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Cannabis Plants in Vegetation Stage #2, 2012,digital inkjet photographic print,38 x 32

It’s Medicinal

June 7–July 28, 2012

Opening Reception:
Thursday, June 7, 6-9 pm

Pari Nadimi Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Toronto - based artist Eugen Sakhnenko. 

Photography has long been used to examine hidden worlds - to show us what we cannot see ourselves. Like traveling to a new city, photographs reveal that all is not how we assume it to be. By looking at the secret industry of medicinal cannabis, this body of work questions the impact of fallacy based decision making.

Many images depict plain spaces, easily mistaken for a dentist’s reception area or a dispensary window at a walk-in clinic. When juxtaposed with hacked together grow rooms, like projects from a 50s science magazine, we begin to see the effects of prohibition. Ordinary citizens go into hiding, our idea of them becoming the product of brief glimpses beneath the surface - through a film, an evening news report, or an overheard conversation. Pulling back the curtain, we’re confronted with a duality that’s hard to make sense of. Like laws themselves, our perception falls victim to time. We’ve never met a grower but we’re sure of who they are. We don’t know why it’s illegal, but we’re confident that it should be.

Often these leaps of faith are fine, even necessary, to get on with our daily lives. However, laws have real consequences on individuals and affect all of us in one way or another, thus making it impossible to comprehend their social and economic impact. We owe it to each other to pursue a legal system steeped in fact and rationality rather than opinion and tradition. Through these glimpses into the medicinal cannabis industry, concrete ideas can take the place of abstract ones and the world as it is can replace the one we imagine it to be.

Eugen Sakhnenko (born in 1988 lives and works in Toronto, Canada) graduated from Ryerson University, Bachelor of Fine Art in Image Arts, Photographic Studies, in 2010. Sakhnenko has been exhibiting his work since 2009 in various venues in Canada and his exhibitions have been reviewed by Toronto Star, Function Magazine, Applied Arts Magazine.

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