The Literal is Unimaginative

The Literal is Unimaginative

Davion Alston: The Literal is Unimaginative

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 10, 7–10pm
Exhibition Dates: Oct. 10–Nov. 2, 2019
Viewing hours: Fridays and Saturdays, 12–5pm, or by appointment.

Asking the question “what makes me who I am?” is essential to forming our selfhood as individuals and as part of a community. How artists ask this question is as telling as the answers they may find. Davion Alston’s study of his identity through self-portrait photography has led further to critical observation about the methods and tools he employs. Faced with the camera’s complicity in the power plays of gaze and surveillance, Alston now calls upon other media to serve as a lens for reflecting and projecting his scrutiny of being. The Literal is Unimaginative is the first phase in a triptych of Alston’s thematic exhibitions that will appear in other venues in Atlanta over the next year.

Here, some of artist’s attempt to outlast or wear down his obstacles play out in works on paper. Alston’s multiple thwarted attempts to win a simple kid’s game are held up against the artist’s over-and-over drawing in charcoal—turning an accusational word around in space to lessen its hurtful impact. Video footage captures Alston’s repetitive efforts to distance himself from the problematic, at-first-glance comparisons to golf star Tiger Woods by whiffing and hacking away on the golf course. Yet the two men’s similarities and differences are intertwined in a cascade of images that fall to the floor from a ceiling-mounted laser printer.

The Literal is Unimaginative will be on view at Day & Night Projects from October 10 through November 2. Gallery Hours are 12–5pm Fridays and Saturdays, or by appointment.


Davion Alston (b.1992) is a German-born Georgia native, where earth is his playground, and Atlanta is home. His exhibitions and education spans across a multitude of galleries, a handful of museums, and a BFA from Georgia State University. He describes himself as an organized system of complexity, with accidental accessibility. 

Alston writes, “my photographic background has proven to become more multidisciplinary, as I make work in response to photography. I am introducing different forms of conceptual outbreak through critique, works on paper, and sculpture. All relating to the constant shift within Atlanta’s city structure, questioning America’s desire towards the underdog, and approximating my relationship to an example of one. 

“I own nothing, I learn to unlearn and to constantly let go. I work intimately, quietly, and collectively.”