Coen Young


Although a painter, Coen Young has turned to the elusive chemical processes of photography to reconsider the gesture toward image making that Daguerre implies is both designated and ontological. Using a photographic methodology, Young applies various media and chemicals in multiple layers such as gesso, marble dust and enamel onto a sheet of cotton rag paper; the last being silver nitrate, which is applied, fixed and washed just like a sheet of photographic paper. Each process leaves its trace on the paper, evident at the edges, and evokes a sense of the object’s history as it slowly reveals itself to the viewer. The result is a highly polished surface that claims a certain objectness that is also its antithesis, revealed in the tension between the surface and the ‘image’, which is only manifested in the reflection. The works gesture towards an experience or temporal moment that like a memory remains ungraspable and somewhat illusive.