Aidan Gageler

Fine Art Photography

Aidan Gageler b.1998 is an Australian visual artist who works between London, UK and Sydney, AU. He is a fine art graduate from Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London. His practice is concerned with the ontology of photography.

His practice is composed primarily of traditional photographic processes while reflecting on the traditional composition of the photograph. The work made is generally in response to contemporary critique and pessimism surrounding the photographic practice.

Artworks are available for purchase

email: aidan@aidangageler.com.au
social: @aidangageler

My practice explores the chemical and physical manifestation of the photograph. Bringing together historical processes, materials and contemporary photographic critique. My work focuses on the photograph's ability to be a generative form, instead of being imitative. There is no mediation of a lens between the world and print - the prints organically interpret their journey. The work rejects the seemingly rigid methodologies of image making in the 20th century.

To allow for the prints to organically generate, there is little intervention and no projection of life onto the surface of the substrate. This happens almost exclusively in the darkroom, utilising standard chemical processes. Expired photographic paper is reinvigorated despite rendered unfit to fulfil its intended function. Inconsistencies and damages of chemistry give way to new purpose.

The prints are small in size and installation, yet riddled with intricacies which invite personal and intimate exchange. The materials hold a dormant image waiting to be developed. It is my decision to either reveal it by processing or to conceal it by fixing. My emphasis is expressed in the curation.

The projects champion what are normally considered faults in analogue photography. The purpose of this is to challenge what makes a photographic print while simultaneously challenging what is considered photography. The interaction of light and chemicals would suggest that they are photographs. However, the lack of identifiable subject contradicts the long-upheld belief that the photograph is representative of reality.

Contemporary writing on photography suggests that photography is coming to an end. It suggests that the current constraints on the photographic process are ill suited for the time. My practice exploits the flaws in this thinking and suggests that photography needs to be redefined. It asks what has photography become and what is it becoming?

Life of a Bee

2020 - Ongoing

Unique Monochrome Prints,
Various Sizes

This project is an investigation into the chemical and physical composition of photography. This focus is on traditional materials and methodologies. By reducing the photographic process down to the point of chemical and substrate, there is no projection of life onto the print by means of a lens. Without mediation of the lens, the papers are able to organically depict their experience of time passed. The role of the artist is to bring the latent image out of hiding and to stop the print developing before it locks the audience out.

A lot of the paper used is from the early 20th century and has been passed down from generation to generation of photographers. Most of the packets have been opened, fogged, damaged and marked, rendering them useless for normal means. This process reveals the beauty of the aged light allowing the papers to express themselves.

The work enlists and repurposes decades’ old materials to advance the contemporary debate as to what is 'photographic.' While the process is photographic, the resulting works challenge traditional notions of content and presentation.

Normaa, Normale

2020

Unique Monochrome Prints,
Gevaert Gevaluxe Paper from the 1930s, Composition of 4, Processed in 2020, 5.5 x 3.25"

Tones Paper

2020

Unique Monochrome Prints,
Foton Brom Paper from the 1970s, Composition of 48, Processed in 2020, 2.5 x 3.75"

Rich Blacks, Pure Whites

2020

Unique Monochrome Prints,
Rajar Darkroom Paper from the 1920s, Composition of 8, Processed in 2020, 6 x 4.25"

CV

Currently Living and Working in Newcastle, AU.

Selected Group Shows
2020
What does Photography Have in Common with a Fork? APT Gallery, London
Leave Only Traces, Copeland Gallery, London

2019
Merge, Southwark Park Galleries, London

2018
Youth, 35 North Contemporary Fine Art Gallery, Brighton

Curation
2020
What does Photography Have in Common with a Fork? APT Gallery, London
Leave Only Traces, Copeland Gallery, London

2018
Youth, 35 North Contemporary Fine Art Gallery, Brighton

Education
2020
First Class Honours - BA (Hons) Fine Art: Photography, Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London (UAL)

© Aidan Gageler. All rights reserved.