Luther Konadu, Figure as Index, 2015-ongoing
Luther Konadu: No Further
Sep 23, 2023 – Jan 14, 2024
MacKenzie Art Gallery
Regina, Canada

There is determination in rejection. Luther Konadu’s latest exhibition, No Further, continues the artist’s ongoing exploration of portraiture photography, which began in 2015. Departing from conventional depictions of human subjects, Konadu directs his attention to the medium of photography itself and the compositional elements inherent to the genre. By interrogating photography as a vehicle of access, the artist encourages viewers to consider both its limitation and its potential and how it chooses what to capture with its viewfinder.

Built on a strong understanding of modern and contemporary photography, Konadu’s work recalls French semiotician Roland Barthes’ discussion of the photographic image as a complex interplay of signifiers – unveiling layers of meaning embedded within the visual representation – or American philosopher Susan Sontag’s critical analysis of photography’s relationship to memory and truth, which questioned the role of the photograph as both a document of reality and a subjective interpretation, raising awareness of the medium’s potential to shape our perceptions and memories. Through his innovative and thought-provoking approach to making contemporary portraiture, Konadu challenges viewers to question the boundaries and possibilities of photography as an artistic medium.

Konadu’s new body of work transcends traditional notions of portraiture. The artist presents new insights that shed light on the evolving nature of the medium and its role in shaping our understanding of identity, representation, and the act of looking itself. In No Further, Konadu’s artistic vision merges with the intellectual richness of contemporary photography discourse, fostering an environment of critical engagement and opening avenues for profound contemplation on the nature and significance of portraiture in contemporary society.