An Interview by Chuck Samuels
Chuck Samuels is an occasional freelance critic who lives and works in Montreal. This is the third in a series of interviews with Chuck Samuels appearing in Ciel variable. He has also published articles in such Canadian contemporary arts magazines as MIX, Fuse, and Vanguard (co-written with Moira Egan). Samuels contributed a chapter to Women and Men: Interdisciplinary Readings on Gender, edited by Greta Hofmann-Nemiroff (Fitzhenry-Whiteside, 1987).
Since 1980, Chuck Samuels’s photographs and videos have been exhibited, published, and collected extensively in Quebec, Canada, and abroad. His photographs are in numerous public and private collections in Canada, France, Mexico, Belgium, and the United States. Chuck Samuels lives and works in Montreal. Two of Samuels’s most recent works, On Photography and After, were presented at Espaces F in Matane in the fall of 2020. Another, larger exhibition and a major publication are planned for early 2021 and are discussed below.
CS: It has come to my attention that you recently completed three new bodies of work and that these new projects sound distressingly similar to your previous work. What compels you to repeat the same thing over and over? Is it a failure of imagination?
CS: No, not at all! To begin with, they are not precisely the same ideas or images; rather, they are variations on the similar themes. As you know, I’m totally preoccupied with photography and how it works as well as how it doesn’t work. Most of my forty-year practice has, in one form or another, involved poking and prodding into various photographic archives and practices in order to interrogate these questions. And no, it’s not a sign of creative deficiency – rather, it is an obsession. As one of the jurors at my thesis defence so eloquently exclaimed, “It’s like a scab – you have to pick at it, pick at it, pick at it!”
Suite de l’article et autres images dans le magazine : Ciel variable 116 – PAYSAGES MIROIRS