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Clive Holden: UNAMERICAN UNFAMOUS

January 23 – April 14, 2013
Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall, Ryerson Image Centre
Curator: Dr. Gaelle Morel

Is it un-American to be un-famous? Are Americans failures if they die without fame?

Drawing from the Black Star Collection at Ryerson University, Clive Holden creates UNAMERICAN UNFAMOUS using the “un-famous” as an organizing principle in his selection of one hundred image details and faces. Plucked from obscurity, these people can be found in the backgrounds of famous photographs, or simply hidden in the depths of a photographic archive. At times they are literally seen over the shoulders of celebrities in the iconic photographs that capture the “American Century”.

The work’s media tile construction is made with a hybrid adaptation of photographic, cinematic, and web tools. Its many cultural influences arise from a wide variety of media and genres as the work spans the divide between time-based and non-time-based art forms. It also uses film leader as raw material (the beginning and end pieces of film reels). With a complex series of randomizing algorithms, these film loops are juxtaposed and continually remixed with the “unsung human leaders” found in the Black Star Collection, as well as with photographs of local un-famous un-Americans nominated by members of the general public. The work will evolve over the course of the exhibition as more images are submitted via social media.




Event(s):

Exhibition Tour
Doina Popescu and Dr. Gaelle Morel
Wednesday, January 30
6:00 PM

Exhibition Tour
Doina Popescu and Dr. Gaelle Morel
Wednesday, February 6
6:00 PM

Exhibition Tour

Doina Popescu and Dr. Gaelle Morel
Wednesday, March 27
6:00 PM

Exhibition Tours
Daily 2:30 PM

All events take place at the Ryerson Image Centre, unless otherwise noted

A diptych, with a photo of a young girl on the left and a pink figure 8 on the right
Fig. 1

Clive Holden, UNAMERICAN UNFAMOUS (still image from media wall installation), 2012. Courtesy of the artist

A collage of many different hands
Fig. 2

Clive Holden, UNAMERICAN UNFAMOUS (still image from media wall installation), 2012. Courtesy of the artist

Artist and Curator Bios

Clive Holden
Artist

Canadian artist Clive Holden was born on Vancouver Island, has lived in Winnipeg and Montreal, and now lives in Toronto with his wife, novelist Alissa York. His compositions explore concepts of scale, the relationships suggested by the implied permanence and impermanence of our world, the delivery of information, and the transformative effects of time on memory and geography. As such, Holden's work invites viewers to engage with his art in an instinctual way.

Dr. Gaelle Morel
Curator

Dr. Gaelle Morel is curator of the exhibition and contributor to the book. Morel is an art historian and Exhibitions Curator at the Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto, Canada. She received her PhD in the History of Contemporary Art from Universite Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne, France. Her research and recent work deal with the figure of the artist as author in French contemporary photography. She also works on the artistic and cultural recognition of the medium in the United States in the 1930s. She was, until 2013, a member of the board of the Societe francaise de photographie, and a member of the editorial committee of Etudes photographiques, a bilingual peer reviewed journal on the history of photography. She edited Les Derniers Tableaux. Photojournalisme et art contemporain (Paris: Editions des Archives Contemporaines, 2008) and co-wrote with Thierry Gervais La Photographie published by Editions Larousse in France (2008, 2011). She was a recipient of a Terra Foundation for American Art Travel Grant in 2007, for her work on the American art dealer Julien Levy who closely worked with Berenice Abbott in the 1920s and 1930s.

Installation Shots

A long screen playing a video, title reads "Unfamous UnAmerican Unfamous"
Fig. 1

Clive Holden: UNAMERICAN UNFAMOUS (installation view), 2014 © Jackson Klie, Ryerson Image Centre

Long shot of the New Media Wall
Fig. 2

Clive Holden: UNAMERICAN UNFAMOUS (installation view), 2014 © Jackson Klie, Ryerson Image Centre

A long screen plays a video, title reads "picture start"
Fig. 3

Clive Holden: UNAMERICAN UNFAMOUS (installation view), 2014 © Jackson Klie, Ryerson Image Centre