[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 […]
[Fall 2016] par James D. Campbell [Excerpt] 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 long-running photographic series of portraits of women and girls titled Belle de jour – recently the subject of an exhibition at Concordia’s […]
[Spring-Summer 2016] The Park Kate Hutchinson Les Éditions du renard, Montréal, 2015, 140 pages, ill. colour Postface by Cynthia Imogen Hammond by James D. Campbell [Excerpt] 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 […]
[Spring/Summer 2016] [Excerpt] Who better than a seasoned photographer to explore the phenomenology of light? Jessica Auer’s recent series January, created during a 2015 residency in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland, is a thematic work of great visual poetry the resonance of which lingers within us like a memory of bluer-than-blue Icelandic light, long after we have left […]
[Fall 2015] Plein sud, Longueuil February 21 to May 18, 2015 By James D. Campbell [Excerpt] Lefort fittingly cribs his title from American author Herman Melville’s 1851 magnum opus Moby Dick: the Pequod is a fictitious nineteenth-century Nantucket whaling ship that appears in the novel as an instrument of revenge. Narrated by Ishmael (here, Lefort), […]
Battat Contemporary, Montreal December 4, 2014 to February 8, 2015 By James D. Campbell This captivating exhibition of new 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 […]
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 […]
[Fall 2009] Galerie de l’UQAM, Montreal February 27 to March 28, 2009 Manon De Pauw practices a corporeal poetics as inventive and involute in its physical articulation as it is varied and inviting in its philosophical approach. Her manner of thinking the body – the “universal thing” – sheds light on the meaning of corporeality […]
[Summer 2009] Galerie Graff November 13 to December 20, 2008 We are living in a telematically attuned present tense. We are bombarded, even besieged, by endless streaming images and data feeds coming in from all sides, all the time. How we fend off the barrage or negotiate détente with it shapes the condition of our […]
[Fall 2008] Donald Browne Galery, Montreal April 19–May 24, 2008 In her new exhibition at Galerie Donald Browne, Emmanuel Léonard made her consummately subversive voice heard from the outset. Her singular art of juxtaposition, theatricality, gathered “evidence,” and narrative layering once again adumbrated an environmental volume that radically exceeded the sum of its parts. The […]
[Fall 2008] By juxtaposing images of people interacting, architectural facades, works of art, pieces of furniture, and other motifs, Jacobs has woven a microcosm of humanity at work and at play. This album is a living portrait of the world, at the heart of which he has placed inter-subjectivity, exploration, and inventiveness. This grouping of […]
[Summer 2008] Galerie Roger Bellemare, Montreal October 6 – October 27, 2007 The stark elegance of Charles Gagnon’s photographic oeuvre is one of its defining characteristics. It is always, however, underscored by powerfully enigmatic markers. Those indexical markers are like fingers pointing to unseen presences – or a transcendent reality. Gagnon was always a champion […]