Rupture (Reprise)

series of seven inkjet prints \ 16 x 32″ \ 2010

Rupture (Reprise) is a series of photographs of empty advertising billboards at a train station in Metro Vancouver, taken during the run-up to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The billboards were stripped bare to comply with regulations during the Olympics that only allowed advertisements by official sponsors. Subsequently, the billboards remained empty for months, becoming material indices of a momentary rupture in the flow of capital.

Each image in the series is paired with a blank square of photo paper. Like the un-printed white space, the sheer materiality of the billboard frames suggest a new potential: stripped bare of content, they provide space for alternatives to instrumentalism. The work references Roy Arden’s 1985 diptych series “Rupture,” in which archival photographs of social unrest are juxtaposed with a single image of a cloudless blue sky. But whereas in Arden’s series abstraction serves as the only redemption from historical trauma, the vacant billboards are seen to offer a space of both critique and optimism.