Hesitation is an outdoor installation of photographs along boulevard St- Laurent (“The Main”) in Montreal. They are photographs of the artist and other actors printed and mounted to metal supports identical in size and shape to parking signs and are attached to light posts on each side of the street between Sherbrooke and St. Viateur streets. The exhibition was coordinated by Galerie B-312.
The images are studio lit portraits of actors, with a simple coloured backgrounds. In this series the artist plays out examples of awkward relationships that encompass racial, class, gender and institutional realms. For example, one of the pairs of signs depicts the artist as undergoing some kind of medical intervention, where a masked surgeon is about to perform some act on a waiting patient (the artist). The institution meets the individual.
From Kevin deForest’s text for the exhibition:
Paul Litherland’s “Hesitation” activates the urban visual fabric of identity by the installation of photographs on light posts through the Main. Mounted to metal backings, they resemble traffic signs in their scale and the shape of their rounded off edges. A graphic clarity is maintained by the simple format of the imagery – figures from the ankles up posed in front of monochrome backdrops. But unlike the crosswalk ‘marching man’ found at pedestrian crossings, the subjective, funky presence of identities and social situations counter the state provided sign system, and their design of transparent order and protection…. Read the complete text here: