[Winter 2020] It was the word beyond speech. — Hermann Broch, The Death of Virgil When the immense drugged universe explodes In a cascade of unendurable colour And leaves us gasping naked, This is no more than the ecstasy of chaos: Hold fast, with both hands, to that royal love Which alone, as we know […]
[Fall 2019] La Castiglione, Montreal April 3–May 11, 2019 By James D. Campbell [Excerpt] Intimate Portraits brought together works by four artists whose preoccupation with the human body is a longstanding one: Donigan Cumming, JJ Levine, George Steeves, and Andrea Szilasi. Their works interrogate the nature of portraiture itself. What constitutes a truly intimate image? […]
[Summer 2019] Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal Oct. 20, 2018–January 20, 2019 By James Campbell [Excerpt] Whether playing a senior CIA agent (Hanna, 2011), Elf Queen Galadriel (The Lord of the Rings, 2001 2002, 2003), or a formerly rich New York socialite on the move (Blue Jasmine, 2013), Cate Blanchett has demonstrated her acting chops […]
[Winter 2019] Maison de la culture Claude-Léveillée, Montreal May 30–August 26, 2018 Par James D. Campbell [Excerpt] “The world has become self-referring. You know this. This thing has seeped into the texture of the world. The world for thousands of years was our escape, was our refuge. Men hid from themselves in the world. We […]
[Hiver 2019] Par James D. Campbell [Extrait] The photographs of Belgian artist Bert Danckaert have been likened to abstract paintings, but the family resemblance resides more in the facture than in the finished work of art. Given his uncanny eye for the compositional “Eureka!” behind the lens, it’s as though he is using masking tape […]
[Fall 2018] By James D. Campbell [Excerpt] In a remarkable group exhibition recently on view at Optica,1 Raymonde April, one of Canada’s finest living photographers, marshalled the talents of an intrepid group of itinerant fellow travellers – and to radiant effect. April formed Outre-vie/Afterlife in 2013. The group comprises thirteen accomplished photographers2 all of whom […]
[Spring-Summer 2018] Behind Closed Doors: Body of Evidence CIRCA, Montreal January 20–March 10, 2018 Le point aveugle Galerie Trois Points, Montreal September 9–October 28, 2017 By James D. Campbell [Excerpt] Over the last several years, at exhibitions in Montreal and elsewhere, Montreal-based photographic artist Natascha Niederstrass has earned a strong reputation for informing her work […]
[Spring-Summer 2018] By James D. Campbell [Excerpt] This round-robin exhibition featured powerful and evocative images of the original site of the recently abandoned Royal Victoria Hospital. Eleven Montreal artists were invited by the RBC Art and Heritage Centre of the McGill University Health Centre to tour the original site. It had been vacant since the […]
[Winter 2018] À contretemps II : site spécifique Galerie Laroche Joncas August 23–September 23, 2017 By James D. Campbell [Excerpt] In this photographic essay, Sylvie Readman brilliantly addresses the strange topography of the abandoned military base at Saint-Hubert, Quebec, in terms of non-place and liminal space. Her fortuitous discovery of this site has resulted in […]
[Fall 2017] Jocelyne Alloucherie, Ivan Binet, and Mathieu Cardin Vide et vertige 1700 La Poste, Montreal March 24–June 18, 2017 By James D. Campbell [Excerpt] This exhibition of works by Jocelyne Alloucherie, Ivan Binet, and Mathieu Cardin was brilliantly dovetailed in terms of theme – the constructive notion of “vertigo” and the viewer’s experience in […]
[Spring-Summer 2017] Les révolutions sidérales Plein Sud October 1–November 5, 2016 by James D. Campbell [Excerpt] In the photoworks in this exhibition, Fiona Annis dilated with poetic acuity on the clockwork of the heavens. She mined resources as varied and recondite as the first spectroscopic data on the trajectory of Halley’s Comet, recorded in 1910, […]
[Winter 2017] by James D. Campbell [Excerpt] Jessica Eaton, a fast-rising star in the photographic world, has for some time now explored the notion of “colour is a verb” with rare verve, intensity, and thematic abandon. In her recent dovetailing series of works shown at Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran in Montreal as part of an exhibition […]
March 5, 2020 [originally published in CV104 in Fall 2016] — Montreal-based fine-art photographer Marisa Portolese has garnered well-deserved acclaim for the clarity and lush chromatic and emotional dimensionality of her images. The third instalment of her photographic series of portraits of women and girls titled Belle de jour marks something…
November 6, 2019 [originally published in Spring 2016] — Sometime in the early twenty-third century, a sealed copper box is found interred at the foot of the excavated cross on top of Montreal’s estimable Mount Royal. Once opened, archaeologists and sundry forensic experts find a fulsome sheaf of what seem to be vernacular images…
April 24, 2019 [originally published in CV100 in Spring 2015] — This captivating exhibition of work by Kathleen Ritter is aptly and enticingly titled Camoufleurs. A camoufleur was a person – usually an artist, usually a woman – who designed and installed military camouflage in one of the world wars of the last century. The term relates to all First and Second World War specialists in the art of camouflage…
October 4, 2017 [originally published in CV92 in Fall 2012] — UMA, Montreal’s estimable Maison de l’image et de la photographie, has taken a valuable and highly laudatory initiative in seeking out vacant commercial spaces throughout Montreal and installing photographic works in their windows. What was once a forlorn blank slate of the inner city becomes a vibrant forum for the photographic image. The works remain on view until the spaces are rented or sold…
August 2, 2017 [originally published in CV91 in Spring 2012] — Scott Chandler’s recent work opens a window on a place and a time unknown to us. With an “under-the-radar” documentary ethic and his cumbersome camera equipment, he travelled to the Brazilian Amazon to photograph eloquent ruins hidden for generations from the outside world.
February 9, 2017 [originally published in CV89 in Fall 2011] — In Short Sentences, an aptly titled show of recent photographic and video work, Chih-Chien Wang offers a moving photographic journey that is also a poetic reverie on words and things, life and death. The show is fittingly bracketed by an image of the artist’s son asleep, and another of his son being breastfed by his partner, Yushan. In the former, Shaore Lies on Futon, a photograph of his son lying prone on a futon in deep sleep, Wang evokes the fragility of young life.
September 13, 2016 [originally published in Winter 2011] — While acclaimed Montreal-based photographic artist Marisa Portolese has always used people she knows as subjects in her work, her new photographic series, Dream Weavers (of which this show, “Pietà,” is a stand-alone excerpt), marks something of a departure. Here, she turns inwards, essaying an up-close-and-personal narrative involving members of her own family while constructing a poetic meta-narrative that is rife with feelings, memories, and the numinous.
June 23, 2016 [originally published in Fall 2010] — This exhibition highlights narrative disruption and its consequences in five mature bodies of photographic and video work, and demonstrates how the uncanny seeps in and out of those ruptures in an auratic and seismic way, even as meaning and dénouement are delayed. Works by Bettina Hoffman, Carlos and Jason Sanchez, Milutin Gubash, Eve K. Tremblay, and Chih-Chien Wang…
April 6, 2016 [originally published in Summer 2010] — Why is it that Raymonde April’s art always occupies the foreground of my consciousness when I think about photography – about what it is and what it can be ? Even as flashier and more graphically cinematographic photography rules the proverbial roost in the art world right now, April, a maverick artist, has long since staked out her territory and made it her wholly and uniquely her own.
[Spring 2010] CCA, Montreal September 11, 2009, to January 10, 2010 Nestled within the CCA’s Octagonal Gallery in conceptually elegant fashion, this thematic body of photographic work by the Italian photographer Guido Guidi paid tribute to an architectural masterwork while highlighting his own various strengths and idiosyncrasies as a creative artist preoccupied, for the last […]