Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Intimate World of Josef Sudek

My review of "The Intimate World of Joseph Sudek" at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa from October 28, 2016 to February 26, 2017 is on newsstands this summer, appearing in issue 142 of Border Crossings. The exhibition offered a retrospective introduction to the entirety of Josef Sudek’s career: from his early photographs that are marked by the Romantic Pictorialism that was conventional at the beginning of the 20th century, to his later, more experimental and idiosyncratic works that he produced up until his death in 1976. The exhibition was divided thematically into nine sections and these, placed in a roughly chronological order, underscored Sudek’s individualistic pursuit of his artistic vision. An early photo (Veteran’s Home, c. 1922-1927) featuring a disabled war veteran absorbed in the contemplation of a bottle he is holding could act as a metonym for Sudek’s career: He cast himself as an outsider whose singular focus revealed worlds within worlds.

For the complete review, check out Border Crossings 142, available at the finest bookstores, newsstands, and libraries near you.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Research Residency at Artexte

In the spring of 2017 I am beginning a research residency at Artexte in Montreal on the work of Jayce Salloum as alternative media. Jayce Salloum has made a career out of interrogating the complicated nature of representation and the power of images and text. His career has also intersected in an extraordinary way with the history of artist-run centres and arts collectives. Salloum has continuously and ingeniously addressed the public through various channels, including performances, photographs, installations, postcards, stencils, mail art, bookworks, magazine projects, and videos.

A page of Jayce Salloum slides in the Artexte archives.

Considering Salloum’s work as a form of alternative media, I will be particularly interested in studying Salloum’s publishing activities in artist’s books and magazines, which offer a unique lens through which to bring the history of artist-run centres and artists’ publishing into focus. One goal of this residency is to underscore the manner in which Salloum’s work presents an alternative to the mainstream media’s representation of war, the nation state, and the nature of conflict, while highlighting the importance of artist-run centres as platforms for alternative views. Link to the Artexte page about my residency here.