Carlos & Jason Sanchez New Work
Brothers Carlos and Jason Sanchez photograph meticulously staged scenes. Imbued with eeriness, a sense of suspense, and sometimes explosive sensationalism, their images are mystery stories that detonate in the mind of the viewer. In their first solo exhibition at Christopher Cutts Gallery in nearly fifteen years, the Montreal-based multimedia art duo present a selection of eight compelling new photographs.
In keeping with their past work, each of the images presented in this exhibition is painstakingly detailed. Often describing their work as “mise-en-scene photography,” the artists create elaborate productions through which to tell their stories. In these new images produced in California and in Quebec, people are not necessarily at the forefront of the narrative. Instead, the Sanchez brothers deliberately pull the camera back from their subjects to emphasize the influence that space can have on the telling and the perception of a story, their compositions each creating a somewhat unsettling, open-ended tone. In this vein, a group of people come together in Volunteer Search Party (2020) to help locate a missing person, indicating collaborative human action while still conveying a dark undertone.
In selected other works, the artists explore how an environment without people can be the setting for powerful and complex narratives. Epitomizing this effect, At a Moment’s Notice (2020) depicts a lavishly decorated banquet hall that appears to have been deserted with such urgency that all of the attendees’ personal belongings have been left behind. Highlighting feelings of loneliness and isolation, Nightscape (2021) depicts a woman sitting alone as seen through a hotel room window, the building set against the backdrop of a nameless city at night, and in Border Crossing (2021), a lone red suitcase is adrift on an endless expanse of crisp blue water, far from its owner. In each of the works presented in the exhibition, the Sanchez brothers freeze an enigmatic moment taken from a broader narrative that is never fully revealed.
Launched in tandem with the exhibition is the Sanchez Brothers’ new book, The Mystery Of. Published by Anteism and designed by Studio Feed, the publication features a retrospective of the artists’ work and includes a long-form interview with writer Adam Leith Gollner. The artists will be onsite during the exhibition’s opening reception for a book signing.
Presented by Christopher Cutts Gallery
Carlos and Jason Sanchez, award-winning filmmakers, have collaborated for over twenty years, working in photography, film, and mixed-media installation. Their debut feature-length film, Allure, which they wrote and directed, starred Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Evan Rachel Wood and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017. They presented an immersive holographic video piece in Le Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal’s major exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything. Their work is part of many public collections, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the National Gallery of Canada, Le Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.