muddled mirage of memories escaping encapsulation, (2021)
CAG Façade
January 22 – August 22, 2021
Nicole Kelly Westman | CAG Recorded Artist Discussion 
photo credit: Scott Massey (daytime) Soloman Chiniquay (evening) 

The practice of Nicole Kelly Westman is anchored in an ongoing concern with the conditions of image-making. Although Westman only occasionally uses cameras or produces anything akin to a photograph, her work deftly engages the tools, techniques and principles of photography to question the objectivity of the recorded moment.

Light, in particular, is an essential collaborator for Westman. The glow of a sunbeam filtered through treetops; a city street at night, awash in the haze of sodium vapour lamps; the chromatic brilliance of a sunset: light for Westman is an opportunity to index the energies and intimacies that constitute any given moment and the ways in which it is perceived, documented and assigned meaning.

In muddled mirage of memories escaping encapsulation, Westman presents a series of three works across CAG’s façade windows, each of which nods to the ways memory is shaped, staged and recalled. Referencing the backdrop, the mirror, the gel, and the cucoloris—each used in the photographic process to produce “ideal” images—these works offer a patient counterpoint to the fixity of the standalone photograph, drawing our attention to the felt structures found in light and shadow, sentiments that often elude being captured, shot, or taken.

Curated by Matthew Hyland