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Monday, January 3, 2011

Featured Artist...Marc Burden

It's New Year 2011, the mark of a new decade. Janus the two headed Roman god , for whom the celebration was given, faces opposite directions to look backward on last year and forward to the new one. I can't help feeling like him, sitting this weekend exhausted from last year's bittersweet moments, voided and exhilarated from the struggle, both personal and career wise, now in its depleted room to be filled by the new set of challenges future rounds bring.

Darren Guisha
The work of our current "Featured Artist", Marc Burden , says all of that to me in the faces of these cage fighters from his series "The Sitting". His portraits taken just after the fight show men who whether or not they have won or lost, have paid the price for what they love.

"...My photography explores this psychological space within the portrait, and the notion of the photographer’s and the medium’s ability to pierce the causal representation of that which sits within it. If the screen is the mediation of its relational structure, can the screen be pierced,
can a glimpse be elicited of what lays beyond "? 

For me art is best described as the ability to talk in whatever medium, to the one who listens with whatever sense. It's not always about beauty nor grandeur and often not what was meant by the one speaking. It's simply communication on a deeper level.

Kev Reid

"...The Sitting operates at the confluence of the oft-conflicting desires, and the gazes of the
camera, the spectator and the subject, interrogating the portrait as being analogous of a
screen. In most cases the screen is seen as protective, or it is used to obscure and conceal,
at its most opaque the portrait separates by a process of exclusion, the camera’s scrutiny
eliciting a self-conscious projection to deflect its gaze - what Lacan termed the ‘Mask’- the
projection of a second skin employed to deflect the gaze of other(s) acting as a surface onto which the image and the power of the gaze are deflected or are reflected mirror like.But the screen can be translucent too allowing glimpses - if only for the briefest of times - that hint at what may be beneath and beyond, moments when that protective layer slips or is not consciously in play ". 

Steve Dossett

"...The series takes as its subject those practised in the projection of the mask: fighters, specifically cage fighters for whom the mask is a shield of intimidation, invincibility and is devoid of emotion, the nature of their combat though, drains them both mentally and physically. The camera acts as a barrier visually and mentally, a screen divorcing contact and interaction between the photographer and the sitter, the images document moments that are emporally random and un-decisive, the absence of interaction leaving the exhausted sitter
isolated. By eschewing the intimacy and mediation conventionally associated with the portrait the images explore the visual psychological states in unconscious compositions that dislodge and disarm the surface before the scrutiny of the camera. The resulting portraits reveal not the conscious projection of an identity but a space between that and their unconscious; the isolated figures are seen in liminal moments characterized by ambiguity, openness, and
indeterminacy ".


More of Marc Burden's work can be found here

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