Postponed: Jackie Dives | A Room for the Pain

April 17 – May 23 | Capture Photography Festival Selected Exhibition

Capture Photography Festival opens today with an excellent program, now reconceptualized. This year’s Festival includes A Room for the Pain, a solo exhibition by Jackie Dives at Gallery Gachet originally scheduled for April 17 to May 23 and now postponed.

From Capture Executive Director Emmy Lee Wall: “While we are all staying close to home, Capture has reconceptualized many aspects of our programming to bring digital content directly to our audiences. I hope you will enjoy our catalogue, website and Instagram as we deliver virtual exhibitions, the Incubator online auction, filmed talks and tours as well as other online content to you. It is a way for us to celebrate the work of the incredible local and international artists featured in this year’s Festival, and, importantly, to stay connected.”

A Room for the Pain is a photo series by documentary photographer and contemporary artist Jackie Dives. Created soon after the death of the artist’s father to drug overdose, the series is a personal testament to a public health emergency. When Dives was informed of her father’s death, she visited the single-room occupancy hotel where he had been living. She was compelled to photograph the room, his body in the funeral home, and places and things that reminded her of him. Working with film, she documented her experience of the “strange and jarring circumstances of losing a parent to such a stigmatized death.” Dives used double exposure to compose each image, a technique that traces her “confused, layered, and fraught emotions,” as the photographs honour her father, mourn her loss, and commemorate their relationship.

Dives’s documentary photography has been published internationally for newspapers, magazines, and websites and exhibited in galleries in Vancouver. For A Room for the Pain, Dives seeks the space of an art gallery, emphasizing the detail and effect of each c-print and situating the series beyond journalism. As art, the series is immersed in the diaristic and vulnerable aspects of Dives’s practice, becoming autoethnographic: “for the first time I felt like I was photographing inward instead of outward.”

A Room for the Pain has particular meaning in the neighbourhood of Gallery Gachet, the Downtown Eastside, where those most directly affected by substance use are often the object of journalism and research rather than the narrating subjects. The exhibition offers space to reflect on the value of harm reduction in the context of Vancouver’s overdose crisis, conventions and ethics of documentary, as well as a photographic tradition including the work of Sally Mann, Jo Spence, and Nan Goldin, whom the artist cites as feminist inspiration.

We anticipate the day when we can safely welcome you to the gallery to contend with the added layers of fraught meaning witnessed by Jackie Dives’s challenging series.

This exhibition is part of the 2020 Capture Photography Festival Selected Exhibition Program. The project is supported by a Tricera Printing Grant. Gallery Gachet acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Vancouver Foundation, the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia, and the Lacey Prize 2019.

Image: Jackie Dives, Murray Hotel, 2017/19. C-print, 91.44 x 60.96 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

A Room for the Pain

This entry was posted in Events, Exhibitions
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