September 5, 2009
by Canadian Architect
The Canadian Centre for Architecture begins a new season, focused on photography and interactivity, and paying special tribute to two great contemporary photographers: Robert Burley and Guido Guidi.
Robert Burley: Photographic Proof
For 30 years, Toronto-based Robert Burley has photographed built environments, exploring the
relationship between nature, architecture, and the urban landscape. His work Photographic Proof
(2008-2009) is a massive photographic mural installed on the north side of the CCA building
facing Baile Street. Created in collaboration with Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal 2009, the work
is an immense reproduction of a Polaroid photograph showing a crowd witnessing a great
destruction of traditional photographic equipment: the dynamiting of the iconic Kodak-Pathé plant
in Chalon-sur-Saône, France in 2007. The mural will be shown until October 19, 2009.
Robert Burley: The Disappearance of Darkness
Robert Burley: The Disappearance of Darkness documents the decline of traditional photographic
equipment manufacturing brought about by new technologies. Since 2005, the evolution from
analogue to digital in photographic technology has resulted in the disappearance of factories
making conventional photographic products. This has caused upheaval in every occupation related
to the industry, changes in the built environment, and the transformation of photographic practice
and culture. The digital revolution, while initially technological and economic in nature and
concerned with the production, dissemination and preservation of images, has also had an effect
on our perception of images and the way the way time is visible in them. Factories belonging to
multinational firms such as Kodak, Agfa, and Polaroid, which until recently produced cameras,
photographic paper, film, and darkroom chemicals on a global scale, have been abandoned and
demolished one after another. These works will be shown from September 11 to November 15, 2009 in the CCA’s hall cases.
The CCA has collected Robert Burley’s work since the beginning of his career, and currently holds
some 350 of his photographs including several commissioned series.
Carlo Scarpa’s Tomba Brion: Photographs by Guido Guidi, 1997-2007
Carlo Scarpa’s Tomba Brion: Photographs by Guido Guidi, 1997-2007 captures notions of time,
space, and light in the Brion family’s mausoleum in Italy, considered to be the architect Carlo
Scarpa’s masterpiece. A long-time admirer of Scarpa’s work and thought, Guidi’s interest in the
Brion family tomb is reflected in this visual essay spanning one decade. Guidi was previously
commissioned by the CCA to photograph buildings for the Mies in America (2001) and Carlo
Scarpa, Architect (1999) exhibitions, and he also contributed to the exhibition Venezia—
Marghera: Photography and Transformations in the Contemporary City (1997). The exhibition runs from September 11, 2009 to January 10, 2010, and is curated by Louise Désy, CCA curator of photography , who gives a gallery talk on Thursday, October 15 at 7:00pm.
Intermission: Films from a Heroic Future
After the Speed Limits exhibit concludes its extended run on November 8, 2009, Intermission: Films from a Heroic Future runs from November 25, 2009 to February 28, 2010 in the CCA’s main galleries. Intermission presents a film program examining the effects of speed and technology on our past, present, and future selected by guest curators from five archives: NASA and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, NFB/ONF in Montreal, UbuWeb in New York, and Filmbank in Amsterdam. The CCA’s main galleries are transformed into screening rooms, showing films that explore the disruption and curiosity caused by unusual rates of speed, from early reactions to new technology to nostalgic ideas of an unmechanized past. Leaving the Earth is possible only at very high speeds, and this effort is represented in films about early space
exploration, including hours of rare NASA footage shot inside Apollo mission capsules. Once
space became accessible, many believed that we would live there. These films imagine the future
from the point of view of the past, and conclude that we ought to be living on the moon by now.
Projections from each archive are shown in the galleries continuously during the museum’s regular
hours. In addition, Thursday nights feature two specially selected films, which replay as matinees
the subsequent weekend. Visitors can also access the complete selection of films in a viewing room.
Architectural engagement with colour is related to its physical materiality as well as its atmospheric
and psychological attributes. Drawing on the CCA’s collections, this hall-case display features
photographs, drawings, and colour charts that represent, communicate, and imagine colour – with
a particular emphasis on pink – in the context of architecture. This show runs from September 11 to November 15, 2009 in the CCA’s hall cases.
For more information, please visit www.cca.qc.ca.