[Spring-Summer 2018] The works brought together in this issue look back at significant phenomena and events in recent history to bring them back to memory and assess their current relevance. These are prolific works, with multiple iterations, that take forms as complex as their subjects: an entire field of artistic practices, pioneering works and pivotal […]
This issue’s thematic section shows works that come from a wide variety of places and times, but all are marked by the notion of public visibility. These three bodies of work cover a wide spectrum of what defines the public space for artistic expression, ranging from the societal and cultural context that circumscribes what can be said, to the more specialized professional and worldly network that hosts and nourishes experiments and new artworks, to the civic and urban space in which artworks are put to the test of fitting with people’s daily lives and the constraints of urban planning.
The artists whose works are brought together here under the theme of ruins are interested in capturing the traces of a disappearing world, a world in which the evolution of the photographic image is symptomatic of a more fundamental transformation of culture and social values as a whole.
At first glance, the works presented here might seem to be simply about work on a motif. A more attentive look, however, shows that what is indicated here, in this focus on trees, or icebergs, or clouds, is the shaping of natural elements by human action on a landscape that has become an environment.
Over the years, many photographers have explored Montreal and its neighbourhoods. Their images have captured portraits of residents, the colour and composition of the streets and commercial arteries, and the mixture of cultures that contribute to the quality and diversity of a city, as well as the commitment of residents who create the fabric of communities and sometimes generate resistance to changes that create upheavals in their living environment.
With great sensitivity and remarkable image quality, the works brought together in this section offer a renewed gaze at discredited realities and experiences. They do this by showing us people in their living environments. And yet, it is not individuals that these works offer as much as a certain order of representation, certain priorities, a certain way of seeing things that encourages us to reevaluate them.
There are places where nature’s presence is more intensely felt, where the question of the city’s interrelations with its natural environment emerges more spontaneously. Certain circumstances are also conducive to raising such reflections – among them, sense of unfamiliarity experienced during a stay abroad, obvious deterioration in the equilibrium or beauty of a place, and pressure exerted for appropriation of a public site for private purposes.
Globalization is making us more aware of the realities of the entire planet through news, visits, and business travel. In addition, urbanization and consumer markets are tending to bring cultures and lifestyles ever closer to each other. Even so, and fortunately, diversity and differences remain. What is more, the most radical forms of alterity are found not only outside of our societies but tend to merge with them, and at the same time to change our core identities and our very ideas about universality.
Appropriating visual artworks, as one interprets the works in a repertoire. Judging that, among all the works that exist, these ones still resonate sufficiently in the eyes and ears of contemporary spectators to justify the reignition of their interrogatory or denunciatory spark. What do these works say?
Trois approches du portrait photographique nourries de références picturales, avec des savoir-faire se manifestant dans les clairs-obscurs, les cadrages et les poses, les textures et le drapé des tissus, les ports de tête et, surtout, les regards… Et des manières de faire qui ennoblissent leurs sujets.
April 3, 2018 [originally published in Spring 2013] — The complete content of CV94 is now available online including porfolios of Nicolas Baier, Dominique Auerbacher and Patrick Dionne et Miki Gingras, essays about Richard Baillargeon, Omer Fast and Sitegeist, an interview with Bonnie Rubenstein as well as several recent exhibition and publication reviews.