Since 2005, Montreal photographer Michel Campeau has photographed the vestiges of what is now termed “analogue” photography. His subject matter—darkrooms, film cameras, safety lights, and flashbulbs—is now almost archaic, products of a by-gone industrial era. the National Gallery of Canada presents some forty of these photographs in the exhibition Michel Campeau: Icons of Obsolescence. The photographs capture and commemorate not only darkrooms across Canada, but those in Mexico, Cuba, France, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Vietnam and Nigeria. In other images, the artist isolates old cameras and photographic paraphernalia in a void of black, transforming them into icons worthy of veneration.
Michel Campeau: Untitled 8277 (Niamey, Niger), 2005-10. Darkroom, 2005-10
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
© Michel Campeau/SODRAC (2013).
The photographs also reveal spaces and objects transformed by personal need and circumstance, prompting reflection on the industry’s deep cultural significance, and the repercussions of its loss.
National Gallery of Canada Website