Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Travelling Time and Space: Angela Grauerholz Q&A out in today's National Post

Just as the McMaster Museum of Art in Hamilton was wrapping up one Angela Grauerholz exhibition, another opened at the National Gallery in Ottawa. Recently, I spoke with Grauerholz about works old and new. The resulting Q&A is in today's National Post. An excerpt:

Q Your photos range from soft black-and-white landscapes to sharp colour interiors. What binds them all together?

A Probably certain fascinations with spaces. I look for elements that create a tension in the image--historical incongruence or elements that don't fit together.

Q How does that work in, say, your 1989 photo of the Eiffel Tower area in Paris?

A Well, I hesitated on that for a long time; the Eiffel Tower is so iconic, almost too much so. But because the photo is quite large in person--as large as a painting--what you focus on is all the people moving around the park. It almost makes you feel like you're looking at an image from the 1950s. There's that time lag that makes you wonder.

Q A lot of your images focus on things like that--things that evoke historical Europe. Why?

A In my work, there's always that allusion to another time period or another place. A lot of it comes from the fact that I immigrated to Canada from Germany when I was very young. That was definitely a driving force earlier in my career--coming to grips with having moved in space, and wanting to create a visceral experience of that. I'm also interested in how you can perceive spaces peripherally, and they stay with you nevertheless. So I don't work with a lot of spaces that are widely considered to be important. But they become important through the image.

Image credit: Angela Grauerholz,
 Les Invalides, 1989 Courtesy Art Gallery of Ontario 
© Angela Grauerholz

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