It is now here that I have gathered and measured yes.
May 4—June 8, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 11, 2:00—5:00pm
Co-presented with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
Often working with staged objects and performative actions across disciplines, Scarborough-based artist Erika DeFreitas’ new body of work explores intuitive processes and their representation as extended ways of knowing. Influenced by 19th and early 20th century spirit and occult photography, It is now here that I have gathered and measured yes. employs camera and cameraless photographic techniques that recall photography’s important role in the heyday of the Spiritualist movement. Used as a tool to both prove and demystify paranormal activities, the spirit photography and séance documentation of the time perform a multitude of positions on belief, disbelief, and desire for something to exist beyond linear time and the material plane.
DeFreitas calibrates herself to this extrasensory desire, tracing her own intuition at work navigating that which both prompts faith and provokes skepticism. At Gallery TPW, this research follows her from documenting a private exercise in psychometry—a practice of reading the energies of objects through physical contact—to darkroom photograms that generate something akin to aura imagery, to performed gestures that both embody and disrupt the postures of a debunked psychic.
For DeFreitas, photographic processes aid in focusing her attunement towards “objects that glow,” as she describes them; understanding herself in relation to things and their energies, histories, and potential futures. Across these images, each outstretched hand invites a moment of focusing-inwards, as DeFreitas explores the spectrum of knowledge found between what is seen, what is felt, and what is otherwise imagined.