Since 2000, John Armstrong, who lives in Toronto, and Paul Collins, who lives in Paris, have maintained a collaborative, intermedia art practice.
Their photographs, videos and painted images record places, events and objects they come across in the course of their daily lives in Toronto and Paris. These elements are variously juxtaposed to suggest narratives that play with the porous nature of individual and collective memory.
cache-misère is the title of a series of colour photographs on which the artists have painted images, text and swatches of colour. The photographs are compositionally completed by the addition of painted elements that, to varying degrees, obscure the initial picture. The painted images represent primarily domestic bric-a-brac and typographical elements that form short poetic statements.
Once painted, the photographs no longer represent seamless windows onto reality, but assume a new logic where any editorial content is complemented by the associative synergy found in abstract painting.
–Installation view of cache-misère in the exhibition The Mechanical Bride curated by Bonnie Rubenstein for the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival 2010 at the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, Toronto.
explores the dominance of media screens in contemporary life, and her images also refer to the narcissistic self-awareness expressed on social networks and the current approach to quick, light mobile photography that affects our visual culture.
In seafaring days, islands which had been reported but were thought unlikely to be real were labelled with the term "existence doubtful" — as this series shows, such myth and mystery persist in today's Antarctic.
In these empty, yet eerily haunting photographs, we are confronted by the locations in which young men were executed by their own compatriots for offenses such as desertion or cowardice.
These richly imaginative yet deeply melancholy portraits bring together old photographs and dead flowers to convey feelings of sadness, sentimentality—and eternity.