Uncertain Smile

Exhibit at Parisian Laundry gallery
Montreal, Canada
January 15 - Febraury 14, 2015

11 Pigment Prints, Framed

At the heart of Uncertain Smile, photographer Jordan Weitzman’s new exhibition at Parisian Laundry, is the portrait. Portraiture generally promises a gateway into the soul of the sitter, a personal encounter with and mediated through the image. Such a promise however, is suspect. How can what is seen on the surface necessarily guarantee that which is sought after and beyond? Through techniques such as obscuring, doubling, slicing and splitting, these photographs amplify this bankruptcy of the portrait while stimulating the desire for knowledge and immersion.

Weitzman’s practice is essentially characterized by an interchangeable sense of intimacy between photographer, photographed subject and viewer. That being said, there is most certainly an air of the uncanny clinging throughout the various scenes he images. Personas seem fragmented, settings are made strange and narrative is equivocal. A viewer may be pulled in, but little is revealed and the experience of intimacy is thus itself perverted.

In Uncertain Smile such perversion is most clearly articulated in a disjunction between voyeurism and exhibitionism. Various subjects (mostly young men) perform identities to be viewed. However, it is left ambiguous who in fact is meant to be looking and whether or not viewership actually transgresses privacy. In this way, Uncertain Smile picks up on the unfixable politics involved in the desire to be seen, known and identified as well as in seeing, knowing and naming.

‹ back