In my work, I explore the role that lens-based media play in affecting and questioning our understanding of vision and perception. My subject has been overlooked environments in the city, like the downtown Toronto lane ways where I spent the last five years shooting. Threshold is a series from this environment, comprising 28 colour photographs depicting boundaries – walls, gates, doors, and fences – and the fragmented views glimpsed through gaps and holes in their surfaces. These images were shot from the public space of the lane ways looking into the private space of residential backyards.
In this series, I am interested in the way that the particularities of photography can draw attention to the act of looking and to the limitations of vision. Facilitated by photography, boundary and space coalesce in a single flattened view that is part abstract colour field and part sharply focused scene, reducing the apparent separation between surface and space; outside and inside; public and private realms.
Shot with a macroscopic lens and then enlarged approximately 8x, the Threshold images context along with the view that can be glimpsed through the aperture. I am also interested in the way the surface aperture evokes the camera by acting like a camera lens through which a scene is frames. Each uniquely shaped aperture frames and reveals a scene distinctly, intimately tying the scene to the host surface through its aperture.
The Threshold images present everyday scenes that are rendered at once unfamiliar and uncannily familiar, destabilizing our definitions of the abstract and the mimetic by taking us beyond our perceptual capabilities.
– Lisa Klapstock