Winnipeg (spike), 43×55”, archival ink jet print, 2012.
March 6th, 2015 to April 17th, 2015
Opening: March 6th, 5-8pm
Artist talk: Saturday, March 7th, 3pm
The architectural spaces in Stinner-Kun's photographic projects are diverse, but the common purpose of each image is to transform an accidental configuration of objects-within-a-space into an intentional-looking tableau. For her project Construct, Stinner-Kun photographs on construction sites where she looks at the creation of human-built space.
Text response by Jae-Sung Chon
Interiority in Construct
In Construct, nothing is ‘in-the-view,’ or no one element within the view is seeking an attention; canceling the descriptive function of the camera. This emptiness, not unlike the vacuum in The Book of Tea by Kakuzō Okakura, constructs a spatiality that implicates the viewer, optically as well as cognitively. In the age of ‘object-philia’, such an emptiness (not nothingness) is an enactment or an invitation to the world of ‘might-be’s’. In this world of ‘might-be’s’, our eyes and minds are strangely synchronized in the endless and inconclusive lingering.
The non-committal and floating nature of the elements within the scenes of Construct, continuously decompose ongoing temptations to construct cohesive and objective understandings by the viewer. The flotsams in Construct, are strategic portals where the viewer can escape the scene temporarily. Somewhere in between the viewer’s anecdotes and the scenes, narrative fragments are forged. The blatantly mundane tools within the scene, like the boxes, panels, and the plastic paint pail; fetch the trivial memory fragments within the viewer through their utility, poses, and textures.
Construction permeates our living, or, though it may be a suppressed acknowledgement within the culture of ‘object-phila’, construction “is” the living. The idea of construction presupposes the liminal states of pre and post. Construction then is the state of lag, in between the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega. It is the stage of living. As a form of reverse archeological charge, Construct, take us back to linger within this living stage, the stage of construction. This reverse mobilizes a response from the ‘object-philic’ viewer to move the tiles, peek in, to walk the scaffold, to tie-up the plastic, and to turn off the lights, and so on. But as the viewer engages, the anecdotal moments teased by the elements are hardly long enough to sustain and break the surface of Construct. Only momentary lags are offered, thickening the engagement without ever establishing depths beyond the scenes.
The immersive scenes, strangely familiar and highly plausible, yet subtly unreal, are staged against partial walls and surfaces without defining edges. Such a labyrinthine perspective without a contextual overview is unsettling for the ‘object-philic’ viewer. The ‘outside’ is nonexistent. This unsettling quality, together with the depthlessness and the thickened lags of Construct, incorporates the viewer into its interiority, where three layers of space-time co-exist: the fragmented anecdotes of the elements (the pasts), that of the engaged viewer (the now), and the interval that Lisa Stinner-Kun occupied while staging the scenes (the recent past). The ghost time-space is the critical agency that sustains the viewer’s engagement and maintains the anecdotes’ fragmented-ness. The trace of Lisa Stinner-Kun’s staging hands presents her as a co-inhabitant of the scenes, establishing a social dimension with the viewer. Through Construct, Lisa Stinner-Kun offers a lingering of sorts, not an understanding, through momentary co-habitations. Webbed within the tri-layered space-time, a subtle suggestion lingers: to reposition our reality as the perpetuity of Construction.
Since graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a MFA in Photography, Lisa Stinner-Kun has shown her photographic work in numerous exhibitions, locally, nationally and internationally. In her work, Stinner-Kun searches for photographic contradictions found within the built environment. Her work has been featured in art publications such as Border Crossings magazine and published in juried collections such as Carte Blanche and Flash Forward. In recent years Stinner-Kun has been a mentor at Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art and is currently teaching at Martha Street Studios and at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art where she received her BFA.