Living in a time where histories and current realities cast difficult and complex shadows, the assignment of meaning is suspect. My artwork looks towards greater significance in the context of a deep contemporary complexity. In an age where we have recognized difference, it considers what our relationships to one another are now and could be. At a time of popular irony and cynicism, it imagines the possibility of wonder.
I make photographs and video installations that pause the viewer within micro-moments that are saturated with multiple, layered perspectives. Slowing down and sometimes stopping the view, the works visually dwell on how individual perception changes what we experience. Considering the role of perspective in questions of race, religion, history, and belief, they offer a meditative consideration of the role of positionality in the creation of our reality.
Conversations & Confrontations follows my own autobiographical threads to explore modern day instances of oppression. From racial segregation embodied in a Southern transit car and prayers at disputed holy sites in the Middle East - my photography and videos address localized and specific places that encapsulate the always complex and often conflicting meeting points of identities and cultures. The people and places within this overall project illustrate moments from reality seemingly randomly captured, yet carefully composed, suggesting the many individual stories that intersect within them. These works enunciate humanity and difference. In my willingness to examine my own relationship to dominance, I invite viewers to consider these realities in the world, locally in paths they themselves travel, and within their own lives.
Thin Places considers extraordinary locales that appear to have permeable barriers between the known and unknown, the tamed and wild, by visitors who travel far and wide to experience them. In an age of irony, when commitment to organized religion is waning, and technology rules supreme, people of all walks of life still and increasingly set aside significant time and resources to visit such off-grid locations. My work explores these travelers and the locales they visit as manifesting a form of contemporary pilgrimage. This series looks toward the possibility of wonder and exploration, even within a hardened world full of the instances described in my first project.
The question of connection swirls at the core of my artworks, both between human beings and with our world.
Kaplan's work has recently been exhibited at Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center (Dayton, OH), the North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC), Tapp's Art Center (Columbia, SC), and SOHO20 Gallery Chelsea (New York, NY).