Assembling Images

[Summer 2019]

By Jacques Doyon

Three recent exhibitions, by two artists and one collector, offer a rare look at the act of collecting. The thematic section in this issue features different types of collections of images, all of which involve a rereading, a recontextualization: highlighting a way of working that traverses and structures an artist’s overall production (Clément), an immersion in a collection of films from which images are extracted and translated to personalize them (Carrière), and transposition of a personal collection into museum galleries to magnify its sensitivity and coherence (Lazare).

Serge Clément’s Archipel project, produced in collaboration with curator Zoë Tousignant – a project spanning a photographic series, an exhibition, and a publication – offers a look at the central place of the photobook in Clément’s practice, whether in the form of unpublished mock-ups, self-published artist books, or mass-produced publications. Books are Clément’s favourite medium for exploring the narrative dimension of images. A passionate collector of photobooks, here Clément redeploys all of his own publications in a sort of “collection of collections,” to which he adds Archipel, a new sequencing of already-published images.

Tout ceci est impossible, Bertrand Carrière’s project, results from a working residency in the film collection of the Cinémathèque québécoise. A preceding series, Images-temps (1997– 2000), serves as the basis for his quest to transpose animated images into photographs. Here, Carrière specifically explores the world of film noir by focusing on the crossfade, the emblematic procedure for temporal juxtapositions in film. The result is a series of sequence strips, Images noires, in which, using rephotographed and condensed excerpts from films, Carrière re-creates strange ubiquitous moments. He contrasts these scenes with colour images, also emblematic of film noir, that breach the darkness in Écrans lumineux.

Collector Jack Lazare’s donation of over thirty photographs to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts offered the perfect opportunity to explore the specific sensibility of his personal and family collection. Of Individuals and Places, which includes both portraits and landscapes, reflects a vision of the world imbued with melancholy. The works by Julia Margaret Cameron, the starting point for this collection, represent the general state of mind behind the portraits in the exhibition. It is a state of mind that resonates in the land-scapes and urban environments, many of which cast a critical eye on the current state of society.
Translated by Käthe Roth

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