Saturday, November 10, 2007


The sculptures and photography of Jeff DeGolier are an other-world into which we escape to only to be confronted with strange systems which evoke our own strange systems. That you can walk into a factory, or cannery, or even boiler room, and see industrial elements which you have no way to grasp or even visually understand...such the feeling DeGolier preys on in his abstract worlds. The sense of another world is strong, as the scene is meticulously arranged and the photos luminous with a strange energy.

The concept is as interesting as the product. DeGolier makes the sculpture and 'scenes' from industrial left-overs. Part of the process is in the sculpture, but yet the photography is actually a more powerful representation. In front of the sculpture, one faces a miniature industrial other-world, part fairy tale and part factory, and one grapples with the substance of this real thing. The photographs are beautifully composed and vignetted, with a dramatic absence of any markers of scale or function. While with sculpture we know immediately we are seeing a thing that is not anything else, in front of a photograph we are unsure: are we seeing pictures of a real place? No, it seems staged. But what is it? There is a much longer period of suspended understanding, as we hang in the limbo between "real thing" and "fake thing"--- although as far as photography is concerned anything photographed is "real" because the image automatically becomes the "fake" in relation to the "real". So, DeGolier's photographs bring us, in a very elegant manner, to a moment where that which we suspected was "fake", the elaborate stage of a uncertain industrial world, becomes "real" through its photographic documentation.