PAUL LOWRY
If art is truly creation, then why would it not create the museum that houses it, the curator that adores it and the illustrious career that facilitates its exposure to the world?

This project grew from Mois de la photo à Uqbar, an html-based work in the form of a metafictional biennale. Originally inspired by the theme of the Mois de la photo à Montreal 2015 Edition, Mois de la photo à Uqbar began life contemplating Joan Fontcuberta’s notion of “the post photographic condition”. Direct access to the web project can be found in the HTML section of this site or by clicking on the Mois de la photo à Uqbar logo at the top of this page.

Initially I was attracted to the “hall of mirrors” paradox implicit in the idea of art depicting the museum, but it wasn't until I came to creating the artwork for the walls of my make-believe Museum that I perceived the full potential of this richly exploitable playing field. I saw an opportunity not only to explore contemporary photography and its ever-fascinating ontological questions, but also to reinvent it. Using pastiche as a form of expression facilitated access to themes and ideas from photography’s history and provided reference points the viewer can use to measure and qualify the distortions through the lens of Uqbar. The Biennale presents work generated for the web project Mois de la photo à Uqbar outside of its original metafictional narrative.

As it is characteristic of auto-engenderment (self-fathering) my work can generally be seen to create its own author (or authors as it is in this case). It does this by simultaneously fabricating a contextual embryonic envelope within which the creator is cultivated. The Biennale extends the boundaries of the creative work beyond its author, to encompass the gallery, and even the culture and history that give it value and meaning, all within the protective confines of its imaginary space. The biennale context provided me with a chance to explore a multitude of disparate, even conflicting avenues I wouldn’t normally be able to explore under the umbrella of a single unified artistic practice.

The death of my father in 2014 greatly influenced the evolution of this project. My father, a true incarnation of Don Quixote, should never have died. This project is dedicated to his memory and is imbued with the romantic struggle to overcome reason.

The Biennale is a work of magic realism. Even as it attempts to meaningfully explore various theories of assimilating reality and ordering experience it succumbs to the fabulous. This fantastic museum is my art utopia; a right-brain dominated world where language is awkward and murky and technology toy-like and perpetually antiquated.