News Release

Lee Henderson
- Still Life with Thanatotic Animals

"It is the false problem of the terminus that fascinates me—in the persistence of collective histories and the brevity of individual lives—and the ways in which we accept, evade, or deny the knowledge of our own impermanence."

gallerywest is pleased to present Still Life with Thanatotic Animals by Lee Henderson as part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Henderson's installation consists of glossy metallic C-print photographs of hunting trophies. The black and white prints, suspended from cables running the length of the gallery, were shot through the viewfinder of a second digital camera.

Taken in a heritage house in Alberta, Henderson focuses on capturing the technical, but also the sensory observations that help complete a day-to-night transformation. By night, each print will be lit only by a red glow. It is through this projection that the observer is exposed to a series of life-sized images set at street-level view.

Think—darkroom ambiance.

In the work Henderson addresses the notion of things being frozen while at development, soon to be recorded and packaged, which furthers a detached human regard seemingly fostered through our constructed environment.

The connection made through this personified exhibition is deliberate, forging the relations between photography, hunting and museology. The viewer can then take such acknowledgement and explore the aftershock of each parallel.

"The work explores the Freudian Death Drive as a subtle but profound motivator common to photography, trophy hunting and the designation of archival or heritage status—in that they're all ways of arresting things," states Henderson.

Identifying the historical sense of ‘Thanatotic’ with Greek ancestral processes of sleep, stasis and death, Henderson presents an all-encompassing snapshot into "non-life."

"With this body of photographs I continue my exploration of mortality through its bodily implications and its cultural manifestations," Henderson explains, "...the dead animal’s head as an archival trophy echoes photography’s denial of time."

Still Life with Thanatotic Animals runs from May 1st to May 31st.

The opening reception will be held on Thursday, May 5th from 7PM – 10PM.