March 4, 2016 – April 10, 2016
Opening Friday March 4th 6 – 9 pm
Essex Flowers is pleased to present Photographs, an exhibition of new work by Justin Berry.
Over the course of the shoot, in order to get the pictures he wanted, Justin Berry had to kill more than one person. He was forced to wander the woods and kill wild animals for their meat and skin, crafting the equipment he needed to survive. At one point he even had to kill a tiger with only his belt knife.
That these experiences took place within a video game does not render them without relevance. In a world where many of us find our loved ones, our friends, and our occupations through assumed online personalities, framing the gaze of our avatars has never been more relevant or more necessary.
“…Berry’s flâneur is entirely his own, more Walter Benjamin’s detective and less Baudelaire’s voyeur, charting the extents of the overlooked terrain of the digital Anthropocene, an artificially produced nature created by countless anonymous videogame designers.”1
His photographs are composed of screen captures, often more than a hundred, stitched together to create a seamless and high resolution image of a world never meant to be seen with such clarity. By examining the virtual context through the language of photography, Berry begins establishing a vocabulary for finding meaning within our highly mediated world.
“…a composite of composites, as every pixel has been rendered from millions of lines of code and pre-existing textures created by the game’s designers, captured within the experience of the game itself (one notorious for its violence and militarism), and ultimately manipulated by Berry. In its artifice, it reveals all the artifice of image-making itself.”2
Justin Berry is an artist that lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He is a recipient of the 2014 NYFA artist's fellowship. His work has been exhibited internationally in various venues, with work recently on view at CAVE in Detroit, CUAC in Salt Lake City, and at the University of Richmond Art Museum. Recent issues of Frieze, Pin-Up magazine, Media-N, and Prattfolio included features on his work and Bomb Magazine commissioned the piece I-Would.com from him as part of their portfolio series in 2013.
1 Tasman, David Andrew. “Video Paradise: Beauty in a Time of Violence”, PIN-UP Magazine, Issue 18 2 Bridle, James. “Video Game Photography”, Frieze Magazine, Issue 173