PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY IN MONTRÉAL PRESENTS “ARCHETYPES” BY DAVID K. ROSS
DAVID K. ROSS
AUGUST 28 TO OCTOBER 19, 2019
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019
5:30 P.M. TO 9:00 P.M.
PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY in Montréal is pleased to present ARCHETYPES, an exhibition of new photographic works by Montréal artist DAVID K. ROSS.
For his first solo exhibition at the gallery, David K. Ross presents images of full-scale architectural mock-ups. The result of four years of research and exclusive access to construction sites around the globe, Ross’ photographs take us behind the scenes and over the hoardings to encounter these rarely-seen fragments from the world of architecture. Captured using flash photography on building sites locked down for the evening, the scale and location of these structures remain ambiguous. “In the dark, these almost-buildings are in repose. They are animated by their potential, like a stage before the actors enter,” writes Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA, Arièle Dionne-Krosnick in her exhibition text.
Working closely with architecture firms, museums, hospitals, and universities across North America and Europe, Ross has compiled the first-ever photographic survey of this kind. Recognized by the Graham Foundation, the Canada Council, the Conseil de arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the Archetypes project will be published by Standpunkte Press (Basel) in the Spring of 2020. Archetypes is a satellite exhibition of Montréal’s MOMENTA Biennial de l’image.
Ross’ projects have been presented in museums and film festivals, including Sharjah Film Platform, The Swiss Institute in NYC, Rencontres Internationale Paris/Berlin, the Rice Media Centre, CineMarfa, the Graham Foundation, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. His work can be found in the permanent collections of private and public institutions including the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, and the National Gallery of Canada.
Ross is the recipient of numerous awards and grants for his work, including support from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts, Arts Council England, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Between 2012 and 2015 he was a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he led courses on photography, film making and the artistic and scientific history of clouds. Currently, he is a Visiting Researcher at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montréal. He holds an M. Arch. from the University of Toronto (2002).
David K. Ross on the Archetypes project:
A form of proxy architecture, the mock-up is frequently comprised of disparate elements from a single building project. Windows, curtain wall systems or material samples often find themselves coupled together in an assemblage that bears more resemblance to public art installations than to architecture. Built to a scale of 1:1 and assembled to assist with particularly difficult construction details, the mock-up aids in the overall understanding of how a building's components will appear or function.
As an architectural abbreviation, the mock-up is designed to be demolished and as such carries a definitive expiration date, one that usually coincides with the completion of the building it emulates. And yet, despite its fugitive nature, the mock-up exists as a declaration of functionality. Propositional but not speculative, 'a ruin in reverse' to borrow Robert Smithton's term, the mock-up is a fragment made from components for a building that will exist in the future.
Mock-ups carry something of the photographic within them. Both the mock-up — and its image — physically and indexically reference concepts and ideas that are in formation but are not viewable in their totality. Like photographs, mock-ups are framing devices that focus attention on specific elements taken out of context.
The mock-up's temporary status, combined with its lack of spatial articulation — the mock-up is most frequently built to test surfaces and materials, not spaces — puts it in league with another better known architectural typology: the film set. To this end, the Archetypes project utilizes direct, dramatic lighting to isolate the mock-ups from their often haphazard construction site settings, permitting a more focused reading of the structures, paradoxically rendering these para-architectural objects more ambiguously.