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April's Mois de la Photo

Concordia faculty member's work featured in 12th presentation of the international biennale, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal.
September 21, 2011
By Beverly Akerman

Concordia faculty member Raymonde April’s solo exhibition, My Glance Is Clear Like a Sunflower, is featured in this year’s 12th presentation of Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, an international biennale that runs from September 8 to October 9 across the city in 14 sites.

Raymonde April | Image courtesy of Faculty of Fine Arts
Raymonde April | Image courtesy of Faculty of Fine Arts

April’s work is showing at Optica – a centre for contemporary art located at 372 Ste-Catherine St. W., space 508. On October 1 at 2 p.m, the photography professor will conduct a free guided tour of her work in French, as part of the Journées de la culture.

As chosen by guest curator, Anne-Marie Ninacs, the theme of this edition of Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal is Lucidity: Inward Views.

Currently on sabbatical, April, a full-time faculty member of the Studio Arts Department since 1995, is pleased to be working with Ninacs and honoured to have been selected for one of the 25 solo shows.

April was first recognized in the late 1970s for her photographic practice, inspired by her private life. She has received the Quebec government’s highest distinction for a visual artist, the Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas (2003), the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Art Photography (2005), was a finalist for the inaugural Grange Prize (2008) — at $50,000, Canada’s largest award for photography — and is an officer of the Order of Canada (2010).

“My work has always been centred on autobiography and fiction. I photograph what’s around me in my daily life. These images, the way I capture them, there’s immediately some distance set up,” she says.

The array includes people, landscapes, stories, objects, and other everyday things that constitute identity, “both a document from my life but also a way to connect with anybody, a way of looking at landscape, portrait, and object through a series of images. Like words in a sentence, a narrative that can be seen at another level.”

April’s composite self-portrait emerges through the juxtaposition of numerous prints from her 30 years of archives as well as brand new images, most of which have never been exhibited before.

April's work appears in many private collections as well as in leading Canadian museums, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, and Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.

Several other artists participating in Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal also have Concordia connections: Diane Borsato, MFA 01; Claire Savoie, BFA 91; Massimo Guerrara (part-time faculty from 2002 to 2004); and Jim Verburg, BFA 08.

As well, the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery at Concordia University is one of the exhibition sites. From September 7 to October 8, the gallery is presenting Jesper Just: Nomad in One’s Own Mind, the Danish artist’s first solo exhibition in Canada.

Related links:
•    Concordia Department of Studio Arts
•    Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal
•    Raymonde April’s website
•    Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University
•    “Art Lover's Delight this Fall” - NOW, September 13, 2011


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