Austen Ambraska is a Toronto-based fashion and portrait photographer. His work focuses on the interpersonal connection between photographer and subject. His work has been published in Vogue Italia, Function Magazine, Spotify, Perjus Magazine, and many other online publications. His series COWBOY was presented in a solo show and he has exhibited in numerous group shows at Ryerson, including Bread and Butter and Max Ex, and at Patel Gallery’s 2019 Salon Show. Austen will receive a BFA from Ryerson University for photography studies in spring 2020.
Confusing The Medium
Confusing The Medium is a series of cyanotype contact prints, made from shards of glass and digital negatives. This collection of prints questions the indexicality of image-making by confusing the relationship between the depicted and its depiction. While some of these prints are made from physical contact with the object they depict, others complicate this relationship with the interference of a negative. The visual difference between these two methods is largely indistinguishable, therefore, bringing into question which prints are made from the shadow of an object or the ink of a digital negative.
The subject of broken glass was chosen for its transparency and its common use as a protective layer through which we view art. Drawing attention to a transparent surface encourages the viewer to shift their perspective, and consider what is otherwise unseen or out of focus. This aspect is inspired by Micheal Marder’s observation that a shift in focus to the dust in the air pushes the rest of the world to the background. The break in the glass is in reference to Marcel Duchamp’s The Large Glass (1915-1923), which was famously cracked in transportation, thus leaving the piece forever unfinished.