JANUARY 15 - FEBRUARY 28, 2011

More than or Equal to Half of the Whole, a two person exhibition of photography by Kate Johnson and Siri Kaur, opens January 15, 2011, at GARBOUSHIAN GALLERY. A vivid exploration of both the power and the illusion of the photographic medium, this exhibition examines the awe, dislocation and limitation inherent in photographic practice. More than or Equal to Half of the Whole is on view until February 28, 2011.

Illusion and limitation play a central role in Kate Johnson's work in a series she calls "More Than Or Equal To." For each of these infinity portraits - self-aware photographs that attempt to capture the concept of infinity - Johnson constructs a small glass and mirror diorama which she then photographs. There is a sheer, crystalline beauty in each of these prismatic pieces, even as they wryly admit to the illusion that infinity and depth are being rendered falsely within a finite, two-dimensional work space. Johnson's hall of mirrors visual trick (in which images repeat endlessly against one another) purposefully calls attention to itself through the repeated appearance of her camera lens (as well as the green-blue edges of the glass) throughout the photographs. Paired loosely in dark and light opposites, these photographs intrigue aesthetically and entertain conceptually.

In pursuit of a profound sense of the sublime, and playing, like Johnson's work, with the dynamics of perception, illusion and immeasurable scale is the "Half of the Whole" series by Siri Kaur.

Kate Johnson

Siri Kaur

This series features a number of extra-galactic photographs (taken between 2007-2010 using a digital sensor attached to a Meade solar telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona), alongside "faked" astrophotographs (evidenced by such titles as "Lightbulb with Sunspots Made by Hand"), and a single diptych. After shooting the initial frames, Kaur exacts a battery of darkroom "experiments" on her work by applying color filters and chemical drawings to both the photo negatives and positives. By manipulating the printing process, Kaur effectively dislocates the signified from the signifier - distinguishes what is represented from what might represent it - as her images transform from distant celestial objects into light and ultimately back into physical form, albeit much smaller, within the gallery.

Rounding out the series, and further illustrating her penchant for aesthetic awe and print manipulation is Kaur's stunning diptych of the Aurora Borealis, fittingly titled (in the descriptive vernacular commonly associated with late 20th century photography), "On the Left, Aurora Borealis, White Horse, Yukon, March 31 2008, 235 AM. On the Right, the Way I Wanted It to Look."

About Kate Johnson

Kate Johnson was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1982. She received her BFA from Sarah Lawrence College in 2004. In 2007 she received her MFA from CalArts.  More recently, Johnson was an artist in residence at the Wassaic Project in Wassaic, New York during the summer of 2010. Kate Johnson lives and works in Los Angeles.  

About Siri Kaur

Siri Kaur received her MFA from CalArts, and her BA and her MA from Smith College. Her photographs have been exhibited in numerous group shows, including 401 Projects in New York, the Torrance Museum of Art, the UCLA Wight Biennial, and the Portland Museum of Art 2011 Biennial. She lives and works in Los Angeles, where she currently teaches at Otis College of Art and Design.

More than or Equal to Half of the Whole will be on view January 15 - February 28, 2011, at GARBOUSHIAN GALLERY. The opening reception is Saturday, January 15, from 6 to 8 pm.