You Are Standing in an Open Field (Mount Adams, Washington) Spike Edition, 2019
Archival pigment print on Hahnemühle photo rag paper
80 x 107 cm
Edition of 30 + 5 AP, signed and numbered on back
Considering himself an artist-archivist, Jon Rafman (*1981, Canada) appropriates images from the internet to critique real and virtual worlds, seeking to document how our perception of images changes as technology advances. Internet subcultures, modernist painting, and the tactility of flat screens play a large role in his work, often resulting in violent yet sublime photographs and videos.
Rafman’s edition for Spike, from his series »You are standing in an open field«, is a print of a cluttered desktop and keyboard. Where the computer screen would be, an image of a majestic snowy mountain stands partially obscured by the ephemera of daily life. Cigarette butts, plastic cups, crumpled receipts, and other detritus strewn across the workspace juxtapose the »higher« and »lower« planes, or the real and the ideal. The image thus portrays both our aspirations and the banalities of our existence; at once a portrait, a still life, and a landscape, the tableaux captures the human experience.
Recent solo exhibitions include La Casa Encendida, Madrid (2021); Centraal Museum, Utrecht (2020); Fri Art Kunsthalle, Fribourg (2019); Fondazione ModenaArti Visive (2018); Sprüth Magers, Berlin (2017); and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2016). He lives in Montreal.