|Shy Guy Alain Paiement|
Videographer George Socka and myself filmed and talked to Maggs at the Susan Hobbs gallery where his After Nadar exhibition was hanging.
Maggs was, “inspired by a series of photographs of the celebrated French pantomime Pierrot, taken by the Parisian photographer, Nadar in 1855." In his new show, writes Susan Hobbs, "Maggs' newest images are a restaging of these photographs using himself as the sitter.”
Three things excited Maggs during our conversation. Why? He was happy with the Susan Hobbs exhibition, and thrilled with the Scotiabank Photography Award nomination. He was also looking forward to the opening of his new show at The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
In April I took the train to Montreal to film Alain Paiement. I didn’t have the luxury of a long stay, and I filmed Paiement for both an English and French language YouTube video, returning to Toronto the same day.
Muse Magazine informed me that for twenty years, Alain Paiement has been a major figure in contemporary photography. His genius lies in his 'spatialization' of photography and unique construction of vision. His lens takes the ceilings off homes and businesses to giving the viewer a bird's eye view of what really goes on inside.
While we sat in his Rosemont Studio he explained that he was reclusive by nature, “I am very much an outsider, I don’t know that many people. This nomination is my (coming out party).”
Videographer Dr. Phil Nuytten of Vancouver, builds submarines, designs space age dive suits and he owns Diver Magazine (to which I frequently contribute).
When Phil has time, he likes to talk to artists. Lucky me. He volunteered to take his cameras to the Equinox Project Space to interview Fred Herzog, the third finalist for the Scotiabank Photography Award,
Nuytten’s six-minute video should have had a musical soundtrack using Paul Simon's hit, Kodachrome. (Copy right. Sigh). You see, the 82-year Herzog has used slide film to capture pictures of downtown Vancouver during the first 50 years of his career. His body of work IS the history of the city, documented in vibrant Kodachrome colour.
As with many Canadians artists, it took took a half century for Herzog to become an overnight success. Nuytten was able to get him to talk about his new book, his work and the SPA nomination.
The final video was taken at the Design Exchange earlier this week by Socka. During the press preview of the SPA exhibition Lynne Cohen: Nothing is Hidden (which is part of her SPA prize); he wanted to capture Ms. Cohen’s reaction to this comprehensive exhibition and her new 172 page book. Both are a major draw at this May's CONTACT photography festival in Toronto.
|Out from behind the camera - Lynne Cohen at show preview|
Typical of a photographers' need for obscurity she revealed that for years she had naively named all of her works "untitled". She realized that that wasn't working, she told him, when photographs were getting mixed up by galleries and in reprint, so she has since given each of image a subtitle after the ubiquitous "untitled".