Tess Roby: In View


“Places are fragmentary and inward-turning histories, pasts that others are not allowed to read, accumulated times that can be unfolded but like stories held in reserve, remaining in an enigmatic state”

-Michel de Certeau, The Invention of Everyday Life, 1990. 

The scale of Tess Roby’s large-format 35mm prints make them immediately compelling, and yet, upon closer look, the abstract landscapes encompass a great amount of narrative detail. Although still images, the photographs have depth, offering glimpses of time that are palpable and immersive. These pictures tell a story, inducing the feeling of quiet observation, of solitary contemplative states when imagination overcomes the instant. A CD hangs from a balcony, the grain of the image lends an undeniable atmosphere. It is mid-afternoon on a mid-summer day when you find yourself alone on a side-street. The silence of your surroundings takes on a character and all of your senses seem heightened. You are able to absorb all of the minutiae of your world, the experience of being alive somehow more acutely felt. Then the scream of a child or honk of a car horn ruptures the moment and time picks up its pace again. It is this fleeting, reflective state that Roby’s photographs miraculously replicate. 
This week is your last chance to view Tess Roby’s first solo show In View, on now through Saturday March 18th at Battat Contemporary in Montreal.
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