Gu Xiong’s image, Forbidden City Starbucks, is one of the important works being shown at Diane Farris Gallery in the Click exhibition. This exhibition features both new and previously displayed works by Alex Abdilla, Wesley Anderson, Roberta Bondar, Phil Borges, Janieta Eyre, Grace Gordon-Collins and Lisa Klapstock.
Proliferated in both popular and fine arts, photography is a highly social medium. Despite its potential for manipulation and alteration, the photographic image still retains a certain amount of authority as a documentary record. Gu Xiong’s Forbidden City Starbucks, originally shown at Diane Farris Gallery in 2001, documents the existence of a Starbucks café in China’s Forbidden City. The controversial establishment of the Starbucks in the historical setting caused a seven-year battle that finally resulted in its removal in July, 2007.
Also included in Click are works by photographers such as Lisa Klapstock and Roberta Bondar who manipulate and expand the capabilities of the eye, making permanent the fleeting glances that are fast forgotten. Wesley Anderson uses the camera as a microscope illuminating the miniscule details of plants. Alex Abdilla reconstructs fractured images of Vancouver in large-scale multimedia wall pieces.
Phil Borges, Janieta Eyre and Grace Gordon-Collins take the human body and psyche as subject in their works. While Borges portrays the hyper-real in his selectively hand-tinted portraits of tribal peoples from around the globe, Eyre’s intent is to document fantasy through her imaginative and often disturbed digital images. Gordon-Collins attempts to make visible the unexpressed fantasies and yearnings of women.