Bad Spirits exhibition: Mark Kasumovic

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Mark Kasumovic is a Canadian artist currently based in Middlesbrough, UK. His work revolves around the inherent truth-value of the photograph and the many limitations within the medium. His current work investigates the relationships between technology and knowledge production within the context of scientific research technological instruments. He holds a BFA from Ryerson University, and MFA from NSCAD University, and has recently completed his practice-based PhD at the University of Western Ontario. His work has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Gallery 44, the Museo de Arte Contemporaneao de Buenos Aires, the Harbourfront Centre, Pleasure Dome, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and the Griffith Museum of Photography.

Exhibition Text – A Human Laboratory

Mark Kasumovic’s A Human Laboratory brings together recent photographs and texts from the past five years that focus on sites of advanced research, information collection and technology. The appropriately chosen title of this over-arching project, Instrumental, can be read as a double entendre; both how instrumental scientific research becomes in our daily life and the fact that complex instruments are required throughout the research process. In our modern society, knowledge production and technology exist in an endless feedback loop, mutually necessary for each other in the relentless pursuit of progress.

Additionally, through another instrument—Kasumovic’s camera—these spaces are converted into visual information we can read, albeit subjectively and with limited explanation. His titles, largely didactic, provide only a vague explanation of the spaces function, but it is enough to spark our curiosity, while narrated text expands on the possible readings of the images. Rigidly composed and immaculately printed in large scale, Kasumovic’s photographs invite close inspection. Primarily devoid of human presence, we are left to question what strange and unique activities take place in these unfamiliar spaces.

Considering that documentary photography often claims to reveal the unseen and underappreciated for public benefit, Kasumovic’s work is well positioned within this tradition. Even if hidden in plain sight, we haven’t seen the spaces he records because they remain restricted from public view, accessible only by specialized personnel. Ultimately, Kasumovic’s A Human Laboratory explores the ways in which technology and photography constantly define the way we live our lives and affect how we perceive the world around us.

TEXT//Eliot Wright
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2019


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