Unfixed explores how the concepts of fixing and unfixing operate as metaphorical and artistic strategies in the work of two Toronto-based Canadian artists: Chris Curreri and Laurie Kang. Through works of photography, installation, and sculpture, these artists suggest a network of connectivity between traditional understandings around photography, art history, and intimate personal narratives. They challenge the notion that living things operate through distinct categories and domains, and their work suggests that photography itself creates a rhizomatic, interrelated relationship between seemingly disparate ways of thinking about our bodies, the political, and the social.
Central to photography is fixing an image in time and space, thus capturing an authentic record of an event or moment. Yet the physical reality of the process and the inherent bias of the artist’s eye rarely fulfill that promise. Rather, materials change over time, and what’s left outside the frame is as important as what’s included. To fix and to unfix can be used as lenses through which to view the ebbs and flows of social tides, many of which have been at the forefront of global conversations throughout the last year; the COVID-19 pandemic, which highlighted the precariousness of our health, livelihoods, and relationships, has demanded the rethinking of our social norms so that we can protect one another. Likewise, the dismantling of monuments to racist leaders and imperialists throughout the summer of 2020, and the renewed understanding of the corruptibility of democratic institutions, signalled a social unfixing that was long in the works. That which was once taken for granted as unchanging has been called into question: that which was fixed became unfixed.