Angela Grauerholz occupies an exceptional place in the history of Canadian photography. Since the 1980s, she has sustained a deep philosophical and intellectual reflection on the photographic image, memory, and the archive. In 1980, she co-founded Artexte, an information centre for contemporary art in Montréal. In the decade that followed, she dedicated herself to producing individual images in black and white, and later sepia (Cibachrome), which imbued a romanticism to certain genres of portraiture, landscape, and interior scenes, as well as other themes related to travel and the everyday. She has used several processes, namely the photographic blur, as a way to generate distance between her subjects and reality. Remarkably evocative, her photographs retrace the meaning, historic quality and mnemonic value of the image, while underlining the self-referential character of the photographic medium (its history, subjects, modes of reproduction, etc.). In the early 1990s, Grauerholz investigated the archival process and its attendant issues. Interested in the notion of collection, she revisited her previous work on the method of classification in her 1994 installation titled Églogue ou Filling the Landscape, which is part of the Musée d’art contemporain’s collection. From that point on, she began incorporating curatorial work in her art practice, in particular the presentation of visual and textual documents linked to the history of her own production and to that of modern culture. In 2008, she extended her investigation of the archive, subjective cartography, and memory through her experimental project At Work and at Play, in which she explored the polysemous potential of the Web’s infrastructure.

Chemin de fer, 1994, Gelatin silver print, 1/3.
© Angela Grauerholz • Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay