In Zoe Leonard’s work, rigid classification becomes the medium of the work. Her sympathy for the lost arts of postcards (‘You see I am here after all’) and lost signs of communities (‘Analogue’), display a longing for relics of a past just lost, and through her forms of classification she lays these objects to rest, as in their factoring and ordering they become part of history, only classified as they cn be viewed as a whole, they are not still growing but merely just beginning to diminish. She fights against a sense of loss for these objects, rather filing them into set groups in order to establish an order reminiscent of the hierarchal ordering in ethnographic museums. These are not the objects of our distant ancestors, but they do begin to feel impossibly archaic once grouped and displayed in the way that Leonard organises them.
In her work, ‘You see I am here after all’ (2008), she displays thousands of postcards of Niagra Falls, each slightly different in position to the waterfall, and groups them dependent on their perspective, and displays them in a proportional relationship to this geography on the walls of the gallery. I am interested in this use of space as a means of exploring and displaying the data of the investigation, as my work also features space, in particular spaces, and I would like to great some sort of geographical impact on the space to match the geographies explored in my own investigations.
In addition, I am very interested in the way she classifies images, using the act of classification as the means of creating the art. The viewer understanding the means and methods of classification is inherent to the understanding of the work, not only in understanding how they have been classified, but also understanding what classification means in terms of releasing an out-of-date object to the beatification of history. In my own practice classification lies at the heart of the art, as I confine my own experience to a previously created system of wrangling data and ensuring that the information of my experience can be viewed an experienced in an accessible fashion. I want to take inspiration to the methodical and considered approach that Leonard has used to classify my images, and therefore produce a work with a rigid conceptual framework in which the viewer has to become accustomed.