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WHAT MATTERS (1)

Over the next little while drool will be wondering about how to matter, what’s
the matter, does anything matter. . .

LANCE ARMSTRONG

It’s unavoidable. Oprah Winfrey is interviewing Lance Armstrong and the hype
machine is in overdrive, I tell you. But you already know. The media is on this
like stink on shit.

This matters?

No, of course not. Most folks couldn’t care less about cycling but, man, do
they ever like fallen idols.

So it does matter?

Yes, it gives society something to cling to, to gloat over, it provides fodder
for conversation and time-passing.

What’s the matter?

We need diversion, just ask any Roman Emperor, to take us out of our daily
grind. So we set people up, put them on a pedestal, and then revel when their
humanity shows through, as it must.

You may be wondering how this relates to fotografy, seeing as this is a foto
blog. And I think that there are certain parallels to be drawn. Not in terms
of fallen idols, though there is that. . .so-and-so used to be hot but now
they’re not, their work was once good but has fallen off, and why-o-why do
folks like this person’s work, it’s obviously bankrupt.

But also in the sense of the prevalence of fotos of feet, food, felines, and so
on. . . stuff that is essentially vacuous but provides the necessary relief and
diversion from the dull routine of our existence.

So shizz like this does matter, because we’ve either been hardwired as humans,
or have “evolved” to the point where the pointless becomes necessary, has a point.
And that point is to distract.

Problem is, while we’re so busy being distracted, the powers that be run roughshod
and we either don’t notice or don’t care.

Just ask any Roman Emperor.

STEPHAN GAYDOS

Mr Gaydos opened the preamble to his new, ongoing series Great Lakes Project
Observations and Appropriations At the new Redwall (née Red Wall) Gallery at SPAO.
(Gone is the red wall and the lighting has been adjusted from its previous nuclear-blast
brightness to something resembling normal.)

Walking in the door you see these 3 images on the lower landing, observations. . .

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Half way up the stairs is a very large black and white image of some artifacts Mr.Gaydos
brought home with him and shot in a studio, the beginning of the “Appropriation” aspect
of the project. But, there being only one, it seemed somewhat out of place. I’m told there
are more to come.

At the top of the stairs, in the gallery proper, were 4 large panoramas, one landscape
and 3 views shot in ports. . .

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I was initially taken aback by the low contrast and somber palette but soon began
to respect the veracity of the rendering. These images have both atmosphere and
a feeling of day-to-day that is a part of any place like those depicted. Any heroic
qualities, Mr Gaydos seems to be telling us, are purely accidental.

The images on display are the first bits, the research and development, of what I’ve
been told will be a multi-year project. I wonder where he will take it.

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Stephan Gaydos

MY OPENING

LIVE THROUGH THIS, the show, opened at Carleton University Art Gallery this past
Monday. Upstairs. Jamelie Hassan’s show, At the Far Edge of Words, a retrospective
of her 4 decades of art making, opened on the ground floor.

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Quite the crowd made their way to the gallery on a warm January nite. Thank you
very much. There were speeches.

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Robert Evans, who curated my show, Jamelie Hassan, Sandra Dyck, gallery director, speechifying, and me

As usual, when I go to openings of my work, everything got quite blurry. Not from
drinking, I don’t drink, but from the general opening juju all artists go thru (some
with more grace and expertise than others) of trying to talk with all interested parties
but never having enough time to get to everyone.

So thanks to Justin Wonnacott for the shots from the opening published here. He shows
what I missed, the most important thing. . .people looking. And it’s interesting to me to
see how he captured the intensity looking at the work seemed to provoke. I missed all
that in the social whirl.

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all opening fotos by Justin Wonnacott

Gallery director Sandra Dyck mentioned in her speech that I had emailed her few months
before the show was to open, worrying that it (the show) would be boring. She assured me
it wouldn’t be.

I am so used to looking at these fotos, dealing with this work, I was in the rooms with
Stephanie when the life depicted was happening. Hard drugs, second-hand crack smoke,
tantrums, fights, near-overdoses all became almost normal. I almost got used to it.
Sticking the fotos on a wall seemed so anticlimactic.

But the feedback was amazing, the reactions genuine and seeing people studying the
images, seeing how close they all moved to those fotos stuck on the wall, it just about
seemed like it mattered.

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all installation fotos by Tony Fouhse

deets here: XXXX

OTTAWA ART GALLERY

The Ottawa Art Gallery is celebrating their 25th Anniversary with a group show of
work from their collection.

I’m pleased to say that I’m represented in that collection and that my work will be
on their walls for this auspicious occasion.

All manner of art and representation will be on the walls but, this being Kapital City,
there will be lots of fotografy, too, including: James Borcoman, Lynne Cohen, Jennifer
Dickson, Evergon, Rosalie Favell, Lorraine Gilbert, Geoffrey James, Marie[Jean Musiol,
Michael Schreier, Gabor Szilasi and Jeff Thomas.

The show opens this Thursday, January 24th, at five in the afternoon. I’m sure it’ll
be packed.

You might see this there:

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Jessica and Melissa, Ottawa, 2007. from USER

info: XXXX