Portrait of a moving target
Portrait of a moving target (idiom)
: An attempt to represent a continuously changing situation.
// The anchorwoman gasped and fumbled, unable to describe the scene unfolding before her; she was trying to paint a portrait of a moving target.
: An inherently flawed assessment, limited by incompatible means and end.
// The contractor had forgotten his tape measure and was now measuring the wall using only his wingspan, “It’s a portrait of a moving target” he said with a shrug.
The idiom describes a series of artworks attempting to represent the present. The exhibition sets out to locate the present as not just a liminal moment, but also our historical, geographical, and cultural time today. Using contemporary subjects and themes, each work is constructed as a model that imagines or conceptualizes the present. The work pulls from historical examples of documentary art forms to create a set of open-ended documents—not a record, but a recording. An open-ended document is less definitive, operating as an observation without dividing the categories of complete or incomplete, fact or fiction, static or in-motion. Ironically poking fun at itself, the attempt to record a never-ending subject points to documents and archives as being redundant, cumbersome, and likely to change tomorrow. Together, the various works operate as a concocted positioning system, pinpointing the here and now with a dull carpenter’s pencil.