'After Botticelli' in 'Emanations', a three person show curated by Martha Langford as part of 'Le Mois de la Photo à Montreal'.
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Le Mois de la Photo à Montreal 2005 photographic biennale was curated by the critic and historian Martha Langford, founding Director of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. Under the title 'Image & Imagination', Le Mois de la Photo comprised a series of exhibitions including 30 artists from Canada, France, Japan, Haiti, Australia, the Netherlands and the US. With the title 'Image and Imagination', Langford’s intention was to emphasise that however much the photograph may be tied to the real, it takes to life in the spectator’s imagination. 'Emanations' was a show within 'Image and Imagination' in which Langford selected three artists (including myself) whose work reflected ideas of origin. My work employs photography in various ways (stills, projections) to suggest the activation of personal memory or fantasy in responding to artworks within the public space of the gallery. My piece 'After Botticelli' was a projection based on a photographic slide of a tondo painting of a Madonna and child in the National Gallery, London, where the Madonna gazes out at the spectator. In the projection a small round mirror intervenes to relay the Madonna’s face on to the ceiling where she gazes down upon the spectator. Engaging with her gaze above, the spectator’s gaze is diverted from the painting in favour of the vertical exchange of gazes between the Madonna/mother and spectator/child. The contribution made by this work to photographic art lies in the way it privileges a maternal gaze and affords a personal or psychological response in preference to typical religious or formal art historical readings. An accompanying book, entitled 'Image & Imagination', edited by Martha Langford, was published by McGill-Queens University Press, Montreal (ISBN 0-7735-2969-1). It was also published in a separate French edition (0-7735-3024-X). My work "After Botticelli' is referenced on pp.195-200 with illustrations on pp.198-99.
Centre d'Art Amherst, Montreal, pp.1
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