With its group show “Rite of Passage,” online gallery The Print Atelier brings together the work of a diverse set of Canadian photographers who use the camera to explore the changes that characterize life. Above all, the images of people, objects, and urban and natural landscapes focus on the inexorable passage of time.
The show—an Internet-based collaboration between The Print Atelier, MASSIVart, and Sid Lee—includes photographs of the human body by Victor Vargas Villafuerte. Two of these images come from his “Dead Trees” series, which features nude figures contorted into muscular, athletic positions photographed in black-and-white against stark black backgrounds. In Dead Trees - C (2015), a young man folds his slender body into a sinewy, yoga-like pose. His position radiates strength and reflects a state of temporariness; the pose will be released, time will pass, and this hale body will eventually age.
Maude Arsenault’s portraits of adolescent girls also suggest time’s passage. Titled after their subjects, Florence and Maxe, these unadorned black-and-white portraits show the girls straight on, with hints of coming adulthood in their faces.
The flux of the natural world is also represented. In Future Imperfect #6, David Ellingsen captures humankind’s intimate connection to the environment through a staged photograph of nude figures washed onto a jetty extending into a vast body of water. The positioning of the figures suggests the emergence of living beings from water, harkening back eons to the beginning of life on land.