Wes Kline comes to St. Lawrence as an Assistant Professor of Photography and Video after teaching for six years at the University of Florida. He earned his MFA in Studio Art from the University of Illinois, Chicago in 2005. His research and work looks at "minor" pivots in modernist narratives, focusing specifically on aesthetics, language and performance in proximity to architecture. He has shown his work nationally and internationally and teaches courses in photography and extended media, including video, installation and sound.
MFA in Photography, University of Illinois, Chicago (2005); BA in Visual Art, University of Maryland Baltimore County (2003); BA in English, Grove City College (1996).
My approach to pedagogy is rooted in the philosophy of exchange, rather than in the privileged voice of the singular speaker. As such, I see my role in the classroom as a facilitator of heterogenous strategies for understanding not only contemporary sites of knowledge, but of the structures that underpin the transmission of those sites. I see teaching as what Maurice Blanchot identified as ‘beginning to speak’; this is a position that embodies both responsibility and agency for every participant in the classroom.
This philosophy of exchange in relation to production derives not only from contemporary theorists like Jacques Ranciere or Nicolas Bourriaud, but from the location of the contemporary photographic image as an interface which facilitates and structures the social. Identifying the photograph as a node within a sociality suggests that the photograph is not limited to its traditional reading as generating meaning solely based on the denotative content within the frame (as in Roland Barthes’ punctum and studium), but is a progressive and vigorous interface into social relations, opening up a space for that figure of relations that seems not to simply ‘inform’, but rather to ‘form.’
The most important lesson from this examination of ‘seeing’ is to make the leap from ‘seeing’ to ‘acting.’
I structure assignments, readings, and production exercises for participants in the classroom that will enable them to speak through the photograph, and allow them to experiment with new forms for the expression of the photographic. The classroom becomes a laboratory for experimental research which is not limited to art, but extends to every discipline, using the photograph as an interface into diverse practices such as anthropology, etymology, cognitive science, biology, architecture, and history. I help the participants in the classroom to identify and research contemporary practitioners such as Francis Alys, Elad Lassry, Santiago Sierra, Thomas Ruff, Catherine Opie, Pierre Huyghe, Forced Entertainment, Goat Island, Thomas Hirschorn, and Collier Schorr, who present the photograph as a productive location for approaching the construction of a social relation through seeing.
Illuminated space all collects around a mind which possesses it.
- Emmanuel Levinas, Existence and Existents.
My recent work functions as a series of propositions, from which I hope that we can start to approach the idea of a ‘mind possessing illuminated space’, a thought which opens out onto the photographic, political, social and ontological. I work from the position of approximation, which allows me to reproduce historical, ideological, and aesthetic sites as collections of “luminous events,” rather than fixed points in a historical trajectory. In my practice, the proximal resists anchorage, and instead demonstrates a mobile subjectivity moving along vectors of social, economic and aesthetic relations. Much of my recent work has addressed architecture as a potential site of ‘collapsed spatiality,’ or in other words, as a site that is imbued with political potential for exchange and modification.
Living Dwelling. Orange County College Gallery. Los Angeles, CA. Solo Show.
Minotaurocracy. Art Center South Florida, Miami, FL. Solo show.
New Video. Art Link Gallery, Miami, FL.
Hauntology. Installation at Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL. December 2012.
Collage at 100. Thompson Gallery, MA. December 2012.
Biennial 2012. Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, FL. June 2012.
Amid the Street Noise. Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale. April 2012.
Botanic/Organic. Union Street Gallery, Chicago Heights, IL. Curated by Elizabeth Whiting. March 2012.
Construct: Juried Exhibition. School 33, Baltimore, MD. Curated by Margaret Winslow.
DOME DRIFT. Project for Art Basel Miami with Irreversible Magazine. Miami, FL
Miami Emerging Artist Exhibition. Wynwood Exhibition Center, Miami, Fl.
File Type. Gallery 400. Chicago, IL. with Todd Mattei. Curated by Chaz Evans and Lorelei Stewart.
DOME DRIFT. Container Gallery, Miami, FL. with Cristina Molina. Curated by Adalberto Delgado.
Summer Photo Show. Lunchbox Gallery, Miami, FL.
2011 MidAtlantic Juried Show. Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, Newcastle, PA. Juried by Phil Alexandre. Explorations. The Art Center, Highland Park. Chicago, IL. Curated by Margaret Hawkins.
Brief Histories. University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Curated by Isak Berbic.
NoHu Film Festival screening, Union City, New Jersey. Curated by Toni Fukudu.
Experimental and electronic music, Ultralight Backpacking, Running, Contemporary Poetry and Fiction, Microbreweries, Science Fiction films. My website and blog www.weskline.com