Alexis Desgagnés, Ammoniaque — Ève Dorais

[Fall 2021]

Montréal, Les Éditions du Renard, 2021, non paginé

By Ève Dorais

In an article in an issue of the magazine Elephant devoted to photography,1 Robert Shore notes that in recent decades photography has striven to assert its own materiality. Indeed, artists have found all sorts of ploys to highlight the medium’s materiality by intervening on the surface of the film, or by painting, drawing, poking holes in, or embroidering the surface of the sheet of paper bearing the printed image, thus affirming the primacy of the photographer’s artistic signature over the subject from the world captured by the camera. This, apparently, is a reaction to the glut of photographic images in the mediasphere.2 Given all of this, is a resolutely documentary approach to photography still relevant? Alexis Desgagné’s photobook Ammoniaque elegantly brings the two approaches together. He reiterates the importance of the subject and the picture taking while affirming the materiality of the photograph, notably by the use of analogue cameras and photosensitive film3 and by reifying his images in the form of a book rather than in an exhibition. What emerges is an intimate, palpable object that people can have by their side to read and look at in their daily life…


See the magazine for the complete article and more images: Ciel variable 118 – EXHIBITING PHOTOGRAPHY