Concordia Photography Collective exhibits student work at Galerie du Viaduc
“Photography has a really important role in fine arts to comment on what’s already existing in our lives,” said Concordia Photography Collective President, Olivia Ridge. “I mean it can create a lot of ideas, but it plays a role in deconstructing a lot of images.”
Ridge is originally from Minnesota, and moved to Montreal to study photography at Concordia. She has been working with the collective for over two years, and this year marks her first as president.
Several of Concordia’s photography students had their works exhibited at the Galerie du Viaduc on 5806 St-Laurent Blvd from Feb 20 to 24. This short-but-sweet exhibition strived to explore society’s tendency to rate everything on a certain scale. As described by FEAT Management, On a Scale of 1 to 10 was a photography exhibit exploring this systematic and vernacular concept used for rating things, people, places, emotions and ideas.
According to Ridge, although the Concordia Photography Collective hosts annual exhibitions of student work, this one felt different.
“We do an annual exhibition every year outside campus, mostly because we want to recognize Montreal art spaces,” Ridge said. “But this one was a partnership with FEAT’s collective, who work with emerging artists. Undergraduates are not recognized by art scenes, and [FEAT] is open to giving them those opportunities.”
Some students showed their work for the very first time.
FEAT co-founders Max and Rafaël Hart Barnwell reached out to the collective to make a collaborative exhibition and showcase student work in accordance with the theme they had created. All ideas were approved by the collective. The curating company made sure the exhibit was accessible to students and, as they do with most of their art works, encouraged many to submit.
Over 20 artists sent out their works, but 13 works from 10 artists were selected to participate. The works each conveyed the artists’ vision of what society weighs the value of.
Mico Mazza’s photograph, Two Paths, shows a pair of gloves. The right glove is white, similar to that of a Mickey Mouse glove, while the left one is black leather, alluding to a biker’s. An instant reaction is to consider it a cliché; to think of the work as an overused ideal of what people believe to be right and wrong. The white glove is positioned on the viewer’s right side and considered “normal,” symbolising the “right” path in life. On the other hand, the black glove is on the left, looking daunting in contrast with the white. Mazza did not mean for the viewer to admire the cliché, but to realize how quick the mind is reminded of values associated with certain symbols.
“We are constantly confronted in providing a relatable worth to what we encounter or do in our lives,” Raphaël explained. “We are interested in revealing the different values and processes that make up this scale while questioning the implications and consequences of adopting such a socially implied abstract system of measurement. Through photography, we wish to portray an array of interpretations highlighting various ideas that lie behind a scale of 1 to 10.”
For more information about the artworks and artists behind them, visit FEAT management’s website, featmanagement.com.
The Concordia Photography Collective has an upcoming exhibit at the end of April. They will be open for submissions until March 10. For more information, visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/concordia.photocollective.