Mark Davis Honorably Mentioned

Jun 24–Jul 15, 2019
Online Exhibition

Mark Davis’ series, Constellations, follows the artist as he pieces together a kind of archive following his father’s death in 1994, the result of a plane crash in Hopewell, PA. This series follows a physical arc of highs and lows, with the artist training his lens on glowing twilight skies, or downward, to a collection of cigarette butts scattered with near choreographic precision along cracked chunks of asphalt. That Davis’ images follow the same kind of path that his father’s tragic plane crash would have, the same sort of movement through the celestial highs and earthy lows, is no mistake. Davis actively seeks out those places and people closely associated with this event that set a deeply fractured point into his young life. Davis includes brief selections of text to accompany the images in this series, which serve as guideposts in the narrative he creates. His words help to identify a subject who appears as a member of the crash’s first responder team, and provide deeper meaning when we discover that an image of colored plastic heaped upon a rock is in fact remnants of the plane. Spliced within images of the crash site in the present are family snapshots from the past, and side-by-side comparisons of the site now, and immediately following the crash. In his flipping between personal family snapshots, to an image of a smoking crash site paired next to the calm, benign field the area has become today, Davis points to the feelings that seep into much of this series, those of his own unknowable trauma. Locating the pain of having lost a father he can’t remember, to an accident all but forgotten to the outside world, is a significant aspect of Davis' project. The title of this series, Constellations, seems incredibly apt given these considerations. Constellations of stars hanging in the sky stand as markers of legendary stories and unknowable heroes lost to time, acting as testimony to events so impactful, they have become entwined within our world in a permanent fashion. For Davis, this plane crash, and his father’s death, have become a point of reflection and meditation that mark a pivotal moment in his life, one that he continues to look back on, even as time moves forward.

Participating Artist

  1. Mark Davis (b. 1992 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a photographer and bookmaker currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He holds a BFA from New York University.

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