KHFA exhibition archives

Faces, Flesh, and Other Hallucinations

Frank Rodick
Main Gallery
March 8-April 12, 2014
Opening reception Saturday, March 8, 6:30-8:30 pm
Artist will be in attendance
Artist talk March 29, 4:00-6:00 pm

"Asked to comment on his film Code Unknown, Austrian film director Michael Haneke replied with a list of questions instead—questions that, as he put it, motivated and triggered him to make the film. One of those questions was, can reality be represented? It's a simple, but insightful, question. After all, it seems reasonable to say that this is a big part of what artists are after: the representation, or re-presentation of reality. But it begs another question, namely: what kind of reality?

"Traditional photography is the medium par excellence for representing physical surfaces. Crudely put, a photograph of, say, a landscape usually looks like the real thing. And that's in spite of the obvious ways in which it's different—landscapes aren't two dimensional, square borders don't bound them, and they don't generally measure 20 x 24 inches or whatever.

"But what about realities other than the physical? I'm talking about feelings, sensations, internal experiences—those nebulous things of what we call the subjective world. They're what I've always wanted to explore using my pictures. I'm interested in making images that come out of engaging experiences like the sensations of mortality, feelings of elemental doubt, the vague and shifting contours of memory, the unceasing process of trying to make sense of who we are as physical bodies and incorporeal presences.

"So, moving from what Haneke asked, can those realities be represented? What a difficult question to answer. I think that, because they're so fluid and amorphous, it's more precise to say that an artist can reimagine these realities. And, as I've said elsewhere, this is what the novelist Céline was getting at when he said he wanted to create hallucinations more real than our everyday world—that latter place being where engagement with our inner world atrophies, washed away in the drone of quotidian living.

"But ultimately, whatever the answer might be, it's not my burden to know it. Making pictures is my answer, and that's enough for me."—Frank Rodick, February 2014

Frank Rodick is an artist working out of Toronto. His work has been published and exhibited widely throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. His prints are in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Kinsey Institute, and Lehigh Universities Art Gallery. Internationally, public collections with Rodick's work include those of the National Gallery of Canada, the Musée de la Photographie à Charleroi in Belgium, the Museet for Fotokunst in Denmark, and the Museo Nacional de Bella Artes de Buenos Aires in Argentina.

Portrait, Frances Rodick (Time), 2012, archival pigment print