This serves as a walk-through of an exhibition of photographs entitled "Kew Settee" shown at G+ Galleries in Toronto in 2008. In "The Practice of Everyday Life," Michel de Certeau writes: "To walk is to lack a place. It is the indefinite process of being absent and in search of a proper. The moving about makes … an immense social experience of lacking a place—an experience that is, to be sure, broken up into countless tiny deportations (displacements and walks) compensated for by the relationships and intersections of these exoduses that intertwine. . ." In Kew Settee, the photographed benches repeatedly reference unseen transients – and the spaces provisionally occupied by them. In their vacancy the benches signal desire – an expectation of comfort, rest, and calm, and at the same time they denote absence. The memorial plaques affixed to many of them herald this absence: Markers of the departed, these epitaphs remind us of the fleeting nature of the present. Amidst an opulent nature these two evocations compete for our attention. Are we walkers or sitters? Compelled by desire or slowed by reflection and loss?
© Katy McCormick, 2014
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