Howard Ursuliak

Vestige (Shelter)

2003
Category: 
Howard Ursuliak's images focus on the traces of history and the "vestiges" of human, cultural and social presence. His series title addresses what he understands "is left, what has been left of the past in the present - suspended present." The work "Vestige (Shelter)" shows a very public space; a bus shelter whose glass exterior has been smeared and smudged. The subject matter is at best ordinary, and at worst, off-putting. The work, however, demonstrates Ursuliak's interest in photography's capacity to register "the generic social body ... as absence." The traces of humanity that mark the surfaces and spaces in the photograph indicate both intimacy and alienation. These same qualities create an ambiguous viewing experience - while there is the desire to enter into the picture and engage emotionally or imaginatively with the subject matter, one is held back by the condition of what is depicted.
Title
Vestige (Shelter)
Date
2003
Medium
Photograph
Materials
chromogenic print
Dimensions
138.5 x 170.3 cm framed
Nationality
Canadian
Credit line
Purchased 2009
Accession number
2009.1