16.10 - 14.11.09

Until Outside (2009) by Justin Gosker consists of two large color photographs attached to the floor and to the ceiling of the exhibition space. Each of them shows concentric rectangular layers of photographs of the floors exactly below and above. The work involves a two-stage process – site and archive work. The site work consists of making specific to the location series of photographs by using respectively high and low viewpoints. The photographs are then put together in a layered constellation. The archive work is a documentation of the first stage, which when installed is photographed by using the same method.
The image itself consists of series of fragments of living rooms and ceilings in the shape of rectangular frames. The final and fully visible photograph in each of the sequences is actually the sky. While the square patch of sky above is the logical end of the ceiling sequence, the sky image on the floor, with a bird and a lamp evidently photographed from below, is somewhat out of place. It might be spatially bizarre, but in fact it is a strictly determined part of the logical infrastructure of the piece. The image is a photograph of the sky above New Zealand taken in a location at the other end of a straight axis going through the Earth and taken at approximately the same time as the floor sequence of photographs. 
In contrast to Gordon Matta-Clark’s cuts, which create open shafts in existing buildings and make their structures visible, Gosker’s intervention is not material but a virtual, mediated cut. Precisely because it is constructed out of photographs, of representations, the logic of this imaginary cut can reach its point of completion at the other end of the world, thus creating a visibility that is far from being possible or real. Photography, however, is an indexical medium, a medium that by the virtue of its perfect correspondence to reality is associated with creating images that have a status of evidence and are considered visual tags of the instant of time when a photograph was taken. Gosker’s photographic cuts represent the very space they are located in. As a result, they intensify our feeling of presence in this particular location. In other words, they problematize the issue of having a place, of being located.  
The statement of the work is not reducible to the double tautology “This is the building. You are here.” Until Outside poses the question of what does it mean to occupy a place and of site specificity in its broader sense. One of its central dimensions is the global – an axis piercing the Earth. The patch of sky above the other end of the world testifies to the gradual change in the meaning of the word ‘place’ or ‘site’ and of having visual access to the world as a globe (through various devises - Google Earth, GPS). The world becomes more transparent and with that the very meaning of the verb “to inhabit” changes. We no longer inhabit places; the presence of our bodies creates them. Located differently, we become the site. 

 Alena Alexandrova