The renewal requires a death. Specifically, the second life, the new alternate life that comes with middle age, requires the identity-death of the child past, the symbolic figure of the immature being. So, Michel Campeau begins his new multi-part project Arboresccnces (2000) showing a young girl busy writing, and then he invokes an earlier picture set in a cemetery in which a barren tree shadow falls across the rocky ground, in the upper corner of which is the open maw of a freshly dug grave.
In June of 1998, fifty-year-old Quebec photographer Alain Chagnon undertook a journey. As a man and as a photographer, he was propelled in flight from the “here” of home in search of what must be found away and somewhere else. From this particular corner of the continent, he set out west and south to roam and photograph in Kansas and eight other of the much-travelled and -photographed southwestern United States, including Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and California.
The commonplace that computer and communicational technologies have collapsed space should not be limited to the sense that they have contracted distance, but also that they overwhelm spatial division and compartments. This produces not only spatial dislocation (like the intimate cell-phone conversation held in the supermarket aisle) but also divisional collapse: as when a once-specialized space loses its dedicated purpose and becomes multi-faceted and multi-layered in its functioning. I’m thinking in particular of the tele-distanced, wired up, fully equipped and furnished oxymoronic “home office.” (It is a vestigial Marxist notion that new technologies are on the side of an emergent class.)
Before he ultimately lost his battle with cancer in 1994, my father had lived for fourteen years with the consequences of a laryngectomy. This operation successfully prolonged his life, but left him disfigured with a hole at the base of his throat, a strange respiratory arrangement (he breathed and coughed through the stoma) and the loss of his voice.
As a character in the modern era, the collector is a mostly abused type. Widely dismissed psychologically as anal retentive, in terms of political economy portrayed as a hoarder and perhaps a manipulator of values, and in the circuit of creative production seen as the parasitic terminal figure who swallows all and returns no more than a belch.
As a professional group, landscape architects and designers are among the most conservative and least expected to display in their work that potential for critical thought which aids the negotiation of history. An archaic interest in gardening or non-agricultural cultivation represents a quietist or reclusive urge — “tending to your own garden” is the very motto of a retiring privatism, while Nietzche identified and posited the garden as a social space antinomous to the flux and chaos of the market place.
The problem of the counterfeit (and of fashion) was born with the Renais sance, with the dé structuration of the feudal order and the emergence of open competition at the level of distinctive signs… With the end of the bound sign, the reign of the
Over the last two decades, both installation and contemporary photography were empowered by a suspicion of the cult of the marketable art object — specifically, the commodity fetish. Yet, while historically contiguous, and often sharing a common audience, the strategies of the two modes are completely different.
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.