GOOD AS NEW . Interview and Preview

GOOD AS NEW is an exercise in short-term solutions. The artists in this exhibition are aligned by their common interest in the “makeshift.” Through photography and installation work, Aurélien Arbet, Jérémie Egry, David Brandon Geeting, Nicholas Gottlund, Bruno Zhu, and David Zilber convey ideas that “mean” well, but do not necessarily “do” well. On principle, the work in this show was created by thinking with the gut and not with the brain. It is an accurate representation of inaccuracy, a “larger than life” depiction of “smaller than life,” a demonstration of the quick fix, a celebration of the makeshift.

Brought together by David Geeting, who found an interview where David Zilber expressed interest in participating in a “dream show” with the above-mentioned artists, initiated a group email that linked all of the participants together, the exhibition is rooted in a roundabout manner from the start.

We are also part of the show and we thought it could be interesting to keep up the idea to talk between each other and ask a couple of questions to the other guys. This series of questions are an insight of our everyday reflections and questions around curating, group shows and our motivation to do photography nowadays.

Huge thanks to Karen Schaupeter from Ed Varie to host the show.

Questions by Aurélien Arbet and Jérémie Egry

Overview I

David Zilber – Interview

All the making off the show is linked by Internet; Would you consider it as a GOOD AS NEW way of curating ?

My blog, Recidivism.ca, is my primary artistic project. I make my photos, primarily, to share them online. It’s only natural to assume that as I did that, I’d also be exposed to other artists doing the same. With the web being fundamentally image driven, you kind of have to narrow your focus, who you’re paying attention to, otherwise your eyes would be seeing images, not seeing art. The more I found myself refining my tastes over the years, the more I found artists whom I thought resonated with my own processes, and definitely, in turn, they influenced me. The list of names I put out there was quite simply the distillation of my exposure to the contemporary photography that struck a cord with me. The curation of the show is fundamentally a product the networks of minds on the internet. It’s absolutely new.

What does it means for you to know that other guys (or girls) are doing the “same type” of pictures, with the same aesthetics, concept or purpose?
Would you say it could be a solo show!

While the aesthetics may be similar, though by no means fungible, it is comforting to know that I can be inspired by something in the same vein, that is completely original, and let’s me into someone else’s mind for an instant. We’re all, quite literally, contemporaries. And like I said, though, we’re close, we’re not identical. It’s the minutiae between our work that makes the show what it is. Bruno’s use of a stark flash, David’s clever and purposeful temporariness, AA’s humour. Being inspired shouldn’t lead to mimicry, and that’s why it doesn’t even feel close to a solo show to me.

Are your photographies more about looking, making, or walking?

More than half of the photos I had in the show were instances of objects I’d moved around to make the photo I wanted to take. DBG works in much the same way, if not more so. But that said, all of the photos were made while I was walking around the neighborhood. In order I would say making has a primacy, with walking taking second place. I rarely go seraching for a photo. Always having a camera on you is a great way to stop forcing photos, and let them (or the raw ingredients to construct them) jump out at you, should the opportunity arise.

Do you shoot more while travelling or when in your hometown?

I don’t get away from my job too much, so traveling doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. As a proportion of all the photos I take, more are made at home, though when I’m away, everything’s new, and I’ll go through rolls 3 times as fast.

Any thoughts or future projects?

I’ve got a spread coming up in the spring for Vice France, and will tentatively be taking part in another, (more traditionally curated) group show here in Vancouver later this year at 221A Artist Run Centre. As for thoughts about Good As New… A few weeks before the show launched, I’d accidentally replied solely to Karen one day in an e-mail thread, while intending to reply all, to let you five know that “you guys are my heroes!”. Still mean it.

Overview 2

Bruno Zhu – Interview

All the making off the show is linked by Internet; Would you consider it as a GOOD AS NEW way of curating ?

I wouldn’t say it’s a new way because I think we all agree that aggregating people via Internet is the 21st century thing. I think it’s a poignant curatorial exercise that reflects the state of things in image making today. It’s something that could only be done now. If David Zilber shared his “dream show” thought 5-7 years ago, there would be less or no chance at all that a physical gallery would take this idea. I think the curation is not the new thing, but a gallery taking us in was.

What does it means for you to know that other guys (or girls) are doing the “same type” of pictures, with the same aesthetics, concept or purpose?
Would you say it could be a solo show!

For me they can never be the same picture. We have oceans and cultures dividing each of us. We could say we share similar aesthetics, but i believe conceptually we are different. I think that’s quite reflected by how David displayed each person’s work. I’m not sure if this is a stretch, but my images not being framed read differently from Zilber’s composition or AA-JE’s sculpture, yet we seem to have a penchant for daily objects and situations. I don’t think this could be a solo show, there are a lot of ideas coming from each of us that would be undermined if people thought that.

Are your photographies more about looking, making or walking?
My photographs are about looking while walking. The best moment is when you’re walking and suddenly an image starts to build while you stroll, slowly, each step becoming another add on to that image. As cheesy as it sounds, it feels like a revelation, and it’s in those moments I truly understand why people carry cameras. I don’t think I could say I make photographs. My focus is compositional to take out something i see and not remodelling it to become what I want to see.

Do you shoot more while travelling or when in your hometown?

It doesn’t make a difference anymore. I think I’m more anxious in shooting while travelling just because I won’t be around the week after, but here or there, when are we actually not travelling?

Any thoughts or future projects?

I’m currently prepping my first solo show coming up in March, aside from that, I’m just trying to figure out best ways to save money on food, but not compromise on flavour.

Aurelien Arbet

Jeremie Egry

David Brandon Geeting – Interview
All the making off the show is linked by Internet; Would you consider it as a GOOD AS NEW way of curating ?
It is absolutely a “new” way of curating; partly because of the internet and partly because I was handed a pre-made plate of artists to work with. I googled my name, found an interview where David Zilber mentioned that his personal dream show would consist of myself and five other artists, and without hesitation, I emailed everyone to try and make it a reality. Normally, “curating” in this way might be problematic. I wouldn’t really prefer to be handed a plate of artists, I would prefer to handpick the artists according to a theme of my choice. Luckily I was handed a plate of my favorite artists and the whole thing fell together really nicely. But yeah, usually the theme of a group show kind of dictates what artists will participate. In this case, it was the other way around. The backwards nature of the exhibition’s origins really set the tone for the subject matter that followed.
-What does it means for you to know that other guys (or girls) are doing the “same type” of pictures, with the same aesthetics, concept or purpose?
Would you say it could be a solo show!
It is comforting to know that I am not alone. I am glad we can all empathize about gut feelings and slacker (genius?) ideals. I don’t think it could be a solo show, because I actually do think everyone has their own “thing” going on. For instance, Jeremie and Aurelien’s photos are nowhere near as timeless as Nick Gottlund’s. Jeremie’s photo of a remote control has a brand name on it and Aurelien took a photo of an iPhone. Nick Gottlund’s photos are totally trippy and anonymous and voyeuristic and if I didn’t know better I’d say they were from the late 60’s.
Are your photographies more about looking, making or walking?
Mine are definitely more about looking, but I’d say that I made a recent transition from walking to looking. I think the world is a lot weirder than my bedroom, but lately I have been trying to prove myself wrong by challenging myself to set up scenarios. My looking has been informed by walking, without a doubt. You could say that my photographs are about making, though I don’t think I can claim that I’ve ever “made” anything from scratch. Lots of my photos are set up, by hand, but in the same way that Duchamp set up his “Fountain” urinal in 1917. I don’t think he would have claimed to “make” it, but he most certainly wanted people to look at it. Too many great things are already made – might as well use them.

Do you shoot more while travelling or when in your hometown?
I definitely shoot more when traveling, as everything seems totally weird and way more interesting when you discover it hundreds of miles from home. Why is that? This is partly why I have been forcing myself to get my hands involved – it almost seems too easy to go to a new place and be inspired.
Any thoughts or future projects?
I recently became the Project Coordinator at White Zinfandel, a biannual art/food publication. We are working on our third issue and the proposed list of artists looks pretty amazing. As for myself, personal projects include: “whatever happens, happens.”

Nicholas Gottlund – interview



All the making off the show is linked by Internet; Would you consider it as a GOOD AS NEW way of curating ?

Well, the internet seems border-less and kind of infinite with all of it’s strange corners and functions.  I think however, that curating and where people’s attention points is still very socially driven.  There is of course the possibility for some new artwork to come out of the darkness of internet, but mostly we see that which we already know.

What does it means for you to know that other guys (or girls) are doing the “same type” of pictures, with the same aesthetics, concept or purpose?
Would you say it could be a solo show!

Who is making the same art as me?  Hahaha.  It doesn’t feel as homogenous as much as it feels like a dialogue I suppose.  You say potato, I say potato.  There are steadily shifting ideas of ownership and new ways of use.  I think this points to the question of where do we look to when making artwork.

Are your photographies more about looking or walking?

Looking….with one eye open.

Do you shoot more while travelling or when in your hometown?

More when traveling, but I do make sure to take pictures of some local places at different times of the year.  This comes in handy when editing later to have variations of the same thing.

Any thoughts or future projects?

I’m working on some new work that bridges my interest in printing and photography.  I have a solo show in Baltimore of this new work in March.  I’m also working on a new picture book called Possession due out in late 2012.

Aurelien Arbet and Jeremie Egry

On the occasion of the exhibition ed Varie gallery has published a 6 pictures set :
3.5″ x 5″- prints in hand screened envelope, Edition of 15.
Prices :  $30
Available through the gallery .

ED. VARIE
the galley will be open Saturdays 12-5 through Feb 12th, and also by appointment, hello@edvarie.com.

Comments
  1. conan says:

    awesome

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *