Retail Compositions

Owen Kydd

Durational photography is a term coined by Los Angeles-based artist Owen Kydd to describe his works, which oscillate between still photography and video. Kydd’s tightly composed, fixed-shot video loops appear at first to be static images, but reveal subtle movement over time. In his studio, he creates window display compositions that are often inspired by the odd and stuck-in-time storefronts he finds while walking along Pico Boulevard and downtown L.A. Echoing the wandering street photographer, his work references the iconic subject of the early storefront typified by Lee Friedlander and William Eggleston. His playful arrangements mimic outdated displays and utilize tools of the trade, such as shelving brackets, pegboard, plastic bags, and the quintessential mannequin bust.

Kydd’s works are displayed on digital screen kiosks that have been positioned within the Allen Lambert Galleria at Brookfield Place, a highly utilized access point into the PATH mall—the largest underground shopping complex in the world. Here, the screens appear as if they were permanent fixtures in the space, making them ambiguous for viewers who might otherwise expect to see commercial imagery. The slow pace of Kydd’s durational photographs necessitates an attentive observer, disrupting the flow in this fast-paced, transitory environment. The setting amplifies Kydd’s focus on the banality of commercial display. While his highly stylized, abstracted scenes include signifiers of the window display, they withhold the very function of commercial imagery itself, paradoxically highlighting the role of visual coercion in the act of selling objects or a “lifestyle” to the consumer.

This site-specific installation includes works from Kydd’s Retail Compositions series and three newly commissioned pieces informed by the setting of Brookfield Place.

Presented in partnership with Brookfield Place. Supported by EY and Pattison Outdoor Advertising. A part of PATTISON's ongoing Art in Transit programme.

Curated by Sabrina Maltese