© James Nizam, Anteroom (pile of cabinets in room), 2007

© James Nizam, Dwellings #13, 2006

“James Nizam’s work reveals a fascination with the processes of change, decay, and reclamation within our built environment. His new series of colour photographs—shot inside abandoned houses slated for demolition—speaks eloquently about the booming real-estate market in Vancouver and the disappearance of modest, single-family dwellings from urban life. But his images also tell us something poetic about the relationship between people and the domestic spaces they fleetingly occupy.

The show clearly relates to Nizam’s previous series of chromogenic prints, shot inside the old Woodward’s building at night using found and ambient light. The images in Dwellings are also nocturnal and also employ a degree of ambient lighting. More importantly, however, the interiors are articulated by Nizam’s flashlight and caught by his camera’s extremely long exposure time. Essentially, the artist uses the flashlight like a brush, painting line, colour, and form into each scene. Some interiors are brightly and evenly lit, while others are draped in shadow. In others still, the flashlight outlines doors, windows, cabinets, and appliances, giving them an eerie glow.”

Robin Laurence

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