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image
© Page couverture l Book cover, La photographie en tant que document vulgaire / Towards the photograph as a vulgar document, 1992.

Exposition de groupe
From February 6th 1988 to February 28th 1988
La photographie en tant que document vulgaire / Towards the Photograph as a Vulgar Document

Artists : Raymonde April, Charles Guilbert, Bob Burley, Tim Clark, Eileen Cowin, Lee Friedlander, Michel Gaboury, Suzy Lake, Lucie Lefebvre, George Legrady, Sherrie Levine, Laurie Simmons, Mitra Tabrizian, Andy Golding, Mark Lewis

Colloque/Symposium
February 26, 27, 28 1988

To celebrate its 15th anniversary as an artist-run space, Gallery Optica decided to produce an event that would function more as a “living archive”, than simply as a retrospective almanac. Subsequently, the gallery’s program history was reviewed to identify the (critical) issues that had recurred in it over time. The photograph as a vulgar document came from this pool of subjects.

Structurally, the project will include an exhibition, a symposium and a book. The exhibition is the visual coefficient of the analysis and the symposium is the critical address, while the book will combine reproductions from the show, texts by the symposium participants and an annotated document of Optica’s history.

“Towards the Photograph as a Vulgar Document” is not necessarily about obscene pictures. It is about how photography has questioned and explored the contradictions and potentials of the documentary picture over the last 15 years.

The vulgar document poses questions like: When you look at a photograph, do you believe what you are seeing? Is the world you see your world? Have you considered the photographer’s authority to edit your world? When you look at pictures, is there a place for you in them? Do photographs represent you as a woman or a man correctly?

Thirteen artists from Quebec, Canada, the United State and England are included in the exhibition: Raymonde April and Charles Guilbert, Bob Burley, Tim Clark, Eileen Cowin, Lee Friedlander, Michel Gaboury, Suzy Lake, Lucie Lefebvre, George Legrady, Sherrie Levine, Laurie Simmons and Mitra Tabrizian.

The vernissage will be held Saturday, February 6th, 1988 a 2:00pm. In conjunction with the symposium, there will be a “closing” party 8:30-12:00am Saturday, February 27th, 1988.

Next autumn, in collaboration with Parachute, Optica will publish the book component of this project. The book will be comprised of: an introductory essay by Dominique Guillaumant the gallery’s present managing director; and essay on Optica’s history written by Serge Allaire; the exhibition essay by Lorne Falk; documentation for the exhibition and articles written by the symposium speakers.

Bibliographie
Gravel, Claire, « Place à la photo et à la sculpture », Le Devoir, samedi 20 février 1988, p. C-9.
Denis, Jean-Pierre, « La photographie en tant que document vulgaire towards the photograph as a vulgar document », Parachute, juin juillet août 1988, no. 51, p.31-32.
Svoboda , Jean-Luc, « Optica: La photographie en tant que document vulgaire », Photo Communiqué, Summer 1988, p. 35-36.
Gravel, Claire, « La photo en tant que document vulgaire », Le Devoir, mardi février 1988, p. 11.
Caron, Nathalie, « Les 15 ans à Optica: L'art vulgaire », Voir, 11-17 février 1988, p.12.