MURDER, by Montreal-based photographer Guillaume Simoneau, is a response to two existing bodies of work—photographs of crows taken by his mother, and the acclaimed photographic series Karasu (Ravens) by Masahisa Fukase. This once-obscure postwar masterpiece became one of the most significant collections of photographs ever published in Japan.
In the early 1980s, while Fukase was preparing to publish Karasu in book format, the four-year-old Simoneau’s father chopped down a tree that housed a nest full of baby crows; his family thus came to foster four young corvids. Simoneau’s mother, armed with a Japanese camera, documented their family’s newfound avian relationship in a suite of tender images.
MURDER seeks to honour Fukase in a violent, modern way. This same violence, pictured in Simoneau’s images and juxtaposed against the gentle calm of his mother’s, presumes a romantic vision of both his childhood and the past in general. Simoneau’s focus on the coexistence of power and vulnerability engenders many such oppositions and tensions—the resulting images challenge the viewer’s willingness to fully embrace reality. Brought together in the exhibition, the works take the form of fragmented stories, reflecting the extraordinary complexity of the world in which we live. They construct a non-linear narrative, where facts give way to perspectives, and truths to opinions.