We are pleased to present in this issue the first thematic section put together by Alexis Desgagnés in his new position as associate editor of the magazine.
The section, bearing on the notion of habitat, juxtaposes recent works by photographers Normand Rajotte and Stephen Gill, each of whom stands out for a field practice adapted to his respective area of investigation. Rajotte, who for many years has been surveying a familiar territory and observing its tiniest variations, recently saw his surroundings radically transformed by beaver activity. Gill takes pictures, using a pole and guesswork, to reveal the life of pigeons under bridges – the life of animals perfectly adapted to the urban environment. These portfolios are complemented by works by younger artists, Allison Tweedie and Steve Veilleux, whose explorations take place through the use of found images. Tweedie reconstructs views of an ideal garden-city from pictures in magazines promoting the natural environment of the American west, whereas Veilleux deconstructs the sales rhetoric of suburban developers by exaggerating the artifice of their promotional billboards.
A number of essays extend the section’s socio-political dimensions. The work that Valérie Jouve produced in collaboration with four Palestinian women presents the reality of a world in which a woman transcends the ban on being photographed by producing images of her living environment. The case of Bela Egeydi, brought to light through an analysis of his archival fonds, shows the difficulties of rebuilding one’s identity in a new place. A Hungarian photographer living in Montreal, Egeydi produced an abundant body of work that has remained unknown, a significant part of which is composed of self-portraits.
Other essays deal with the institutional territories of photography and art. This year’s PHotoEspaña was devoted to highlighting Spanish photographic production. The review of the event in our pages offers a glimpse of the diversity and richness of this production, and lets us assess the specific traits of a national identity that is defined in relation to international influences traversing all cultures.
Finally, Vincent Lafrance’s parody magazine Art Système may be symptomatic of a growing aspiration in the art field to become integrated with the entertainment industry. Such a move would, in turn, radically transform art production. Translated by Käthe Roth