Montreal, September 20, 2016 – The exhibition
SHE PHOTOGRAPHS, organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), presents 70 works – mostly from the Museum collection – by 30 contemporary photographers from here and abroad: Raymonde April, Claire Beaugrand-Champagne, Geneviève Cadieux, Jacynthe Carrier, Sorel Cohen, Éliane Excoffier, Janieta Eyre, Lorraine Gilbert, Nan Goldin, Maryse Goudreau, Katy Grannan, Angela Grauerholz, Clara Gutsche, Shari Hatt, Isabelle Hayeur, Spring Hurlbut, Sarah Anne Johnson, Holly King, Justine Kurland, Suzy Lake, Laura Letinsky, Carol Marino, Julie Moos, Catherine Opie, Sylvie Readman, Alix Cléo Roubaud, Kiki Smith, Barbara Steinman, Andrea Szilasi and Marnie Weber.
A feminine echo of the Museum’s major retrospective of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe on view this fall, this rich body of work, which is mostly being shown for the first time at the Museum, includes among others recent acquisitions of works by Geneviève Cadieux, Éliane Excoffier, Maryse Goudreau, Angela Grauerholz and Alix Cléo Roubaud (including the series Si quelque chose noir). Presented in Level S2 of the Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion, this exhibition is an occasion to observe the many themes and approaches that constitute the contemporary feminine look.
“After Her Story Today last year, and as a counterpoint to Robert Mapplethorpe, we wanted to present our women photographers during a great season of photography, using our acquisitions as well as our collections. Intense vision and fragile medium combine here in talents who are well-known – or still to be discovered,” said Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator of the MMFA.
“Today, photography is diverse and omnipresent in social networks, media and the public space. It is an intrinsic part of our social fabric. This exhibition invites a pause, a special moment for reflection on the images made by women whose works give a contemporary view of our world,” explained Diane Charbonneau, exhibition curator and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts at the MMFA.
These women photographers explore the portrait or self-portrait, nude, still-life, as well as landscapes. Beyond their photographic and artistic work, they are also anthropologists, performers and activists. They capture the world through their goals, and explore the territories of the feminine by exposing their own bodies, and questioning notions of beauty and identity. The many facets of human experience – love, education, work, old age and death – are some of the subjects examined.
These photographers magnify the landscape in tableaus with fantastic effects through compositions that use various types of representation: cinematographic, literary or picturesque They favour interior spaces where time seems to be suspended. They use a variety of photographic techniques, and use the medium as a conceptual act to create a fictional universe or a picture space, or to reveal a social reality. Each of us, with each look, is taking part in the creation of our collective memory.
The exhibition curator is Diane Charbonneau, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative
Arts at the MMFA.
The exhibition SHE PHOTOGRAPHS was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Quebec and Canadian Contemporary Art from 1945 to today, the Museum Volunteers Association, Air Canada and the MMFA Women of Influence Circle. We also wish to thank the members of the MMFA Young Philanthropists' Circle, a proud supporter of the Museum’s contemporary art program.