For the first time, Gori & Kelly will be showing works from a series of collaborative photographs spanning five years. Equity Gallery’s exhibition will be the works’ first appearance in New York City.
In SIGHTSEERS, Gori & Kelly present photographs documenting the self-portraiture practices of travelers and tourists in destinations spanning the globe. Pulling from Gori’s sense of narrative and photographic framing, and Kelly’s attention to portraiture and memory, the couple anoint, probe, and challenge the photographic instinct for 21st Century self-documentation. As if taking The Americans abroad, the works find varied reactions to modern living, as narrowed through the gestural striving to place oneself in postcard environments far from home. The camera explores social contracts between families and friends, self-objectification for lovers, husbands, and wives, and catches the unconscious performances of those attempting to capture the momentous expectation around visiting art and historical landmarks, the pressures and joys less of the experience than its cataloging and near-immediate consumption to social media.
According to curator Arielle de Saint Phalle, “With SIGHTSEERS, Gori and Kelly explore the voyeuristic tendencies of their own photographic practice by capturing the self-portraiture of others. Even in the most photographed destinations, their subjects have a pioneer-like desire to document, collect, and preserve their memories. Contemporary visual dialogues are dominated by the selfie – by reframing these images in a wider context, Gori and Kelly expose the raw, fragile, often humorous and performative ways in which individuals choose to be remembered.”
Shot entirely on 20th Century prosumer film cameras, Gori & Kelly embrace through the tactile form and finite film stock a sense of the fleeting in the excess of digital documentation. This gives further echo to the friction between social media’s copy/paste renumerations and the one-of-a-kind quality of a never-to-return moment – which destinations like last summer’s ephemeral Floating Piers, itself up for just two weeks, help extol.