Garden of ParadiseOpening Reception: Sept 9th at 7:30 PM, as part of SWARM 17

Garden of Paradise is comprised of six video loops, each consisting of two GIFs juxtaposed onto each other to form an intersection of movement, the animations finding alignment momentarily before drifting out of sync again.

For this body of work, two material sources were chosen, the Japanese anime, “Kotonoha no Niwa” and the singer, Lana Del Ray.

For Staples, Del Ray presents a conundrum, a presence both controlled but natural; underneath her layers of pop mythology, stereotype and icon, it is hard for him to see if she is “really there”, a new level of “pop”, where the image soaks right through the surface into the substrate. “Kotohana no Niro” is a display of a series of images, using Tokyo as the matrix, and the GIFS created from this material contain a particularly Japanese appreciation of nature, void of the horror element of the sublime as seen in Western experience. The filter of anime increases the beauty of these moments and sharpens their sublimity.

The series of images chosen both are an acceptance of what things are, with an enhanced clarity and beauty driven by the filter they are presented through, even as it tries to obscure the original images. Photographs reveal too much, with the GIFs, there are moments when denying their clarity increases their substance. GIFs struggle to maintain their independence due to their movement; by forcing them into situations where they may align, in movement, in subject, in synchronicity, it is Staples’ hope to allow them freedom while attempting cohesion.

Joseph Staples’ work is a study of contemporary print and photography through collage. He has shown locally at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Wil Aballe Art Projects and Equinox, and in the US. In 2014 he was awarded the CASV Emerging Artist Award. He is currently enrolled in the Low Res MAA program at Emily Carr.

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