A little bit of art
Art exhibition “Completely Exposed” leaves its mark at the Fifth Parallel
Taking my first foray into the arts and culture world at the University of Regina, I was fortunate to be guided by Danielle Kostiuk, photographer and curator of the “Completely Exposed” art exhibition on display at the Fifth Parallel Gallery.
We first talked about the name itself, “Completely Exposed”, and what it means to the artists and their photographic works.
“In ‘Completely Exposed,’ we [the artists] fully immersed ourselves in the analog process of photography and producing photographs versus our generation’s standard of digitally editing and digitally producing photographs,” Kostiuk explained. “As well, we’re completely exposed [and vulnerable] as artists showcasing our works for the first time in the gallery. I guess it is also a pun, in the literal meaning in that our film is exposed.”
Being shown around the gallery was a bit of an overwhelming experience for someone who is new to the whole art gallery thing. As Kostiuk explained the ins and outs of her photographs and those of her collaborators, she also talked about the Fifth Parallel Gallery and what exactly it does for students and faculty of the University of Regina.
Kostiuk states, “The Fifth Parallel as an art gallery gives students, alumni, and faculty the opportunity to work in a safe environment, with the freedom to be experimental versus other public art galleries outside of the University.”
She added that it was very exciting to note how photography is becoming an increasingly more recognized art practice. The University now offers a photography minor, which allows students to learn the basics of both the analog and digital practices of the medium: a topic that Kostiuk talked about passionately.
The pieces on display were striking with the use of different processes that included re-exposing some pictures to light very quickly.
As Kostiuk explained, “Taking the pictures of the cows for example, I re-exposed the partially developed photograph to light for mere seconds and thanks to the process of solarization, it is almost like the color values became inverted. Just playing around and experimenting with light is quite amazing.”
Some pieces showed scenes that just happened to catch the photographers’ eyes, while others were of the human body, which boldly stood out as attention grabbers.
The wide variety of photographs was captivating: landscapes, special people within the photographer’s lives, the theme of Mother Nature and abuse of landscapes, or my personal favorite, the elements of movement done by Kostiuk herself, particularly the shot of the Canada Day fireworks.
Finally, Kostiuk talked about the artists themselves and what exactly they went through with this new, yet old, process.
“Each artist went out and did some style of street photography, portrait, landscape, and I even recreated famous photographers’ works from as early as the 1930s!” says Kostiuk.“There is a very wide range within this show, with pieces that are inspired by the things that the photographers see, focusing on negative space, or even just trying to figure out the functions of the camera to develop a picture that is in focus. It was interesting to see the actual hands-on method, getting through by trial and error.”
The “Completely Exposed” show was a very cool experience for me, being able to hear about not just the technical process, but also what was going through the minds of the photographers and how they view what they did.
In Kostiuk’s words, “It’s very interesting to see how four different people can take the same camera, the same film stock, and just see how they capture the world differently through a lens.”