Nellie Castan Gallery (VIC) 2005
Following an Australia Council studio residency in Tokyo, Davis’ Tissue Issue series employs transparent Japanese tissue packets that are distributed as a mode of advertising in Tokyo streets. Using the cameraless technique of the photogram in the dark room, these objects are placed directly onto photographic paper and exposed to variations of coloured and filtered light, followed by further manipulations on the computer. The final images are visually sumptuous and evocative. The bright saturated colours and strange inversions that have occurred recall after-images of Tokyo neon at night.
Davis has placed much smaller, ‘traditional’ photographs between the photograms. These photographs offer glimpses of the transitional in-between spaces of a cluttered urban environment, their placement amongst the photograms evading simple narrative conclusions.
Tissue Issue continues Davis' play with photography’s conventions, producing images that are recognisable as photographic but which make the processes of their creation and the origins of their subject matter mysterious. In this way simple assumptions of objectivity, reality and literal depiction are rendered complex. The objects used in her photograms provide a pivot for a number of issues, particularly those of commodification, signage and fabrication. The works in Tissue Issue explore the metamorphoses that occur between nature and culture, between image and text and between the photograph and its source.