April 3, 2017 [originally published in CV90 in Winter 2012] — We present an analysis of the context and strategic positionings that prevailed at the foundation of bal, a French photography institution with its roots in the field of independent press agencies. Although such a reality does not have its equivalent here, Michel Poivert’s viewpoints on the emergence of institutions, the recognition of documentary photography, and the issues in visual media education provide an interesting perspective on the initiatives taken by, and shortcomings of our institutions with regard to photographic issues.
[Winter 2012] This article was originally published only in French. You can read it by switching over to the French version of this page. New and Worthy The Cultural Work of Photography in Canada (edited by Carole Payne, Andrea Kunard, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011, 270 p., angl.) Sylvain Campeau (Chantiers de l’image, Éditions Nota […]
April 12, 2017 [originally published in CV90 in Winter 2012] — The title of this volume, which translates as “Open the document,” is an imperative: it urges you to unfold the cover, printed in solid gold ink, of a perfect-bound paperback. This materiality suggests that the contents are both precious and brilliant, and that there is urgency in its message…
April 18, 2017 [originally published in CV90 in Winter 2012] — During the Soviet era, it was unlawful to photograph anything that contradicted the reigning political ideology. As images were seen to be an extremely forceful argument to support the cause, anything that might show signs of rust on the well-oiled machine would not be tolerated. The negation of an outlet for visual evidence to the contrary of the accepted narrative attests to the very power of the documentary photograph, for it bears silence witness when it is too dangerous to speak the truth.
April 24, 2017 [originally published in CV90 in Winter 2012] — Guy Tillim’s sizable exhibition (initially organized by the Museum of Contemporary Photo at Columbia College in Chicago) at the Design Exchange was a provocative inclusion in 2011’s Scotiabank contact Festival. The title of the exhibition evokes the spirit of Patrice Lumumba, a staunch supporter of African nationalism and the first elected prime minister of the Congo after it gained independence from Belgium in June 1960…
May 1, 2017 [originally published in CV90 in Winter 2012] — Two photographic panoramas evocative of nineteenth-century popular entertainment were on view at the McCord Museum of Canadian History. The first was a panoramic vista made by the Wm. Notman & Son studio in 1896. The larger of the two, titled The Great Mural, was created by photographer André Cornellier in 1996, exactly a century later. Both show a 360-degree bird’s-eye (or God’s-eye) view of Montreal, as seen from the southwest…
May 8, 2017 [originally published in CV90 in Winter 2012] — In general, the art world is not kind to older women artists. Nan Goldin recently gave an interview in which she was brutally frank on the subject. She remarked that three-quarters of the art world wants her dead; her work has changed, but the market would rather have the Nan of yore: documents of seedy underbellies and demi-mondes. Now that she has the life perspective of a woman in her sixties, her hard-won ease does not square with the woman the art world wants her to be. Suzy Lake has made this harsh truth the core of her work. But then again, this is not a recent development…
May 15, 2017 [originally published in CV90 in Winter 2012] — The fourty-second edition of Les Rencontres d’Arles adopted the challenge of exploring the image economy, as well as photography’s relationship with the World Wide Web and with social networks, within the ambit of forty-seven diverse exhibitions. “From Here On,” the centrepiece exhibition at the Rencontres, presented photography in the context of the Web, the “digital revolution,” and how they circulate images.
May 17, 2017 [originally published in CV90 in Winter 2012] — Bringing together twenty-six artists under the title Lucidity. Inward Views, the twelfth edition of Le Mois de la photo à Montréal made the theme that served as its title, if not a template for comprehension, the pivot of its articulations. Through the works in this dense, enriching event, a strongly subjective vision was proposed to viewers. For the artists, “interrogating the world goes hand in hand with interrogating oneself (and vice versa),” according to event curator Anne-Marie Ninacs.1
May 22, 2017 [originally published in CV90 in Winter 2012] — “Navinland needs YOU,” according to the s.w.a.g. (souvenirs, wearables, and gifts) cum recruitment material of Thai artist of Indian descent Navin Rawanchaikul’s latest staging of his fledgling non-nation. Set up in a bar and restaurant at the entrance to the Giardini, where the permanent national pavilions of the Venice Biennale have been since 1885, Paradiso di Navin: A Mission to Establish Navinland is a parody as astute as it is amusing of the year’s theme of ILLUMInations.
May 24, 2017 [originally published in CV90 in Winter 2012] — The name Serge Emmanuel Jongué (who died in 2006) was not unknown in the photographic community. In his important essay titled “The New Photographic Order,” published in 1990,1 Jongué cast a lucid eye on the issues in Quebec documentary photography in the 1970s. His reinterpretation of the official discourse attached to this photographic school has become a classic for those interested in the history and comprehension of Quebec photographic practices.
May 29, 2017 [originally published in CV90 in Winter 2012] — For a number of years, Patrick Dionne and Miki Gingras have been working on large-scale photographic projects that encourage artistic engagement in society. In 2002, to better fulfil this mission, they founded Diasol, a charitable organization the objective of which is to use art photography as a means of intervention with marginalized people and young people and adults with difficulties with school or family, in psychological distress, or in the process of social reintegration.
May 31, 2017 [originally published in CV90 in Winter 2012] — In downtown San Francisco, at the corner of Mission and Third streets, is a huge picture window before which passersby can stop to look at a photo-mosaic several metres high inspired by the famous portrait Girl from Tamale (1973) by Chester Higgins Jr., which is also one of the “tiles” in the mosaic.
June 5, 2017 [originally published in CV90 in Winter 2012] — JR’s photography faces real life. The human faces that engage us in the real environments of the First and Third worlds are an exercise in self-identification within a larger matrix that is a seemingly invisible population of everyday people. Largely unrecognized, these people are off the map when it comes to social, political, or economic rights.
Bringing to the walls and façades of cities the oversized faces of their inhabitants, reappropriating the urban space to advertise a presence and affirm an identity – these are the concerns that lie at the heart of the projects that we present in this issue. As a collaborative tool, photography becomes the instrument of a […]
See the oversized faces of a city’s inhabitants emerging on its walls and façades. These people came together to find ways to reappropriate the urban space, and to advertise their presence and identity. Here, photography is a tool for affirmative collaboration. JR The Wrinkles of the City Presentation of Wrinkles of the City, produced for […]
June 7, 2017 [originally published in Winter 2012] — The complete content of CV90 is now available online including porfolios of JR, Museum of the African Diaspora, Patrick Dionne et Miki Gingras, essays about Serge Emmanuel Jongué, La Biennale di Venezia 2011, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal (2011), an interview with Bastien Gilbert as well as several recent exhibition and publication reviews.