When you look at a photograph framed in a home or a gallery, have you ever thought about what goes into creating it? Before we had pixels, memory cards and inkjet printers, photographers processed film and paper with chemicals in a darkroom to produce their art.
When someone looks at a photographic masterpiece, we can appreciate the beauty and the art of the finished image in front of us. But few get to see or experience the dirty and somewhat dangerous environment the art was produced in. Michel Campeau’s exhibition: Icons of Obsolescence, turns on the light and exposes the darkroom. Michel has documented the tools and the spaces where magic happens in the dark.
When I started learning photography in high school, half the class was devoted to learning the technical aspects of using a camera and the other half was learning how to process our black and white film. It didn’t take long for me to save-up my pennies from a summer job to buy some second hand equipment and convert our laundry room into a darkroom.
As I went through Michel’s exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, I was transported back to my early photographic days and some of the darkrooms I used over the years.
Michel Campeau, a conceptual photographic artist from Montreal, Quebec. In this episode of Photo Kibitz, Michel and I chat about his exhibition, his career which spans more than 40 years and we talk about photographic art.
Icons of Obsolescence, was at the National Gallery of Canada from Oct. 2013 until January 2014.
Photographic Darkroom – Photogenic Obsolesce, will be published by Kehrer Verlag in May, 2014.