Serge Clément | Archipel
Zoë Tousignant, curator
Opening evening & publication launch: Friday, November 16th, 5 PM
The exhibition continues until December 21st, 2018.
Photographic books have long been important to Serge Clément. Over the past forty years they have played an increasingly central role in how he thinks about and makes art. Initially, he used the book form as a rudimentary way of organizing his photographic series. This organizational impulse quickly gave way to a desire to experiment with narrative – to explore the considerable impact that sequencing has on the reception and meaning of photographs. Since the mid-1990s, the book has become a means of expression as important to the artist’s practice as the exhibition. More often than not his works are presented in both forms, each set on an equal footing and acting as a complement to the other.
Archipel is a retrospective exhibition that lays bare Clément’s longstanding engagement with the book form. The twenty-one works presented were selected from a corpus of more than forty-six maquettes, artist’s books and larger print-run publications produced since 1979. The exhibition is accompanied by a new book – also titled Archipel – that proposes a cohesive overview of the direction Clément’s experimentations have taken over the last eighteen years. It is itself an artistic statement that provides insight into a distinctive creative voice while boldly revisiting past production. Also accompanying the exhibition is a video projection that seeks to highlight, through the lens of another medium, the particular materiality of Clément’s book works.
Serge Clément’s photographic practice is shaped by interrogation, exploration and self-expression. His poetic and unsettling images arise from a multi-faceted approach that ranges from documentary to installation, from social commentary through poetic narrative to photographic essay. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions in several European countries, Hong Kong and Canada. He has published numerous photographic books and produced four short films based on photographs. This dual consideration of film and photography also resulted in the exhibition-installation Escale Cinéma, presented at the Cinémathèque québécoise in March 2018. He is represented by Galerie Simon Blais in Montreal and by the Galerie Le Réverbère in Lyon.
Zoë Tousignant is a photography historian and curator whose research interests centre around the dissemination of photographic culture in Quebec, both past and present. She is the Assistant Curator of Photography at the McCord Museum. Her recent curatorial projects include Gabor Szilasi – The Art World in Montreal, 1960-1980 (McCord Museum, 2017-2018); Canadian Photography Magazines, 1970-1990: Reconsidering a History of Photography in Print (Artexte, 2016); and Campeau, Carrière, Clément: Accumulations (Galerie Simon Blais, 2015).