Gestures of Labor and Leisure and the Ritual of the Analogue


I begin the construction of my photographs by taking photographic reproductions from magazines and books. I reassemble and rephotograph these found images as objects in the studio. Source material includes images of hands in gestures of labor and images of artifacts from the do-it-yourself history of photography, science, and technology popular in printed media in the last century through today. These are images that reference a ritual of the analogue at the point when labor and leisure begin to merge. I find relevance in this now as there is much emphasis and elevation in culture today on the rarity of the gesture of making; the gesture itself has become equal to the object. The paradoxical relationship between substitute and original is further reinforced by stands and other methods of display that I build in my studio for use as props for the image-objects. The images are decontextualized in this staged studio setting and become open-ended, intersecting and looping back into the endless stream of visual information. My photographs construct a disjointed and disorienting mashup based around the acts of seeing and doing, around gaze, gesture, and the photograph.


James Reeder lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has exhibited at Lesley Heller Workspace (NY, NY), Mixed Greens (NY, NY), A.M. Richard Fine Art (Brooklyn, NY), and Projective City (Paris, France), amongst others. He holds a degree from Pacific Union College (CA) and has been reviewed in Hyperallergic, The New Criterion, and published in Conveyor magazine. He was founder and director of Silver Projects, a DIY gallery in Bushwick.

James Reeder