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The Uqbar Metafictional Photography Biennale has launched its 2017 Edition, LES MENSONGES DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE.

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Brothers Paul, Self-Portrait Pretending to be Chuck Samuels Pretending to be Janieta Eyre Pretending to be the Eyre Sisters, 2017

LES MENSONGES DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE

For its 2017 edition the Uqbar Biennale has chosen to appropriate two of Quebec’s major venues; the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (MMCA) and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). The “borrowed” MMCA space houses the central exhibit The Treachery of Images & The Treachery of Reality. The second exhibit Les catacombes / Underneath the Museum occupies the “repurposed” basement of the MMFA. In its entirety the 2017 Edition, LES MENSONGES DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE encompasses 2 Museums, 6 exhibition spaces, 47 meta-fictional artists and 78 artworks.


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Vincenzo de St Léonard, A Nail from the True Cross: Digitally Restored Portrait of William Shakespeare from a Faded, Barely Legible, Brown Shadow, from the Series Cosa Mentale. 2017

The Treachery of Images & The Treachery of Reality.

The symmetrical structure of this exhibit juxtaposes works which reveal false perceptions preventing the viewer from seeing the photograph, from works which reveal false perceptions preventing the viewer from seeing through the photograph to the world. The underlying premise of The Treachery of Images is inspired by two historical works; Magritte’s The Son of Man and the Dreyfusard poster The Lies of Photography published in Le Siècle in 1899. The Uqbar Photography Biennale is itself a demonstrative example of sublimated reality. The Treachery of Reality explores the improbability that the viewer could ever see beyond predetermined visual and conceptual conventions. At the heart of this exhibit there is a small antechamber in which the metafictional Montreal-based photographer Vincenzo de St Léonard’s short sequence Cosa Mentale is displayed. St Léonard’s sequence has the effect of the small child in Christian Andersen’s fable the Emperor's New Clothes, exposing the unspoken suspicion that we are blind until we are told what to see.


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Micello Campo, Henry Miller Bull Crystalline Dioptrics Camera with Remote Bull Sclera Drone on Self-Mobilizing Extension Dolly, from the series, Post-Industrial Spectre & Phantasm: The Melquíades Collection. 2014.

Les catacombes / Underneath the Museum

In The Pencil of Nature, Henry Fox Talbot, inspired by the camera’s potential to see beyond the limits of human perception, imagines a chamber lit by ultraviolet rays in which “…the eye of the camera would see plainly where the human eye would find nothing but darkness”. Talbot’s darkened chamber can be read as a metaphor of Plato’s Cave.

Photography has always been conscious of its confinement within that subterranean metaphor. Since its origins in Spiritism and phantasmagoria, photography is often in service of some occult vision or pseudo-science. Practices such as; Spiritism, Phrenology, Anthropometry and Transcendentalism proclaim to perceive through the opacity of Newtonian surfaces to the secrets that lie beneath the world.

Les catacombes / Underneath the Museum presents a selection of metafictional contemporary photographers who, while exploring the secrets of the darkened chamber aspire to emerge from this dimly lit cellar.


About the Uqbar Metafictional Photography Biennale

The Metafictional Photography Biennale is a work of magic realism. It is a perpetually evolving html-based interactive image depicting a collection of museums. Originally inspired by the theme of the Mois de la photo à Montreal 2015 Edition, this project began life contemplating Joan Fontcuberta’s notion of “the post photographic condition”.

Initially we were attracted to the “hall of mirrors” paradox implicit in the idea of art depicting the museum, but it wasn't until we began creating the artwork for the walls of this make-believe Museum that we perceived the full potential of this richly exploitable playing field. Inventing photographers and their artwork granted not only the opportunity to explore contemporary photography and its ever-fascinating ontological questions, but also to reinvent it. Reinventing contemporary and historical works in the form of pastiche facilitated access to themes and ideas from the photographic language and provided reference points the viewer can use to measure and qualify the distortions through the lens of Uqbar.

Antonino Paraggi

Director and Founder
Uqbar Metafictional Photography Biennale
paraggi@uqbar.ca


General Information

General access to the Uqbar Metafictional Photography Biennale is here

Direct access to the 2017 Edition is here

Gallery hours are unlimited

For more information: info@uqbar.ca

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