Still Revolution: Suspended in Time

Barbara Astman, Walead Beshty, Mat Collishaw, Stan Douglas, Idris Khan, Trevor Paglen, Martha Rosler, Mikhael Subotzky

It is the advent of the photograph… which divides the history of the world. — Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

Photography engendered awe and trepidation in 1839 when the daguerreotype, an image produced on a chemically treated silver plate, astonished the public with its veracity and power to arrest time. Before long, an obsession to possess photographic images that could be held in the palm of one’s hand swept through society. Since then, each significant innovation in photography’s evolution has radically altered the creation and consumption of images, irrevocably changing the history of visual representation.

Today, the proliferation of photographic technologies is laden with infinite possibilities for image production, reflecting our rapidly changing world and burgeoning global culture. Meanwhile, historical precedents in the medium continue to extend substantial influence. Still Revolution: Suspended in Time looks back to the revolutionary foundations of photography to explore the current innovations that continue to transform the medium. The exhibition presents eight Canadian and international artists whose photographs mirror a complex history marked by pervasive change. From documentary to abstraction, choreographed fact to constructed fiction, the works in this exhibition implicate photography’s catalytic role in social and political change. Suspending transitory moments in time, the evolving manifestations of photographic imagery overwhelmingly influence the way that we see the world today.

Still Revolution: Suspended in Time exhibition essay (PDF 1.4MB)

Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein and David Liss