Christopher Porter:
Open Doors

Third Avenue Gallery, Vancouver
June 2 - 30

Untitled (detail) (1997),
photo collage

For the past two years, Vancouver artist Christopher Porter has been working with his extensive files of photographic images to create this series of horizontal photo-collages. The metaphoric triptychs consist of a central image with a second image, cut in half, placed on either side.

The full-frame photographs were all taken by Porter with the same 35 mm camera. They are, however, not so much about "technique" as "meaning". By using the second mirror image as a "bookend" to augment and expand the environment and mood of each central image, Porter forces a dialogue between them.

Porter did not intend these dialogues to be either obvious or complicated, but sought a dreamlike, ageless quality that extended the private moments of the characters caught in the middle. The fact that the central characters have been taken from their original contexts, and placed in what he calls the "suggestive and curious environments" of the adjoining prints, raises more interesting, and certainly more metaphysical questions. First and foremost, we feel the presence of the artist at work, entirely conscious of the elements of design and the visual narratives. As he says, "Nothing is haphazard."

© Mia Johnson