Loading grants the viewer access to the rudimentary details of an image before seeing its full detail, and in doing so, highlights the notion of photograph as artifice and illusion.Loading was created by taking screenshots of Instagram loading in low reception areas, with the recognisable loading circle (indicating the speed which the image takes to load) remaining on the surface of each work. This instantly resonates with the viewer, calling into question whether this is an image they know, or is the obscured figure someone they know – perhaps themselves, or is the artist inviting us into her personal space with images of herself, or her family? In this way, Loading extends strands of Hayes’ photographic practice in which she seeks personal connections between self, familial subject, photography and art historical context.
Hayes recalls Gerhard Richter’s, Portraits. Painting Appearances, a series of paintings exclusively sourced from photographic images and categorised according to their origin – “Devotional Pictures” compiles images that can be traced back to family photo albums, whereas the source images for “Continual Uncertainty” was primarily drawn from newspapers or magazines and reflect the zeitgeist. However, the majority of works referenced portraits of people from Richter’s intimate circle: artists, friends and family members.
Hayes was initially drawn to the out of focus Loading stills for their technological nod to the construction of an image present within the image. Though, she is equally drawn to the aesthetics of the resulting photographic work, which often appeared as abstract bands of colour reminiscent of Mark Rothko paintings. Perhaps Loading slips painting into photography in a similar way to which Richter slips photography into painting.
Siri Hayes lives and works in Melbourne. Solo exhibitions include: Backdrop, Stockroom Kyneton, (forthcoming); Holding Still, Sarah Scout Presents, 2017; Back to Nature Scene,Heide Museum of Modern Art, 2013; All You Knit Is Love, Centre for Contemporary Photography, 2012; Dredge (in collaborations with music composer Eve Duncan), Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts, 2010 and Listening Portraits, Latrobe Regional Gallery, 2010. Group exhibitions include: Framing Nature, McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery (forthcoming); An Unorthodox Flow of Images, Centre for Contemporary Photography, 2017; Revealing Identity: The collections of La Trobe University, Bendigo Art Gallery, 2017. Hayes’ work is held in a number significant Australian collections including the NGA, NGV, Artbank, Australian Parliament House, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Latrobe University, Monash University Museum of Art.