April 1 to May 8, 2010
James Harris Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by photographer and video artist Margot Quan Knight. Working in both still and moving images, Knight explores not only the physical qualities of reflections but also the photograph as a site-specific object. This is her second solo exhibit at the gallery.
At the core of Quan Knight’s practice is her investigation of the potential of photography to push beyond the communication of an actual, fixed event in time. For this series, the artist returned to her family home to document the photographs that she grew up with on her parent’s walls. The photographs are not only personal markers for the artist, but also become stand-ins for the multiplicity of photographic practice: there are images from art photographers Joel Sternfeld and Judith McMillan, family photographs, and documentary works by Christopher Knight, who shot for National Geographic. Quan Knight’s interest in the mechanics of the camera inspired her to photograph the framed images at an angle, capturing a reflection on the glass surface of the picture frame. To this end, the resulting images are not only a re-appropriation of the original, but also layer it with the specificity of its present domestic location. The resulting image is a beautifully composed photograph that blends the subject of the original photos with an ethereal image of the rooms in which the work hangs. Rather than offering a window to a different time or distant place, the picture frame becomes a mirror, a companion to the here and now.
This project was inspired by Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse:
“…there is a coherence in things, a stability; something she meant, is immune from change, and shines out (she glanced at the window with its ripple of reflected lights) in the face of the flowing, the fleeting, the spectral, like a ruby; so that again tonight she had the feeling she had had once today, already, of peace, of rest. Of such moments, she thought, the thing is made that endures.”
Margot Quan Knight earned an MFA in photography from Bard College after completing a BA at Dartmouth College. Knight’s work has been seen at solo exhibitions worldwide at such venues as Randall Scott Gallery, (Washington, D.C.), GAS Art Gallery, (Turin, Italy), Gallery 4Culture, (Seattle, W.A.), and at Fabica Features in Italy, Portugal, and France.