Archive
Search
Artspeak,

Artspeak

Kevin Yates

Kevin Yates recently completed his post-graduate work at University of Victoria. Yates has exhibited at Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax and in group exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Owen Sound and the Nora Vaughan Gallery, Toronto. He is currently teaching at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax.

Exhibitions

  • Untitled (small dead woman)

    KEVIN YATES
    January 5–February 9, 2002

    Still and moving images of crime or accident victims are familiar, whether in photo-documentary projects, the news or films. Viewing these pictures generally signals the beginning of a narrative of detection or discovery towards (re)solving the untimely death and the temporary triumph of the rational over fear. These forms often contain clues to the mystery through the use of explanatory narration, or other visual clues within the image, such as the specific environment in which the body was found. The wooded area, the alley at dawn, the industrial waterfront are easily called to mind when thinking of crime scenes, and viewers rely upon the interpretive skill of the forensic hero who uses science to uncover the truth.

    Looking to apprehend the effects of films and photographs of ‘tragedy’ in sculptural form, Yates isolates the slain figure and models it in miniature in Untitled (small dead woman). Removing the setting, props, character and plot serves to eliminate any narrative possibility or specific mystery to solve, leaving only the tiny vulnerable object and our desire to examine it, which we must struggle to do, given its size. This tactic of decontextualization and rendering in three dimensions undermines the clinical detachment of film and photography and reconsiders the figure as ‘flesh’. The sculpture is almost too small to scrutinize and confounds the expectation of knowing-through-seeing and visual pleasure that surrounds the history of the art gallery.

Publications

  • small dead woman / Last Seen

    Small front
    Small spine
    Small back

    Title: small dead woman / Last Seen
    Category: Exhibition Catalogue
    Artist: Kevin Yates
    Writers: Diana George, Charles Mudede, Lorna Brown
    Editor: Artspeak
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Year published: 2002
    Pages: 22pp
    Cover: Paperback
    Binding: Prong Steel Fastener Clip
    Process: Offset
    Features: 2 b&w images, 4 colour images
    Dimensions: 21 x 12 x 1 cm
    Weight: 70 g
    ISBN: 0-921394-38-1
    Price: $5 CDN

    Untitled (small dead woman) is the title of an exhibition by Kevin Yates which took place at Artspeak in the spring of 2002. Looking to apprehend the effects of films and photographs of ‘tragedy’ in sculptural form, Yates isolates the slain figure and models it in miniature in Untitled (small dead woman). Removing the setting, props, character and plot serves to eliminate any narrative possibility or specific mystery to solve, leaving only the tiny vulnerable object and our desire to examine it, which we must struggle to do, given its size. This tactic of decontextualization and rendering in three dimensions undermines the clinical detachment of film and photography and reconsiders the figure as ‘flesh’. The sculpture is almost too small to scrutinize and confounds the expectation of knowing-through-seeing and visual pleasure that surrounds the history of the art gallery.

    Last Seen, a collaborative text by Seattle writers Diana George and Charles Mudede, builds an analysis of ‘public wilderness’, locations of abandonment regulated into being, neither nature nor civilization, and that carry the signification of ‘crime scenes waiting to happen’. One such public wilderness surrounds the SeaTac airport, a former subdivision that was emptied out in anticipation of airport expansion, a ghost town with no romantic history. This and other empty, unincorporated locales were overtaken for sport, trysts, gleaning and dumping, excursions into ‘nature’ – liberties that were interrupted by the periodic discovery of skeletal remains of many of the women last seen on the sex trade strip of Highway 99. Using devices of seriality and recurrance, their text presents these locations as de-commissioned and blank, spaces lapsed between the capital plan and the date of completion, holding the pause between missing and found.