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Sylvie Readman
From October 29th 1999 to December 4th 1999
Convergences élémentaires

Sylvie Readman’s photographs are in a way the result of her various and selective investigations of photography as a language. In this view, since 1989 her work has evolved around a practice of remaking. She has developed strategies which distance the image in order to resist the immediacy of the represented subject and allow for an observation of the photographic language from within. These strategies have mainly taken the form of "détournement" processes, such as Xerox colour treatment (Inventaire d’une image, 1989), superimposition (Les traversées du paysage, 1991) or image hybridisation techniques (Champs d’éclipses, 1993).

These forays into the photo language have led to her recent interest in the physical aspects of the image and its properties as a form of writing – focus, movement of the camera, multiple exposure, depth of field – in her series Reviviscence (1995-1996). "Convergences élémentaires" is in continuity with this work where the theme of memory emerges out of physical explorations. This series, however, opens up to experiments with chemical processes (solarisation, saturation of silver salts, under and overexposure, etc.) performed in laboratory.

The new body of work presented at OPTICA is structured around a six-part sentence. Landscape is used as a minimal figurative element, reduced to a schematic form (the horizon). The refining of representation serves to give a more pregnant presence to writing within the image, and also seeks to create a delicate tension between represented subject (the landscape) and latent subject (the written form).

Sylvie Readman works in Montréal and teaches at Université du Québec à Montréal. Solo exhibitions of her work were recently presented in Belgium at the Musée de la Photographie in Charleroi (1998) and in France, at the Galeries du Théâtre de Cherbourg and the Musée de Trouville (1997). The series Reviviscence (1995-1996) was presented at Cold City Gallery in Toronto, the Floating Gallery in Winnipeg (1999), the Galerie d’art de l’Université Laval in Québec City, the Galerie d’art de l’Université de Sherbrooke (1998) and Samuel Lallouz gallery in Montréal (1996). "Champs d’éclipses", presented at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (1993), was circulated throughout Canada. "Convergences élémentaires" was recently exhibited at the Centre Vu in Québec City.

Bibliographie
- Hakim, Mona, «Sylvie Readman, Convergences élémentaires», CV Photo, printemps 2000, p.31.
- Lamarche, Bernard, «Brouillards de signes», Le Devoir, 13–14 novembre 1999, p.B9.