Samuel Davis They were here @Empty Qauter Gallery Dubai printed on Hahnemühle Digital FineArt Paper

Samuel Davis, The Empty Quarter Gallery and Hahnemühle are pleased to present “They Were Here”, a new and exciting collation of images from previous bodies of work. Davis plays with the notion that a photograph is simultaneously a document, a truth, a memory  and a lie. His work plays with the idea that the meaning of a scene changes from the literal as it is imagined, then captured by the photographer, stored and finally presented to the viewer. Photographs are taken analog (glass-plates, film), entirely printed on Hahnemühle Bamboo, Photo Rag® Pearl and Photo Rag® Ultra Smooth and on the walls of The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai through March17th 2019.

They were here by Samuel Davis
'They were here' by Samuel Davis

Seemingly huge dinosaurs, rocket ships and other toys are represented in an almost plausible way. “My  photography has  been  driven  by  the  desire  to  make  images  that  represent  that  feeling  of  comfort through  confusion”. “This act  of  viewing  makes  all  of  us  part  of  this  place  that  we  are  drawn  to  for  reasons  we  are  not  quite  sure  of” reflects Davis.

Davis’ childhood memories are of toys  in the  foreground, the  television in the  back. Two imaginary realities  at  once. He began to identify the  desert  as  “the”  place  where  things  happened. The  Roadrunner vs  The  Coyote. Rockford Files chasing someone  to Vegas. John Wayne, Wagon Train, and every “B”  Sci-Fi  movie  worth anything. Atomic  testing, war movies, specials  about  UFO’s –  they were  all  in the  desert. Some  place,  so foreign to the  gulf  coast  it  was  beyond fantasy. ” I wasn’t  sure  if  the  desert  really existed, or if  was  just  a  movie  set” says Davis.

Likewise Samuel Davis series „Jettisoned”, “Flight Attendants” and “Tragic Heroes” find themselves in engineered simple scenes that seem confusingly believable aginst today’s CGI and green screen technology where  audience  no longer needs  to fill  in the  gaps. „The  late  1970’s  and 1980’s  of my childhood were  not  exempt  from  the  sweeping changes of the  generations  that  preceded them.  The  ashtrays  slowly disappeared from  the  armrests and seatbelts  became  required”, reflects Davies. The  term  stewardess  became  taboo in favor of the  more  appropriate  “flight attendant”. Davis’s  figure spacemen in “Tragic Heros” suggest  their relation to science  fiction — demonstrate  instead a  kind of  wistful  vulnerability we  would never have  been permitted to observe in the  Apollo age. Would they have even passed the rigorous testing required of aspiring astronauts?

The  last  group of  images  included in this  exhibition come  from  a  portfolio entitled „Tin”, in which the  future  truly meets  the  past:  Davis  has  used antiquated photographic  processes, including daguerreotypy, wetplate  collodion, and tintype, to capture  the  images  of  primitive robots  lurching over an uneven surface,  what  we  call  UFOs  soaring  through the  air, or pristine flying contraptions  turned into specimens  before  the  camera. He  thus  reminds  us  of  how  photography’s  apparent realism  can play with our dreams. Photography’s  evident  truthfulness  makes  it  one  of  the  best vehicles  for creating compelling images  of  that  which does  not  exist.

Samuel Davis images on Hahnemühle Giclée paper
At The Empty Quarter Gallery Dubai: They wer here by Samuel Davis printed on Hahnemühle FineArt Inkjet Paper

Davis images do not rely on digital  manipulation (except  to correct imperfections  such as  scratches). Instead, his art is made in the camera. The result belies is simplicity,  creating a fun but thought provoking exhibition which strikes every observer as they are printed on the perfectly matching matte or glossy Digital FineArt paper by Hahnemühle. All prints are made by the print lab The Empty Quarter Gallery – a Hahnemühle Certified Studio – on Hahnemühle Bamboo, Photo Rag® Pearl and Photo Rag® Ultra Smooth

At The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai through March17th 2019.

Samuel Davis "They were here"on Hahnemühle FineArt Inkjet Paper
Samuel Davis "They were here"on Hahnemühle FineArt Inkjet Paper Bamboo, Photo Rag® Pearl and Photo Rag® Ultra Smooth in 64 inch
©Samual Davis Vasily
©Samual Davis Vasily
©Samuel Davis fran1 on Hahnemühle Digital FineArt Inkjet Paper
©Samuel Davis fran1
©Samuel Davis blastadam
©Samuel Davis blastadam
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