Jack Shainman Gallery presents Jackie Nickerson’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. Terrain, a series of photographs taken in Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, is an investigation into the relationship between individuals and the landscape in relation to food production and farming practices.
In these photographs, utilitarian and natural objects have been stacked, coiled, balanced and held, obstructing the subject and forming classical geometric compositions. Nickerson’s sculptural, hybrid beings provide as much visual information on food cultivation as they do about the people depicted.
In her representation of the process where crops and raw materials become consumer products, Nickerson transcends marginalizing her subjects, which can be an effect of photographic documentation, by taking the focus pointedly away from individual identity or even a collective characterization. She comments that, “gazing steadily at the point at which one element meets another, Terrain asks us to think about these imprints left by the material processes of work as the evidence of our presence on the earth, and to think about how contemporary human beings, living in a western urban environment, can relate to the metaphysics of the labor which enables our lives.”