Solo Exhibition @ Gallery Jones (Vancouver)


Opening:       April 18 · 2019 ⁄ 6 – 9pm
Exhibition:   April 18 – May 11 · 2019

James Nizam works around the moon and opposite the sun. He tracks their heavenly dispositions to inhabit the night from the remote forests of British Columbia. Drawing upon thorough notations and experience accumulated over years of direct observation, Nizam anticipates the ancient galactic explosions that swarm and whirl around the North Celestial Pole tonight, echoes of unimaginably deep time.

Gallery Jones is pleased to present Apparent Motions, an exhibition of photographs, sculptures, drawings and sound media that invites viewers to move between the acts of thought, perception and embodiment to consider the appearance of intricate spatial forms. With a camera and a watch, Nizam documents, tracks and times the diurnal cycles of the night sky. In opening his camera’s aperture, he invites the remnants of massive cosmic bodies to find their final resting place, drawing lines in layers of celluloid. The combined revelations map the nodes of our minds to the constellations above, coalescing the volumes of the camera, the body and the stars.

The Field Transcripts (2019) are the first of many apparently coded languages that appear throughout the exhibition. At first, the transcripts are reminiscent of mysterious glyphs from the distant past inscribed upon detailed charts and geo-spatial coordinates. This opacity clears to reveal crisp graphic lines that represent the motion of the artist’s customized, multi-axial drawing machine – his camera. When applied to the camera as guides to zoom in/out over specific temporal increments, the transcripts become blueprints for exploring and tracking stars, movements and velocities. They are building blocks to articulate deep space(s) in the sky; keys to illuminate otherwise invisible forms and relations.

These mesmeric dimensions are revealed in the Drawings with Starlight (2018) series. The photographs anchor into the essential qualities of analogy photography, as light, space and time are the method and the means. The camera is both a passive instrument to be used (a detachable organ) as well as an active translator of a universal subtext. This description is particularly apt for a body of work that explores the intricate similarities of spatial thinking and visualization with the symphony of the stars and many possible dimensions that reveal themselves to the camera.

Other works, including Orrery and Earth Spin Moon Orbit (both 2019), extend the transmedia explorations that triangulate the instruments of their production to the viewers’ bodies and the star fields above. Architectures of the camera body, the gallery and the galaxy come to mirror our own fleshy interiors, as the plane of the negative and the vast depths of the cosmos correspond to the site of the percept.

For Apparent Motions, Nizam became immersed in a universe that at once surrounded and exceeded him – a universe that continues to speak in tongues embedded in starlight.

Darryn Doull
April 2019
This is a condensed excerpt of the full Apparent Motions exhibition essay by Darryn Doull.
For the full essay, please see Apparent Motions by Darryn Doull

Gallery Jones
258 E 1st Ave #1
Vancouver, BC V5T 1A6