Boons • A.C. Rogers, Bucky Miller, Kayla Jones • October 7th - November 5th, 2016
Boons is an image-based conversation between A.C. Rogers, Bucky Miller, and Kayla Jones. Through three distinct conceptions of photography, the exhibit presents a surprising perspective on some fragments of our environment held just outside knowledge. The tools we employ to make sense of the world are questioned, and those questions only deepen as the artists begin to visually challenge and resolve each other’s inquiries.
The first photograph we see, by Jones, is of a dimly lit interior. There is a grid of four mirrors, each reflecting the blurred image of a horse in motion. The horse, while an obvious reference to Muybridge’s motion studies, is artificial, static. Meanwhile a tourist’s shadowy reflection appears in the lower right mirror. It soon becomes clear that the spectral tourist is the photographer herself—she has brought herself into harmony with the motionless horse. The photograph floats away from the surface of the gallery, hung from an exposed column rather than the wall.
Deeper into the room is Miller’s piece, smaller than the average snapshot and totally isolated on the gallery’s back wall. The midsection of a tree is disfigured by time, animal inhabitation, and the act of photographing into something more bodily, a torso or vomiting ghost. At the same time it remains definitively a picture of a tree.
Rogers’ photographs feel more like objects. There are two of these, printed on newsprint and tacked to the wall. They depict birds in situations. In one a heron stalks an empty parking lot at night, in the other a whooping crane is pursued by two shrouded figures with a whooping crane puppet. The autonomous birds are both mysterious and absurd, trapped in low resolution. They’re like pages from some narrative periodical—we can be sure that there is more to the story, but even if we had all the pages we may not know what was happening.
These and the other works live in the fiction and mystery that exists between viewer and subject. This distance, accessed via reflections, framing, or image quality, turns the photographs into portals to alternate universes with their own systems of logic. With roots in poetry, the work is less concerned with its subjects as physical facts than how they feel in—or rather, out of—context.
Bucky Miller (born 1987, Phoenix, AZ) is a Russell Lee Endowed Presidential Scholar in Photography and William and Bettye Nowlin Endowed Presidential Fellow in Photography at The University of Texas at Austin. He has also studied in London, Rochester, and Arizona. Miller’s work has been exhibited internationally, including in the Netherlands, Guatemala, New York, and Washington, D.C. In 2013 he attended the Little Brown Mushroom Camp for Socially Awkward Storytellers in St. Paul, Minnesota. He also contributes essays to The Believer Logger. www.buckymiller.com
Kayla Jones (born 1993, Austin, TX) received her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and attended the Virginia Commonwealth University Summer Studio Program in 2016. She has studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and participated in Ox-Bow School of Art and Co-Lab Summerscool. www.joneskayla.com
A.C. Rogers (born 1986, Saint Paul, MN) received her MFA in Sculpture and Extended from the University of Texas at Austin in 2016. Rogers is the David Bruton Jr. Endowment for Graduate Fellowships in the College of Fine Arts recipient and was a 2015 Ox-Bow Fellow. She has exhibited in numerous galleries including The Nightingale-Brown House at Brown University and has participated in “Proudení / Strömungen” symposium at the Kulturní centrum Rehlovice, in Rehlovice, Czech Republic.