The Construction of a Utopian Model - Helsinki Photography Biennial

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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This research, commissioned for exhibition at the Helsinki Photography Biennial in 2014, investigated the incorporation of installation alongside the photographic image. This research explored how the inclusion of installation in the production and exhibition of the 2-d artwork, could test the parameters of 'space' inherent within photography. Typically, the photograph is experienced as a 2-dimensional flat image. However, this work investigated its 'object' quality, testing its material properties and 3-dimensional possibilities. With sculptural elements introduced in an innovative, spatialised relationship to the photograph, this research harnessed the multi-dimensional properties of installation to explore the audience’s encounter with the 2-d artwork through physical positioning in the act of viewing.

This installation comprised a raised viewing platform reached by a wooden ramp, which incorporated a large-scale photographic image presented on a lightbox. It explored the audience’s relationship to the work, to investigate awareness within the act of viewing. Each step taken towards the photographic image was acoustically registered by the sound of the viewer’s footfall upon the wooden incline of the purpose-built viewing platform. This elevated view, was the key proponent of this work, thus the selection of image acted merely as a point of focal interest. The illumination of the photograph (depicting a landscape) highlighted notions of exterior and interior space, which cross-cut through the subject matter of this work. This illuminated quality affords a duality of inside/outside, as the vibrancy of the backlit image reveals the depiction of an exterior location. The lightbox, a motif consciously borrowed from the realm of advertising, acts as a temporal ‘window’ view of the world, re-emphasising the artwork’s locatedness within interior space. McIntyre’s work challenged the agency and value afforded to landscape through its depiction as a cultural construct and scene to be pictured, framed and defined by our relationship to it.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 27 Mar 2014
EventHelsinki Photography Biennial - Finnish Museum of Photography / Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 27 Mar 201414 May 2014


  • Photography
  • installation
  • landscape
  • urbanism
  • 17th
  • 19th Century European Landscape painting
  • the picturesque
  • audience participation/ interactivity.


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