Aidan Gageler - The Giver
The Giver: a solo exhibition by HEAP 22-23 winner Aidan Gageler
5 - 26 May 2023
Australian artist Aidan Gageler lives and works between Awabakal and Yuin Land (Lake Macquarie/South Coast, NSW). He graduated from Camberwell College of the Arts, UAL (London, UK) with first-class honours. Gageler’s practice thinks through photography’s receptibility, both to light and to sentiment. Curiously, his materials bruise with exposure to time, attesting to a kind of fleshy experience akin to our own.
Photographs made without a camera, the works in The Giver are ungoverned by intelligible markers and avoid being read as pictures or symbols. Instead, they open up the possibility of being felt or experienced, affordances offered commonly to music but rarely visual art.
The Giver offers its audience an encounter with photography in its most immediate form, inscribed only (and slowly) by light, time and chemistry. The body of work celebrates the medium’s capacity to refer exclusively to itself, prioritising its own object over those accumulated by the world around. The series’ title borrows from a 1993 novel of the same name by American writer Lois Lowry. In her pages, Lowry conjures a setting entirely devoid of emotional investment, described at lengths to be black and white. Colour, she introduces gradually to the story, after one character finds himself ordained with the responsibility to bear the sombre memories of his loved ones. Like Lowry beforehand, Gageler foregrounds the generosity of this premise, presenting dazzling photographic images that are themselves born out of the susceptibility of their basic units to exposure and damage. The artist carefully orchestrates this dynamic and maps its artistic and bodily resonances.