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January 27, 2023

Opening Reception: Écrins Écrans

Thursday, November 14, 2019
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
McIntosh Gallery (MG)

Écrins Écrans
Angela Grauerholz
Curated by Catherine Bédard
Produced by the Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris
November 1 - December 14, 2019

Opening reception: Thursday, November 14, 8:00-10:00p.m.

This exhibition presents an ensemble of photographic projects in which individual and collective memory become entangled in magnificent yet somewhat disturbing images. Écrins Écrans presents around forty spare, frameless prints, from a series of colour photographs taken by Grauerholz beginning in 2001. That was the year she produced, Privation, a major project that documented the charred remains of her library, which had burned in a house fire. A lamentation over the loss of her book collection, Privation also symbolically marked her complete transition from analogue to digital photography.

In her earlier work, Grauerholz resisted optical precision and referential clarity. She used black and white or sepia monochrome to allude to the past with numbed awareness, resulting in a critical distance that precluded identifying too closely with the subject matter. In contrast this recent work redefines places of remembrance, longing and intimacy with a sort of now distant eye, as if the photographer had lost some privileged, sensitive, or even tactile relationship to the object of her gaze. Here, the relations between architecture and decoration, places of passage or waiting, and devices to conceal or reveal, invite us to take a look while at the same time forbidding us access. In each of these images, something emerges from the past, from a personal story and from the collective memory. But what is striking in those protected spaces is that although you can write, imagine or project anything on their surfaces – walls, screens, floors – they keep us firmly on the doorstep. This proximity is all the more uncomfortable precisely because we are prohibited from entering and seeing close up.

The exhibition title, Écrins Écrans is a homophonic pun in which the meaning of two similar sounding words with different meanings resonate in unexpected ways. Écrins translates as a small boxes or cases, écrans are screens. Beyond the most literal interpretation of the camera as a box for holding memories, and the photographic print being a screen onto which that memory is projected, the words evoke an array of other meanings and associations in relation to what is hidden and what is made visible.

Image credit: Angela Grauerholz, Light Well. 2014. Printed using inkjet on Hahnemuehle Fine Art paper and mounted on Sintra.

McIntosh Gallery
Abby Vincent - Communications & Outreach Coordinator
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