Feature on Jessica Eaton in Canadian Art magazine
This past summer, I had the pleasure of visiting with Jessica Eaton in her studio in Montreal for a feature article for Canadian Art magazine. I’ve been following Eaton’s work for a long time, and have always been fascinated and perplexed (in a good way) by it. Her photographs are not the documentary or street photography scenes that I have most often written about in the past, but something else entirely: what seems to me a new way of working with photography that is neither “conceptual” nor “abstract” (the two words that are bandied about constantly in respect to Eaton’s work, neither of which seem accurate to me). As I tried to articulate in the article, Eaton’s work seems to do for photography what many film and video artists have been doing over the past two decades: looking back at the medium’s unique capacities to mine the hidden potential that has been there since its invention. Eaton just happens to do it in an incredibly smart, engaging and aesthetically satisfying way.
It was, as I’ve said a few times now, the most fun I’ve had on a writing assignment this year. Jessica’s not only affable and articulate, but getting to write at such length about an artist’s practice is a rare treat, especially in a slightly more accessible style than one is accustomed to in academia.
The article is now available online through Canadian Art‘s website, and in the print copy, which is an issue devoted specifically to photography. There are some great profiles of Suzy Lake (by my friend Bill Clarke), Emanuelle Léonard, Thomas Demand, Fred Herzog and Emanuel Licha (by my friend Bryne McLaughlin) included in that issue, too. For a photonerd like me, it’s a nice holiday-reading treat.