As we prepare to welcome our 2016 Emerging Artist Residents to Centrum, we plan on updating the community on some of our previous residents.
Dave Kennedy was part of our 2014 cohort. He was recently featured in Art21, discussing a project influenced by his time at Centrum. He was interviewed by Mark Reamy for the article “Remapping the City.”
Mark Reamy: How does the idea of illusion enter your work? Can you talk about the relationship between photography and illusion, and between photography and the real world?
Dave Kennedy: I am interested in taking away the blinders that can make someone into a predetermined something. I believe that being a person of color in America involves a process of moving through and adopting from many different cultures. Realistically, to settle on superficial assumptions that define what’s authentically Black or White, or anywhere in between, is virtually impossible. There are as many ways of being as there are people. So I point to layers, and the many ways of seeing an object, as a way to get beneath the skin of things.
Putting a camera up to one’s eye begins the process of manipulating what’s in front of us, to create a representation of what was there. In this way, photography is both documentation and manipulation at the same time. I want to exploit both of those aspects of photography to point to the way we accept the things we see. Creating an image of an image of an image, the work I make ends up appearing in so many ways: real, not real, facsimile. When viewers realize that there’s a trick involved, they take a longer look than usual.
Pictured: Studio view of A view to a passageway (in progress), 2015. Photo copies, green tube, wood block, & plastic mounted to Tyvek, 93 x 74 x 6 inches.