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Rebecca Steele in collaboration with the personal archives of Andonis Nikos Drakos

October 13th –November 11th, 2018

Opening reception October 20th 6-9 PM

Anytime Dept. presents Source for Disturbance Source of Disturbance, a solo exhibition from Rebecca Steele in collaboration with the personal archives of Andonis Nikos Drakos and is curated by Lydia Rosenberg. 

Rebecca Steele refuses to acknowledge the limits of the image. In a practice that expands beyond the framework of medium, Steele forces photography to open itself up. Interrogating space, object, authorship, and presence, she pushes the tool of the camera beyond intent and takes photography beyond its tendency toward preciousness, acknowledging histories and processes while simultaneously imploding them. For Steele, there is no material limit and the slithering movement in and out of forms, collaborations, references and narratives enforces her furious and rigorous methodology, excavating the role of the photograph. 

In this exhibition, Steele collaborates with a collection of images made by her grandfather, Andonis Nikos Drakos (Tony Drake), that he captured during annual family road trips between the years of 1956-1992. The project of digitizing the several hundred film slides from these trips revealed to Steele alternative narratives, which could only come to be constructed through her absence from the events themselves. Long buried, the selected images consider an alternative relationship to nostalgic documentation of the familial experience. Drake, a notoriously “slow” and clumsy documentarian, is redeemed of his often blurry family snapshots, revealing a sensitive and peculiar vision.

Notes from Source for Disturbance Source of Disturbance

This procedure is laden with questions of selection, editing, and what is photographic intent and how it is experienced by an external perspective. 

This process is personal. In the writing of pixels, the personal blooms opaque yet thirsty. Writing pixels with film is a stamping, non-linear procedure. It actually drags down.

In selection there is a debate between allowing the idea of the image to remain in an original context and the desire to edit, as the original context promotes entirety, while the artist edits and molds image to create new series of associations and meanings untethered to original context. 

The process of selection is a manipulation, an aberration of reformulation, allowing new weavings of thought and meaning, new stories and interpretations. In abandoning those images that read instantly as “Family standing by Grand Canyon” or “Family at Bamff” or even “Family at Thanksgiving” how he, behind the camera sees through framing, composition, and focus are revealed. It is a way to know him, how he thinks to see by studying how he sees. What banal moments are the most compelling to another is maybe the most personal means of studying how another human thinks.

It is like hearing him whispering to himself. The personal disruptions. As in I know I am expected to take this picture, but for some reason I can’t avoid this other thing, this other thing that no one wants to look at.

 This also becomes a question of objectivity over the personal that I would call When to dare the edit.

–Rebecca Steele

Anytime Dept. started out as an unnamed project between two artists who wanted to celebrate the overlaps in their communities and to support rich dialogues that extended beyond the tradition of works in space. Since forming the base of our argument-as-project, we have devoted resources to this frontier in gestures of devotion to a lingering idealism about the endeavor of art making. No one will create space for you if you don’t make it for yourself. This exhibition diverges and perfectly encompasses what we have created. We aim to consider and support artists who are challenging existing models of survival, who are creating new channels of the politic by inventing it, who are allowing the shapes of these tributaries to formulate as they carve out pathways and alternatives.