Matt Shane

Tracy Valcourt
McBride Contemporain, Montréal
January 20 — February 26, 2022
Matt Shane Plasma Port, 2022.
Photo : Guy L’Heureux, courtesy of McBride Contemporain, Montréal
McBride Contemporain, Montréal
January 20 — February 26, 2022

Matt Shane’s Solastalgia at McBride Contemporain is a gorgeous series of landscape paintings based on Google Earth images whose resolution has been pushed beyond its ability to hold form. By deliberately abusing the surveillant reach of this ubiquitous digital platform, Shane aligns himself with artist and experimental geographer Trevor Paglen, whose photographic practice often involves surpassing the limits of visibility. Paglen employs these strategies not in a bid to promote ambiguity as a conclusive state, but to interrogate how thresholds of visibility restrict people from seeing how power operates. Understanding this requires one to recognize the difference between machine eyes and human eyes; I suggest that both Paglen and Shane offer such lessons of distinction through a cartographic sensibility toward landscapes, which draws attention to relationships between the surface of representation and the surface of the world.

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This article also appears in the issue 105 - New New Age

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