About the Photographer
Canadian, b. 1970
Kristan Horton’s multi-disciplinary practice includes sculpture, drawing, photography and video. Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove (2003-2006) is a series of two hundred diptychs juxtaposing film stills from Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 apocalyptic cult classic Dr. Strangelove with Horton’s recreation of the scenes in miniature using everyday, household objects. Like the double title of the series, Horton’s images perform a doubling through creating imitations of imitations, recognizing films as simulacra that use props and sets to resemble real objects and places. Through comparing the original film still and Horton’s copy, a conversation with the medium of photography itself is enacted, while, for Horton, recasting scenes from a film about nuclear holocaust using everyday objects brings the film’s moments and message closer to home. In particular, Horton’s reenactment of the Columbia Pictures logo foregrounds the disparity between the film’s and Horton’s modes of production. As Horton stated in a 2007 interview with Nicole Pasulka, "the mundane objects I use in the Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove project are positioned, rotated, lit, and framed until they begin to register as objects in the film. This pulls the objects away from real life at the same time as it pulls the film away from the screen. The mundane identities of the objects…are left intact… They retain their status as Coke cans, coffee grounds, and forks. The B52 bomber is itself a prop, a model of an actual B52 bomber. In most cases, the Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove project compositions are themselves an imitation of an imitation." Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove culminated in an exhibition of over forty prints and a catalog of the same title including all two hundred diptychs at the Art Gallery of York University in 2007.
In his later Orbits series (2009) Horton takes photographs with a digital camera as he circumnavigates objects in his studio—a doorknob or a pile of papers, for example. He then digitally fuses the images together to achieve a multi-layered composite image that combines many different perspectives in a single composition. Reminiscent of Cubist artworks in which objects are broken up and depicted from a multitude of viewpoints, Horton’s Orbits use reproduction and repetition to push simple, representational photographs into the territory of abstraction.
Kristan Horton studied fine art at the University of Guelph and the Ontario College of Art and Design, completing an MFA at the University of Guelph in 2007. He has exhibited extensively in Canada and internationally, including group exhibitions at Model Arts Niland Gallery, Sligo, Ireland; Müncher Kammerspiele, Munich, Germany; Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF), Lofoten, Norway; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; and Inter Communications Center, Tokyo, Japan. Solo exhibitions include Silver Flag Projects, Montreal; Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto; White Columns, New York; and The Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. In 2010 Horton received The Grange Prize for Contemporary Photography. He resides in Toronto, Canada.