Coolers, Lenses, Reflective Acetate, Lights, Glass Shell, Projection Screens or Photographic Paper
5' by 3' by 2'
Enlargments, Enlargements: Alternative Photographic Processes of Garnet Dirksen and Levi Glass, TRU, BC (duo)
The Prairie Sun Project, Coutts Centre, Nanton, AB
Party Stacker is an assemblage of repurposed coolers, two of which have been turned into opaque projectors. They sit on a third, which functions as a powered plinth. These opaque projectors create an image by reflecting light off of a surface rather than passing light through a transparent surface, such as a slide. In the case of the coolers, the surface off of which light is reflected is the interior of the cooler and various objects which can be placed inside.
Party Stacker was first exhibited and used to project objects of BBQ culture as a part of The Prairie Sun Festival, at the University of Lethbridge Coutts Centre for Western Heritage. In this exhibition, these projectors enlarged beer, cutlery, live fish, routisserating steaming carrots and other camping paraphernalia onto opposing walls. Together the projectors and projected images form an experience of the daily objects of camping and question the dichotomy between images and objects by placing a barrier between the two.
For its second exhibition Enlargements, Party Stacker was seen as both a sculptural object and as a darkroom device used to create large scale negatives. By using the opaque projector much like a conventional enlarger in a darkroom, the objects inside were directly enlarged onto light sensitive paper. The result, however, of using objects rather than conventional photographic media such as film, is a negative and backward, yet highly detailed image of common products we see on our store shelves.
This collection of products are representative of a usage beyond their original purpose: that of substance abuse, a particularly easily accessible and consumer form of escapism. This alternative view of these objects is situated within the convention of product photography, where an appealing label is situated in a central frame and in hyper focus. These negatives contrast the appeal of consumer aesthetics against the potential fatality of drug use.