Jeff Downer’s work aims to explore everyday realism, creating images that call into question the staged and the immediate. The subjects of the photographs – humor, loneliness, and discrepancy – are observations on lives lived ordinarily. His most recent exhibition, “Objects of My Affection,” adopts aspects of the visual language used by commercial industries and aims to balance the photographic image with their mode of presentation. In 2017, at Project Duplex, Downer called attention to the relationship between photographs, the objects they document, and the obsolescence of shopping catalogue photography with his exhibition “Handsome Rewards”. He has participated in several artist residencies, most recently at the Tenjinyama Art Studio in Sapporo, Japan, the Or Gallery in Vancouver, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. His most recent artist book accompanies his exhibition, “Handsome Rewards”.
I know this feeling. I was here before.
“I know this feeling. I was here before” explores a variety of un-named locations in terms that visually speak about universal issues: globalization, alienation, and our behavior as consumers. The locations are primarily outlying urban environments where I seek to unearth a sociology of locality by focusing on the effects that geographical environments, both constructed and natural, imprint on individuals that dwell within. By venturing into these spaces, I am exposing and activating the everyday to highlight the humor and the perplexity that is embedded within our cultural fabric. This work is about the experience of looking and thinking, conjuring bigger questions of life — those of our daily existence and where meaning originates. Being open-ended in my picture-making of people, places, and objects, I am searching for signs and traces of the prophetic and the uncanny, while mingling them with the banal, the absurd and the weight of our lives lived daily.
To view more of Jeff Downer’s work please visit his website.