[Spring/Summer 2011] In this issue, queers, media darlings, Aboriginals, female bodybuilders, and crack addicts form a highly heterogeneous portrait gallery that challenges our ideas about identity. These unsettling images reveal unexpected strengths or vulnerabilities, leading us to re-evaluate our perceptions. They captivate us, enticing us to stop and study a series of details that prove […]
[Spring/Summer 2011] Queers, media darlings, Aboriginals, female bodybuilders, and crack addicts form a highly heterogeneous portrait gallery that challenges our ideas about identity. These unsettling images reveal unexpected strengths or vulnerabilities, leading us to re-evaluate our perceptions. JJ Levine, Queer Portraits Levine offers a series of intimate, touching portraits of friends and close relations in […]
January 17, 2017 [originally published in CV88, Spring 2011] — Vivid colours and rich, symbolic domestic detailing underscore the confident, self-possessed gazes of JJ Levine’s subjects in their series Queer Portraits. An exploration of identity, gender politics, community, public vs. private, radical queer life, and deviant gender presentations, Queer Portraits confronts us with a group of subjects that ultimately reflect a portrait of the artist themselves. An intimate look at Levine’s community, this series plays with …
January 12, 2017 [originally published in CV88, Spring 2011] — The pressure placed upon contemporary artists to produce socially critical, politically engaged works of art is both enormous and confusing. On the one hand, galleries and other visual-arts organizations expect artists to mobilize the population via certain “artistic strategies,” such as subverting cherished yet secretly oppressive idols or breaking out of traditional exhibition formats to …
January 10, 2017 [originally published in CV88, Spring 2011] — It is nice to stare – particularly at beautiful people who in part make their living as the object of your gaze, each making a concerted effort to appear as though they might actually exist solely for the purpose of your continuing adoration.
December 20, 2016 [originally published in CV88, Spring 2011] — Pierre Gaudard is one of the rare photographers whose photographs are not on the Web. Absent from the photography scene since the mid-1980s because he returned to France and because of the gradual disappearance of the documentary genre from institutions devoted to photography, his name was suddenly resurrected in a press release announcing his death…
December 15, 2016 [originally published in CV88, Spring 2011] — For the last few years, the campus of Ryerson University in downtown Toronto has been abuzz with the redesign and expansion of the School of Image Arts to accommodate the emerging Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre. Slated to open in fall 2012, this major facility is intended to become an international centre dedicated to photography and related media. To learn more about this ambitious project and the evolving vision guiding it, Ciel variable met with Doina Popescu, who is overseeing the endeavour as its initial director.
December 13, 2016 [originally published in CV88, Spring 2011] — When we think of the work of Bernhard and Hilla Becher, a classical eighteenth-century mansion, pristine gardens where Madame de Staël walked, and a spectacular landscape overlooking a lake with the Alps as backdrop is hardly the scene that comes to mind. Strikingly different from the industrial landscapes that captivated the photographers during the second half of the twentieth century, this locale, the Musée de l’Elysée, is the setting for the latest exhibition of their work.
December 6, 2016 [originally published in CV88, Spring 2011] — An egg-shaped camping trailer nuzzles up to the large plate-glass windows of Galerie Axenéo7. It is faced by a series of photos of its relatives, Boler camping trailers all of which share the same compact, rounded form but vary endlessly in their fittings and colours. The light-weight fibreglass trailer was first designed in Winnipeg by Ray Olecko, and was produced in various places in Canada from 1968 to 1988.1 Lise Beaudry, a young photographer based in Toronto, is the proud owner of this particular Boler, and the artist behind the exhibition, “Bolerama” (the name Boler owners give to their yearly camping meets).
November 29, 2016 [originally published in CV88, Spring 2011] — “Four Directions: A No. 9 Public Film and Video Exhibition” juxtaposes Werner Herzog’s film Lessons of Darkness (1992), a documentation of the oil fields burning at the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War, with video works by Isabelle Hayeur, Val Klassen, and Dana Claxton.
November 22, 2016 [originally published in Spring 2011] — Conceptual art ideas are pervasive in John Baldessari’s art, from his videos, to his photographs, to his hybrid photo-painted works. Presented by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Tate Modern in London, and following on from the Hirshhorn Museum’s “2007 Ways of Seeing” show, “Pure Beauty” puts another feather in John Baldessari’s cap as a West Coast progenitor of all that conceptual art was, is, or can be. His blending of photography, performance, video, and painting treads the edgy border between visual and textual with a natural affinity.
November 15, 2016 [originally published in Spring 2011] — The mythographer Mircea Eliade once recalled an interesting belief about memory that is (or was) widespread in the world’s folk cultures.1 In the terrifying moment just before death, so the story goes, everything that has happened in a person’s life, “down to the minutest details,” flashes before his or her eyes. This sudden, sweeping apprehension is, in fact, a sign that death is swiftly approaching.
November 8, 2016 [originally published in Spring 2011] — At the opening for Terrance Houle’s solo show “givn’r” on September, most people mingled in the foyer of the Art Gallery of York University. Sure, it was where the free wine and cheese could be safely consumed, but it also felt strangely appropriate for Houle, a Calgary-based artist from the Blood Tribe in southern Alberta, whose performances are done primarily outside the gallery.
[Spring/Summer 2011] Photography and national history Three books recently received combine photography and national history or national imaginary. Photography and Italy (London: Reaktion Books, 2011, Eng) by Maria Antonella Pelizzari offers a dialogue between the devel- opment of photography as a medium and the political, social, and cultural changes in Italy since its unification in […]
October 27, 2016 [originally published in Spring 2011] — Anne-Marie Ninacs was the guest curator for the Mois de la Photo à Montréal 2011, with the theme Lucidity: Inward Views. From 2002 to 2006, Ninacs was the curator of contemporary art at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, where she organized the exhibitions Massimo Guerrera. Darboral, L’emploi du temps, Avancer dans le brouillard, and Chimère/Shimmer.