“Barriers” depicts the macrocosm of conflict through expository thought and symbolic imagery. The images probe at the divergence of modes in which conflict manifests itself; internal and external. Both realms, though distinct, are fundamentally entangled within an elemental context where they respond to each other. Fire and smoke are motifs underscored in their own respective sets of images to individually express discord, ultimately coupling them together.
Fire allegorizes a contained catastrophe evocative of internal strife. The visceral torment is physical and psychological as it sets the figures ablaze, desensitized in their own innate inferno. With the capacity to stifle its victims from attaining relief, fire becomes established as an intimate obstacle to self. The sacrificial flames encircle, divide, and alienate. These images render the internal conflict as purgatorial yet placid in nature, fire as its direct representation.
Smoke writhes as a subdued abstraction of conflict from the external. This emblem serves as a caveat to a source of dissonance, concealed from view, that emerges as an ambiguous object of fixation for the figures seen. The smoke, exemplifying consequences of conflict, becomes such a focal point that it diminishes the importance of probing for its source. The recoil from broken systems in group and societal settings account for
how the wavering ribbons came to be. The smoke denotes tolerance of a reality fastened on the effects of blatant affliction and ignorance of its cause.
The visualization of conflict in “Barriers” is expressed through organic mediums, fire and smoke, both typifying contrasting states through which discord is revealed. These mutual entities serve as markers for complications developing from within and beyond the individual. In view of the exhibited concepts, the images bear a complex discourse between humanity and the looming barriers they attempt to navigate.
About Sean Mundy
Sean Mundy (Montréal, QC) creates conceptual imagery through photography and digital manipulation. Working through self-doubt and questions of identity, Sean constructs austere, yet neutral and distant scenes of palpable tension and uncertainty. With a subtle, minimal approach he aims to disrupt, select from, and delete classical narrative formula to form scenarios that are reliant on subjective associations.
With his meticulously constructed, photographed, and digitally manipulated images, he combines visual vocabulary from iconography, symbolism, and the surreal to present moments of dissonance between the individual, separate states of self, and collective systems. Using human form as a stand in for emotion, psychology, and physicality, the specific subjects are rendered subservient to the conflicts arising in the works.
Here are some photos from the opening reception on May 4th, 2019