[Fall 1995]

by Robert Legendre

Major artistic events both in concept and in scale, the MOIS DE LA PHOTO events are biennial exhibitions held in a number of big cities around the world. For the past eight years, under the auspices of the Vox Populi group, Montreal has been Canada’s host city for this event. Considering the layout of the city, it would seem fit to qualify Montreal’s edition of the MOIS DE LA PHOTO as a tentacular event, which, from a certain point of view, is actually quite pleasant at this time of year.

Montrealers have time and again proven to be a fervent and faithful audience for this type of event. The same is true of MOIS DE LA PHOTO audiences elsewhere in the world. In fact, a segment of these audiences travels from one city to another, developing a thoroughly documented vision of contemporary photography.

The choice of themes and works points to the cultural attributes of the different countries and continents that host the MOIS DE LA PHOTO events. Where these events intersect is in the very essence of their concept. And in the end, photography, no matter what the intent of a given curator or artist, remains the gesture of an individual.

As an organization for the promotion of contemporary photography, Productions Ciel Variable, publisher of CVphoto, wished to participate in this edition of MOIS DE LA PHOTO À MONTRÉAL. As a result, La Photo en revue (Photography and Magazines), an event that we believe will be of considerable interest to our readers, was created. Photography and Magazines consists of the public presentation of an international selection of over 15 quality magazines concerned with photography. For information on this event, please refer to page 7.

The addition of two special supplements in this issue of CVphoto may appear somewhat unusual, but again, they represent for us yet another way to participate in MOIS DE LA PHOTO À MONTRÉAL, which, it should be stressed, is a major artistic event in Canada. Both supplements contribute to photography’s growth, while providing well-deserved support for insightful initiatives.

In the centre of the magazine, the first supplement acts as a catalogue for the exhibitions presented by the Musée du Québec (MQ) and by the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (CMCP) in the current edition of MOIS DE LA PHOTO À MONTRÉAL. It also features texts relating to the main issue raised in MOIS DE LA PHOTO’s colloquium: Photography and Museum Collections: The Specificity of a Medium – and of a Culture. I cannot thank enough those who have collaborated on this venture.

The second supplement, inserted in the last pages of the issue, relays the findings of a group of twelve Concordia University students working together under the directorship of professor Penny Cousineau. The study group has defined the relations and distinctions between two successive generations of Québécois photographers. Needless to say, it is of the utmost importance (for our photography) that research of this kind be made available to academics, photography amateurs and, of course, photographers themselves. Devoid of any pretense, this study reinstates the pertinence of a historical perspective, an approach often omitted in Quebec, due to the relatively poor sense we have of our own history. In short, considering the importance of the MOIS DE LA PHOTO, we welcomed the abundance of dossiers in this issue as a timely and fitting addition. Enjoy!

Translated by Jennifer Couëlle