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Montreal photographer Michel Campeau exhibits at the National Gallery of Canada
Michel Campeau, Untitled 8277 (Niamey, Niger), 2005-10. Darkroom, 2005-10. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa© Michel Campeau/SODRAC (2013).
OTTAWA.- Since 2005, Montreal photographer Michel Campeau has photographed the vestiges of what is now termed “analogue” photography. His subject matter—darkrooms, film cameras, safety lights, and flashbulbs—is now almost archaic, products of a by-gone industrial era. From October 18, 2013, to next January 5, the National Gallery of Canada presents some forty of these photographs in the exhibition Michel Campeau: Icons of Obsolescence. The photographs capture and commemorate not only darkrooms across Canada, but those in Mexico, Cuba, France, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Vietnam and Nigeria. In other images, the artist isolates old cameras and photographic paraphernalia in a void of black, transforming them into icons worthy of veneration. More than documents, these images are first and foremost works of visual art and poetry. For more information, visit

Organized by NGC Associate Curator, Photographs, Andrea Kunard, Michel Campeau: Icons of Obsolescence highlights the materiality of the older photographic method, while alluding to the psyche of a culture increasingly removed from the physical in its embrace of the intangible world of the digital.

In his photos, Campeau transforms the previously familiar; safety lights glow as suns, blue moons appear at the bottom of waste bins, an Alexander Calder sculpture blossoms from light dodgers, and strips of coloured tape transmute into a Guido Molinari painting. The artist’s images blend documentary and art, nostalgia with rational clarity, purposefulness with chance. They are a reminder of the enormous transformation that has occurred in just over a decade for one of humanity’s most accessible and ubiquitous mediums.

Andrea Kunard is Associate Curator, Photographs at the National Gallery of Canada. She has presented several important exhibitions, including Shifting Sites (2000), Susan McEachern: Structures of Meaning (2004), Michael Semak (2005), The Painted Photograph (2006), Cheryl Sourkes: Public Camera (2007), Steeling the Gaze (2008) and Scott McFarland: A Cultivated View (2009), Fred Herzog (2011), Spaces of the City (2011), and Clash: Conflict and Its Consequences (2012). She has taught the history of photography, Canadian art and cultural theory at Carleton and Queen's University. In addition, she has co-edited The Cultural Work of Photography in Canada, and written articles on contemporary and historical photography in a variety of publications including The Journal of Canadian Art History, the International Journal of Canadian Studies, Early Popular Visual Culture, Muse, C Magazine and ETC Montréal.

Today's News

November 2, 2013

"Gifted: From the Royal Academy to The Queen" goes on view at Buckingham Palace

Christie's announces centerpiece of the Renaissance Sale: The Rothschild Prayerbook

Exhibition of new paintings by Irish-born American artist Sean Scully opens at Cheim & Read

Highly important work by Stanley Spencer leads the Modern British & Irish Art Sale at Christie's London

Thames & Hudson publishes "Art Studio America: Contemporary Artist Spaces"

Museum of the City of New York restores & digitizes the J. Clarence Davies Collection of Art

Van Abbemuseum opens a completely new narrative presentation of its collection

Blum & Poe's first solo exhibition with Los Angeles based artist Jim Shaw opens

Tiancheng International announces Modern and Contemporary & Fine Chinese Paintings Sales

Montreal photographer Michel Campeau exhibits at the National Gallery of Canada

Redactor: New works by Jacob Lunderby on view at Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia

Exhibition at Parisian Laundry features a selection of Justin Stephens' most recent paintings

New works by Beijing-based artist Ye Hongxing on view at Scream Gallery in London

Teak bodied 1903 Clement Talbot, veteran of London to Brighton run, sold for £606,300

Maie Yanni in conversation with artist Shahbazi and curator Hamza at Gypsum Gallery

Solo show of recent works by Chitra Ganesh on view at Gallery Espace

Sir Robert Horton's collection of rare Aldine books to be sold at Bonhams

Janaina Tschäpe opens first exhibition with Tierney Gardarin Gallery

Giant yellow duck victim of Taiwan quake

Gilad Ophir. winner of 2013 Constantiner Photography Award for and Israeli Artist, opens exhibition

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