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Sarah Greig
From September 11th 2010 to October 16th 2010
More Different Than Same (de la série «Complete Squares Made From the Same Seven Pieces»)

Time and light are the primary materials of Sarah Greig’s series of photographs. Rendering the process at the very heart of the photographic image is a constant in her practice—one recalls the importance Robert Ryman gave to the medium and to light, referencing the materiality of painting. Greig’s abstract, minimal works explore models of perception while transposing qualities of drawing into the sphere of photography.

As its title suggests, More Different than Same (from the series «Complete Squares Made From the Same Seven Pieces») (2003, 2010) refers to a set of variations on a single composition. From one image to the next, the configuration remains identical, but the surface changes: a square is reconstructed from similar, though differently arranged geometric forms. What one realizes is that the flat planes are in fact volumes, that line is in fact light, which have drawn areas and accentuated the shadows cast.

All this, along with the array of manipulations and movements that form the square, teaches us something about the status of the image. This work is about completeness as much as it is about nothing, thus summing up the impossibility of addressing the totality of a subject that has no end, if only the one the artist gives it as a work. The repeated gesture of (re)composing the image then becomes manifest as document and process.

Similarly in another ongoing series titled Light Shifting on an Object (2010 – ), Greig speaks in terms of "process objects" to describe a similar perceptual mechanism where the image is produced without a camera, from drawing paper exposed to natural light. Small pencil-drawn arrows show the position and elevation of an ephemeral structure made of framing materials. Those register marks suggest a lengthy exposure, after which it is possible to distinguish subtle variations of light on the paper. The temporal process is the only reference in the existence of the work, a dematerialization characteristic of the conceptual practices Greig renders as experience for the spectator.
- Marie-Josée Lafortune

"These images are created through process, and each is in progress – one stop in a system in perpetual rearrangement. For this exhibition, two stops are arranged side by side. They are both same and different, and equal, like different people who understand the same thing in different ways. They are also simple notations, straightforward documents without affect or manipulation. They don’t describe or imagine something else, an invented or constructed space; they describe only themselves. Nothing is hidden and everything is revealed, which makes their flat planes volumetrically divided seem impossible and not so impossible after all.

I think of these images as process objects. To view them as image alone is to miss the space created between them. Where the "and" is, is where the work is : image and process and idea. They are like a lot of things that cannot be seen when viewed in isolation, things like pattern and convention and structure. This time and oftentimes the elements are familiar, or different enough to seem different entirely, which can conceal the whole and make reappearances harder to see."

- sg

For the 14th edition of the Journées de la culture, Optica offers a guided tour. Admission is free. See you there!
Journées de la culture