at Index Gallery
Wordsand Photography by Jadynn Wolff
Edited by Adam Hendrik
Once you embrace and encounter the saturated embodiment of Ryan Mathieson’s exhibit eloquently titled: Inter-Tidal, you will begin to understand his composite of natural states suspended within time, space, and fragmented photo-documentation. Ryan’s affinity for photography began at a young age after he inherited a collection of cameras. His grandmother passed down photographs which he would later use as reference, and also recreate in his own imagery. Recently he has explored new territory that he describes as another plane to communicate an intimate place within his own existence. He doesn’t view it as something past, but as an additional stage in the present process. He says that by conveying this essence is one of the struggles he faces within his almost archival attempt at showcasing the active process.
The complexity of Inter Tidal is enhanced when Ryan blurs the line that separates art and artist. Ryan uses remote controlled lighting to encourage you to interact with the piece titled Barely Touching, which he describes as ugly and abrasive. You will not be reprimanded for your inherent want to engage with the lights, cheap plastic, and tree bark. Ryan is critical when he analyzes his art and craft. It is with the accessible and ordinary which he challenges himself and his audience to create a new dimensional experience. Ryan draws from experience and environment to bring his artwork into a deep and meaningful conception. The book by author Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us, inspires Ryan’s Inter Tidal. His personal experience is prominent in each piece, past and present. He immerses himself in his subject to a full extent, then goes to the extreme to obtain an informed and artistic final product. Ryan has disallowed himself to use the basic photographic print as the finished product. He forces himself to study it, deconstruct it, and then to reassemble it again, all to understand. It is necessary to for Ryan to obscure, duplicate, destroy, then attach it to some amorphous object and find new matter. Ryan hopes that Inter Tidal, and the various subjects found in this photographic experience, will accelerate the translation to a rate that becomes accessible in order to acknowledge its evolution and scope of possibility. Translation will not stop at his photographs, but will continue to grow in your mind after the fact. He feels as though this conversation about translationis ever prominent in his work and if he is able to use photography to scrutinize how complex it really is, he has achieved his goal.
“There is nothing more gratifying that cutting up a photo and gluing it
to a table, which as a result, expresses the complexity and the feeling
of how fragile it can be.”
“There is nothing more gratifying that cutting up a photo and gluing it to a table, which as a result, expresses the complexity and the feeling of how fragile it can be.” , Ryan tells me. I agree with Ryan. It is the tiny pictures that gather and form together to make up the whole image. Whether or not this was the intended purpose, it is what I gained from it. This idea of translation rang true as I photographed Inter Tidal. Originally, I walked around with my camera and attacked each piece from a plethora of angles in hopes to catch its honesty. I admitted to Ryan, in these rapid fleeting moments of flash photography, something was missing. He then showed me a mixed media piece titled: A Confused Tumult of Water Sounds. It was then that I saw the true complexity of his subject matter. This serves as a personal reminder to look at things closely, then to take a step backward, create a sense of distance, and attack it from all sides, or you will miss something altogether.