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Exibitions 1975

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Index of artists, authors and curators

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OPTICA Fonds (Concordia University Archives)

Guidebooks to help in consulting the archives

Electronic Reproduction Fees

Leonard Freed
From January 20th 1975 to February 14th 1975
Spectre of Violence (1er volet / 1rst part)

"Leonard Freed found his subjects by following the New York police on their calls and most of his pictures depict the aftermath of violence. They focus on the victim rather than the attacker. The criminals are seldom shown, but theirs is a compelling subliminal presence in all the shots. They too are victims; of insecurity, a lack that no lock or intrusion detectors can correct. These criminals are losers in an even more profound way than their victims : they have lost (or never had) the ability to feel secure within the order of society through a clear recognition of their station. [...] These photographs were first published two years ago by the Sunday Times Magazine of London. They accompanied an article written by George Feifer entitled «New York – A lesson for the world». The indignation aroused was immense. Even the liberal journalist Anthony Lewis of the New York Times, after agreeing that local conditions were 'hopeless...intolerable...inhuman' went on to theorize that this was the usual case of foreigners 'working off their jealousy at the power affluence of the U.S., taking pleasure in its troubles.'"
- Bogardi, Georges, "Art and Violence : 2 studies", The Montreal Star.

- Bogardi, Georges, «Art and Violence : 2 studies», The Montreal Star.
- Gosselin, Claude, «Le spectre de la violence», Le Devoir, 8 mars 1975.

Bernard Schiele
From February 10th 1975 to March 1st 1975

"Montreal-based photographer Bernard Schiele attempts to involve the viewer in philosophical issues. Exploiting the distance between the viewer’s eye and the print, Schiele fills it with a resonant quiet. Involving progressions flowing from realistic to abstract supply a syntax for the fuller understanding of the photographic medium."
- Invitation (Optica)

March 2nd, 1975
Conference by Bernard Schiele

Leonard Freed
From February 26th 1975 to March 18th 1975
Spectre of Violence (2e volet / 2nd part)

Please go back to the first part of "Spectre of Violence" (January 20th 1975 - February 14th 1975) in order to see our selected archives' documents concerning this Leonard Freed exhibition. Thank you.

Duncan Donovan
From March 31st 1975 to April 19th 1975
Le studio de portrait

The following document is only available in French :
"Cette exposition itinérante débutant à la Galerie Optica jette un regard sur un aspect négligé de la photographie canadienne. Donovan a travaillé à son studio de portrait à Alexandria, en Ontario, dans son comté natal de Glengary, de 1896 à 1924. Donovan n’avait aucune prétention artistique; il a tout simplement fait ses photographies en accord avec les conventions de son temps. Pour nous maintenant, chacune de ces images signifie plus qu’un simple portrait. Elles reflètent les pensées des canadiens français et écossais de ce temps, car même le plus simple tracé d’un visage nous révèle un peu la personnalité du sujet."
- Jennifer Harper
- Invitation (Optica)

Pierre Boogaerts
From May 5th 1975 to June 26th 1975
Références : plantation / jaune bananier

"The ‘Banana-Tree Yellow’ Reference
... so the concern is not with bananas or banana-trees as such, not with the ‘real nature’ of fruits or trees.
Merely I point out an image.
‘Banana-tree’ conjures up the image ‘tree’ – nature, verticality, growth –; the image ‘south’ – exoticism, far-away, freedom –; and ‘yellow’ – banana-tree = banana = yellow.
‘Banana-tree yellow’ combines therefore nature, verticality, growth, exoticism and freedom with the characteristics of the colour yellow : light, warmth and a certain kind of space.
The reference is not to an image of nature (the banana-tree) but to a mental construction (collective conscious) – let’s call it a ‘synthetic image’.
Labelling an object ‘banana-tree yellow’ aims at revealing the impact of the image (reference) on the object, as well as the impact of the image on the object’s environment – potentialization of the image.
The reference is there to project the ‘synthetic image’ on the object and to project its action on the environment.
The object (the visual) is developed (photography) by the reference (the mental construction).
... not to build a world, a mythology but to reveal the non-natural (the artificial) as natural (biological) through the intervention of the synthetic image. (*)
Try to render the integration (efficient use) of man and nature at the same time evident (the area of the mind : sight) and biological (sensory area : attitude). (*)
To show the human content of nature in ‘developing’ the natural content of man.
(*) to clarify :
There is no question of imitating nature. Imitation would only be imposing the synthetic on the natural, i.e., destroying the natural. Rather, it is a matter of ‘developing’ the homogeneity of the environment – synthetic / nature – (‘all the constitutiong elements of a homogeneous substance are of the same nature’ – Dictionary).
Finally, to affirm that the ‘human’ extends into the synthetic as well as into the natural."
- Pierre Boogaerts, August 1974
- Internal document (Optica)

Michael Haslam
From June 9th 1975 to June 30th 1975
Prime-Beef Time-Zone

"About a year ago, Haslam was forced to take up residence with a mother and a father and a twenty-seven inch Motorola Quasar II. Needless to say who dominated the house. Rather than arming himself with a beer Michael armed himself with a Praktica LLC and Bob Walker’s Carsen Professional tripod, and prepared to fight the monster on its own terms. Perhaps Joe Beef’s fascination with television stems from his first contact with the medium. When he first saw TV as a child he tried to talk to it. It answered him but not as he expected. Today, still a little perplexed, Joe Beef documents ‘the flywheel of society’ attempting to coordinate visual models and universal icons present on network prime-time television. Emphasis is placed on the rituals of professional sport and the ceremonialism of consumption – keys to understanding a complex aspect of our culture. Michael Haslam is a well-known Montreal artist. He is one of the founding members of the Insurrection Art Co., 1970."
- Internal document (Optica)

From July 3rd 1975 to July 24th 1975
Ritual Sculpture from Black Africa / Sculpture rituelle de l'Afrique noire

Collaboration with the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal

David Marvin
From August 1st 1975 to August 31st 1975
A Need to See

"David Martin was not a photographer in a professional sense. He was more of a researcher, a recorder, for whom the camera was indispensable. Stone deaf since a childhood illness, his reliance on the camera was a vital need, never a luxury. For over two decades he wandered the streets in his spare time photographing the incongruities of urban life, the cycle of decay and growth, with a particular affection for the old Griffintown area."
- Press release (Optica)

John Chalmers, John Blahut
From September 1st 1975 to October 3rd 1975
A Boldness of Vision

"John Chalmers and John Blahut are promising Toronto photographers developing powerful and unique approaches to photography. Chalmers’s images are stark and disturbing ; Blahut uses the medium for introspective ends. What they achieve is an intensity and boldness of vision."
- Invitation (Optica)

"Both men play with the relationship of reality to the camera in terms of the unquestioned expectations that limit what the camera’s supposed to do. You can take pictures of real live people; you cannot portray – as the main character – something which is already a reproduction. Thus, it is somewhat frightening to be confronted by portraits of mannequins, a still-life consisting of stuffed mammals. Chalmers’ world is a masked ball with an often faceless cast – images of masks, a child standing beneath a flat effigy of the seven dwarfs, or a bowling scene in which the three human protagonists are mysteriously inanimate – two of the people have lost their heads in the cropping, the gentleman becomes the hat he wears since we never meet his eyes. For both photographers the subject matter is indeed a kind of front – trollish sentries which like that ghoulish white dog by Chalmers – guard over another, less well-known world nearby."
- "Gallery roundup", The Montreal Star, September 10th 1975.

- «Gallery roundup», The Montreal Star, 10 septembre 1975.

Jacques-Henri Lartigue
From October 13th 1975 to November 20th 1975
Exposition solo / Solo exhibition

"Jacques-Henri Lartigue, the eminent French photographer, has been photographing the life around him for 70 years. Lartigue’s humorous deft eye transformed an essentially personal diary of photographs into a unique record of the century. ‘Photography is a magic thing,’ wrote the 7-year-old Lartigue and the magic infuses the casual portraits of Picasso, Colette, and the diverse personalities of Paris in the 1920’s, his marriages and the continuing antics of his family through two world wars up until the present. It was not until 1962, however, that the photographs were first seen publicly, and in the decade since, major exhibitions have been held at the Louvre, and most notably at the Museum of Modern Art. The result : a remarkable book, Diary of a Century."
- Internal document (Optica)

Henri Cartier-Bresson
From November 23rd 1975 to January 8th 1976
Québec 1965

The following document is only available in French :
"L’exposition montre des photographies de Cartier-Bresson prises en 1965, invité par l’Office National du Film du Canada à photographier le Québec en vue d’en tirer un film, un court métrage qu’a réalisé Wolf Koenig et qui dure dix minutes. Ces photos n’avaient jamais été montrées en public depuis lors. [...] Dix années se sont écoulées [...]; les sujets et leur environnement paraissent singuliers, dépassés, de plus le climat politique n’a plus d’intérêt. Mais la capacité de la photographie pour capter l’instant d’un moment dans un lieu donné est une fois de plus démontrée."
- William Ewing
- Internal document (Optica)