this type of communication much like the flow of water around the world. On one hand it connects us, flowing eventually through and from one land mass to another, yet on another it is the very embodiment of what separates us; a gulf between continents.

 These images have been created by sourcing imagery via the internet. Based currently in Scotland I wanted to see how much of  ‘connection’ I could have with both New Zealand and Colombia through this channel. The more images I sourced, the less of a connection I had.

Eventually each additional image obliterates the one beneath.

[i] “There cannot be black-and-white states of things in the world because black-and-white cases are borderline, ‘ideal cases’: black is the total absence of all oscillations contained in light, white the total presence of all the elements of oscillation. ‘Black’ and ‘white’ are concepts, e.g. theoretical concepts of optics. As black-and-white states of things are theoretical, they can never actually exist in the world. But black-and-white photographs do actually exist because they are images of concepts belonging to the theory of optics, i.e. they arise out of this theory.”

Flusser, Vilém Towards a Philosophy of Photography Germany (1983) p.42


Rio de Medellín, Colombia (2012) Rachel K Gillies

St. Clair, Dunedin (2012) Rachel Gillies


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