.TIFF 2022, Text for Emile Rubino.
FOMU Antwerp
Waalsekaai 47, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Once a year, I check the pockets of jackets and between the pages of half-read books for receipts which I gather and loosely arrange in piles around my apartment. These tattered bits of paper trace a years worth of transit tickets and sales promotions on nearly expired film. A few quick photos on my iPhone later, and the proofs of these transactions are tossed into the recycling. Despite my photo retouching business being exclusively online I write-off these irrelevant in-person purchases with conviction. As a freelancer, a cunningly devised tax declaration is the closest I’ll ever come to a job promotion.

The flexibility of digital freelancing is at once liberating and exhausting. Sure, I can travel with a laptop and work while sitting in a piazza in Florence but at home that flexibility creeps in before breakfast and hangs around like stale air throughout the day. Tiny crests of anxiety crash into me with each inbox notification. *URGENT* messages from clients arrive at every hour. I am always either working or conscious of work that needs to be done. Because nothing exists unless it has been photographed, I make myself available on demand in order to actualize the existence of things. In my spare time, I apply the same methodology to the pictures and objects I produce as an artist. I document the results of my work to promote myself and apply for residencies, grants and prizes for young and emerging artists.

Photo retouching is done well when all traces of labor are rendered invisible. Blemishes are spot healed, shadows are drawn-in, and lines liquified until there is nothing left standing in the way of the socially expected illusion. Slowly, I disappear behind the adjustment layers of exhibition views, ad campaigns for children’s clothes and weed edibles. At the end of a long day, I often catch myself trying to clone stamp the smudges and fingerprints on my screen in Photoshop. And in my mind’s eye, I regularly attempt to color correct the faded beer and ice cream pictures hanging behind the counter of  my local night shop.


Everything Leaks, 2020.
Press release written for the duo show of Maya Beaudry and Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes.
Polygon Gallery
101 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver, BC V7M 3J4, Canada

With time, Everything Leaks. Not even the ceilings of the newest condominiums, nor the well-guarded secrets of powerful politicians, are immune. A photograph is a controlled leak. The camera’s shutter opens for a moment flooding a sensitive surface with light and abruptly closes to stop any excess from overexposing the image. In this way, cameras are mechanisms for controlling the never-ending leakage in our lives. It leaks, you fix it, it leaks again...

In this collaborative exhibition, Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes and Maya Beaudry make use of collage, digital manipulation, stickers, watercolours and found imagery. These disparate elements are bound together in the act of sewing, stitching and re-photographing. Funneled back onto the picture plane, these bits and pieces stain, mark, and poke a hole through the illusory membrane of photographic images. Through these holes, light leaks and pigment spills. Quick fixes and bricolage bring our attention to the surface of images. Photographs of vacant apartments and airbrushed abstractions propagate into irregular kaleidoscopic structures. Constellations of stickers cling tightly to obedient dogs and movie stars — cross-contamination is everywhere.

Images are not simply embedded in our lives; they continually seep in and out by way of cracks and crevices. A finger on one will only cause more to spring up. The spills and drips of Kriangwiwat Holmes’ and Beaudry’s work outline a fluctuating middle ground somewhere between control and abandon. This fluid back-and-forth of verbal and non-verbal communication is also an intrinsic part of collaborating with a friend, a peer and a co-worker. When holding on also means letting go, we are reminded that at any moment, everything could leak again.

writing curatorial projects curatorial projects