Vid Ingelevics   hunter/gatherer

March 8, 2008 - April 20, 2008

hunter/gatherer presents selections from two bodies of photographic work by Toronto artist Vid Ingelevics. The Platforms series, a set of photographs of hunting platforms found scattered in the countryside in the Gray County area predates the subsequent series of images of woodpiles begun in Switzerland in 2006 and currently continuing in Canada. Both of these bodies of work were photographed using a large format camera insuring clarity, precision and the corresponding illusion of factuality in the resulting images.

The title, hunter/gatherer, while tongue-in-cheek, refers to the prehistoric nature of the activities of hunting and the gathering of firewood. At the same time, it is an apt description of the activity of photography itself. This notion of “prehistory” was key to the artist’s encounters not only with the actual sites where the platforms and woodpiles were found but with his production of the documentation. These forms, constructed of wood, are not marked on maps nor, generally, do they enter into the historical record. They are, rather, places of memory, their production and social use existing as part of lived experience within the warmth of collective recall. While one may encounter, if one searches long enough, a rational guide to the construction of platforms or woodpiles, the knowledge of how, when and where to carry out these activities is normally passed on from one person to another or learned by observing already existing local structures.

Ingelevics’ photographs beg the question of the limits of historicization through documentation. It is this almost counter-intuitive notion that engages him. For this reason, he intentionally has not tried to research the backgrounds of each platform and woodpile as what seems most fascinating about these ancient structural forms is their continuing existence “outside” of history. This is not to say that, for example, the economics or politics of hunting and woodcutting could not in themselves be historically analyzed, but the artist’s interest lies in the stubbornly memorial aspect of the forms themselves.

Ingelevics comments: To photograph these forms, to make a “document,” does not in and of itself situate them within history. This is because photographs themselves are not essentially historical objects either but depend upon contexts and captions to allow them to contribute to history. With my photographs I believe that I can highlight precisely this seeming contradiction between creating an emphatically factual record and perpetuating the existence of these structures and sites as a part of a localized collective memorial.

Vid Ingelevic recently received his MFA from the University of Toronto. His work is represented by the Stephen Bulgar Gallery, Toronto. A catalogue documenting hunter/gatherer will be co-produced with the Tom Thomson Art Gallery.

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