The exhibition of collections differs from other exhibitions in that rather than being organized by unities of origin — individuals, schools, periods, nations, etc. — a collection forms a group of works defined by their destination : the location of their arrival and reception. Collections of contemporary art differ, again, from those of past art by reason of the coextensivity of creation and receipt.
It occurs often enough that some notion, enclosed as a figure, brought forth for a specific occasion and bound to a particular moment, is plucked up by others, bent and stretched, accumulates and develops further meanings and applications, and is eventually received so battered and misshapen that we can only wonder what possible use it may have remaining for anyone.
Perhaps in an unacknowledged celebration of Toronto’s sesquicentennial, Montreal, late this winter, saw an uncommon host of contemporary Toronto painting.
The project began when Donigan Cumming asked at the local grocery store if he could accompany the delivery boys as they delivered their beer and groceries. (In display, the first image is usually of the empty storeroom with the sections marked off for inventory.) Together, they arrived at the customer’s home, where the photographer met the occupants and made a proposal: he wished to photograph them and offered, in return, to provide a selection of “technically proficient snapshots” for them to keep.