Scott King BFA Photography Thesis Fall 2020


Multidisciplinary artist Scott King creates photographs, sculpture and conceptual artworks in the installation PhotoSynthesis. By exploring photography conceptually and looking at photographs with scepticism, King presents a situation with recognizable elements, in which the viewer is confronted with the conditioning of their own perception and prompted to reconsider their position on what a photograph is. ‘What is a photograph?’ Was the fundamental question driving the work. Leveraging the dialectic method, King has created post-photographic artworks that challenge defining elements and investigates the perception of what a photograph is, the qualities that are inherent within the object and the practice of production. To view a photograph, one must recognize it first as an object and that what it represents is out of place. Because of photography’s ubiquity, it is now commonplace. The photograph acts as a window or a mirror with chameleon capabilities. King used the logic of the dialectic method, mimicry, parody and humor to conceptualize and confront photography’s traditional form. His work urges the viewer to renegotiate photography as a nebulous, amorphic medium, by expressing his line of inquiry with the help of readymades, technology and sculpture. Using appropriated materials which are borrowed from a familiar day-to-day context, King creates a visual vocabulary that comments on domestic themes in a contemporary and commercially fueled society based on value. In the iterative process of the dialectic, King uses themes of: utility, mimicry, vision and authorship to reveal the defining qualities of photography require further definition. With these artworks, he questions the conditions of form and the appearance of a photograph in the context of contemporary visual culture in which images, representations and ideas normally function. By applying abstraction he investigates the dynamics of the photographic, creating absurd juxtaposition of objects which uniquely exude photographic qualities and at times invites the viewer to physically engage with the work. King has created work in which everyday objects are altered or detached from their natural function and attaining unique photographic qualities without the means of traditional photographic production. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky, at other times, they seem typical by-products of American domestic surfaces. consequently, establish a link between a product of commerce and domestication creating real-fake photographic objects which hide themselves in plain sight. King has assumed the roles of a researcher, artist and curator to effectively produce this work which consequently has granted him a valuable learning experience. Through the curiosity and wonder of photography, Photosynthesis shows an interpretive reasoning and contemplation of the photographic medium. The objects presented, act as conversation pieces that urge new thought in relation to the traditional form of photography. Often exciting non-sequitur correlations, the intended suggestion is that “We are looking at a photograph.”

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