Canadian Art Photography and the Canadian Imagination
Text by Penny Cousineau-Levine.
McGill-Queen's University Press,
Montreal & Kingston,
366 pp., 175 black-and-white and color illustrations, 7x9¾".
Conspicuously absent from the dialogue surrounding contemporary photography has been the collective Canadian voice. Author Penny Cousineau-Levine, a professor in the Department of Studio Arts at Concordia University, bemoans this fact in the introduction to Faking Death, her monumental and eagerly awaited new book. Recounting a conversation after attending a talk by John Szarkowski at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Cousineau-Levine describes the feeling of impotence surrounding the then non-existent Canadian discourse. "I didn't know either what our photographic tradition was, or how it might relate to a larger constellation of Canadian cultural assumptions. All I knew was that I wasn't willing to admit this tradition didn't exist." And thus, the seed for this study was planted. Faking Death serves as a history of Canadian photography but most importantly, presents a compelling theory for viewing past and present Canadian image-makers.
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