What a great idea! Take images of the moment from the planet’s most techno tracker – Google Street – and pair them with black and white photographs taken a few years ago.
Artist Jon Rafman, soon to be shown at New York’s prestigious New Museum, is part of a really interesting show at Art 45. The exhibit, curated by Chloé Roubert, pairs work by photographer Gabor Szilasi with images downloaded from Google Street and enlarged by Rafman. Gabor’s scenes are black and white. Rafman’s are in glorious colours…the reality of the moment. Gabor’s scenes have a reminiscent recall. Rafman’s have an immediacy. Rafman pulled images from North America. Chloé perused Szilasi’s portfolio to find photographs that paralled the Google images: his street scene of sex shops is set beside a neon-bright Google Street/Rafman photo of a similar area.
Possibly Rafman’s most famous ‘photo’ is one of a nude woman with her back to us. She is standing – seemingly in reflection – on a rocky shore. The wavelets can be seen with their little tidal white caps.I saw the photo as a meditative moment – she is admiring nature before a secret (or not so secret: is she alone?) skinny dip. However, other people have apparently been bothered by this photo. Their ‘reading’ of it is that the photo is an invasion of privacy. But, we know not who she is, nor where. Whether she has contemplations other than an appreciation of nature – we shall never know. Google Street has taken this particular image down, by the way. But you can see it – and buy it. There are only three.
Catch Jon Rafman before the New Museum makes him a star. And admire the documentarist photos of famed photog Gabor Szilasi. Rush to Montreal’s own ‘new museum’ – the Belgo Building features great emerging artists. Smart buyers from all over the world are finding art they love, and buying them – before they are at shown at Art Basel Miami Beach – or the New Museum.
Gabor Szilasi images. No edition. $1,800.
Jon Rafman photos. Edition of 3. $225.
Until October 3, 2010.
372 Ste-Catherine Street
2nd floor, # 220