Jordan Tate: Gamut Warning
Presented are colourful tests, uncanny to internet-destined imagery, that provide a glimpse between the camera and its final output. The space we cannot see, but it somehow resonates in the photographed objects. We are always stuck in the midst of two, each providing the close and the far; they act as a colour chart in a paint store, used to imagine the colour schemes of potential houses. As much as the images reference a process, their conviction suggests an ulterior motive, one of creative exploration on a theme that is not always clear in the first instance. Their symbolic ideas revolve around the seemingly higher world around us: as the camera enters the clouds and beyond to imitate the stars in the sky, to be grounded in a room of photographic activity, around photography itself.
Jordan Tate’s series Gamut Warning could fall into a newly made category: work about photographic works – which in itself creates a miniature paradox for the viewer, either associated with photography or bereft of it. Nevertheless, we are invited to view the workings of the camera itself and the motions that appear invisible yet make the final product, a photograph. Although the pictures, described, may seem free of human hand, we carry a partial role in the pictures’ content and we are the enigmatic spark for the pictures’ existence. For without the people involved the pictures do not exist – if humans did not exist, we would have no use for photographs – Thus leaving the pictures hanging in the balance of the meaning of photography and an attempted meaning of existence. Although, saying this, the pictures are open to interpretation and we have no other option but to use our gathered knowledge and personal interests when looking at the work.
The inanimate object becomes a common force within the series, and a false mythology meets the visual playfulness of contemporary photography. A medium involved in looking at itself, instead of looking out the window. Confining ideas to a studio, revealing the self-involved nature of the medium its practitioners fascinate themselves with. For these are not images of pure creation but explorations of the medium they choose to record their ideas with. Photography itself has now become the subject.
And through their entire colour and vibrancy, their pixel-perfect surroundings, the images both confuse us and intrigue us. They make us look further into an act we thought we already knew, when in reality we are only just beginning. The reference points loft us up to a creatively academic classroom, where we are discussing colour hues and lighting techniques, and where life fits in the middle of that sandwich. Their intriguing properties are the sparking point, to create discussion about the world of photography and where it should exist in the context of the world itself.
Written by Alexander Norton / Published 24 October 2013