About Me

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MICHAEL SCHREIER Michael Schreier is a professional artist and photographer who has dedicated his considerable professional career to the celebration of both the public and private hero. Recent work includes Storyteller, Waiting for Words at the Ottawa Art Gallery, curator Emily Falvey, 2009, and the curating of the exhibition Dave Heath, A Heritage of Meaning, 2013 at the Ottawa Art Gallery. Selected works are represented in both public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the National Archives Photography Collection, the Agnes-Etherington Art Centre, the Canadian Portrait Gallery, Visual Studies Workshop, (Rochester, New York), Light Works Workshop, Syracuse New York, Carleton University Art Gallery, and the University of Ottawa Library Special Collections.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Camera Obscura is dedicated to Dave Heath and Jim Borcoman

Post # 5

(cursor on photograph, for detailed viewing)

Thoughts concerning Authorship:

Vienna, City of Thoughts

(available at Blurb.ca)
Michael Schreier

A cursory response to Justin Labelle's previous e-mail blog #4: my answer in bracketed italics

Hi Michael,

I noticed in your blog posts that you are providing a rather intimate reading into your family and family dynamics..(Yes of both the privileged and social)  In reference to art as a whole, do you think that the strongest art is always personal to the creator?  (Yes)  I think that we tend to love artists that delve into their psyche and try to grasp the psychological underpinnings of the creative process.. (Shouldn't  there always be an inner search ?!)...That might be why so many people do not "understand" or immediately dismiss certain types of modern art... Opinions?Why dismiss so quickly as it might just designate work as entertainment...work should challenge both the artist and the beholder )
 Looking back on your career as an artist, do you think the work that you are most proud of generally touched on personal matters? 
( Always )  I know your master's project heavily involved your family and your recent books also create a dialogue with your mother's paintings... Do you feel this is the most rewarding way of making art?  (  Most rewarding as new implications are raised and continuity is extended. )

 Likewise, have you ever created something purely for money and how did you feel with the finished product? ( No and I always remain challenged )
I anxiously await your reply,


However, these questions require much more serious consideration:

La Parole sans Langue
( Utterance without Code )

From Series, Corner rooms,

Michael Schreier

   From series, (working title; The Differend)

Collection of the Artist, Michael Schreier

Rosemarie Waldrop's phrase, Utterance without Code, a translation of La Parole sans Langue,  suggests an engaged silence similar to Lyotard's Differend, proposing that a right to voice is granted through disciplined study. So, an artist's engagement may include any of the following, the familial, the social, that of introspective thought including a sensitivity for both the sacred and profane: the code being granted as language and intuitive insight coincide. Justin Labelle's questions reflect a young artist's critical effort to rationalize his formal experience and practice while embracing a personal search for a clarification of (his) ethics. Questions focused on my mother's work provide for a consideration of disclosure, privacy and the development of the iconic myth. Such concerns may constitute one's rationale for work and I would suggest their presence continues throughout one's career, as they impact with an increasingly subtle nuance. An artist's career may reflect early hubris followed by a profound appreciation for doubt in one's senior years.

Collection of the artist:

Disturbances in Reading, Palimpsest 

(available at Blurb.ca, Michael Schreier, 2014)

Original artwork, collection of the artist, Michael Schreier

Cover Photograph
(Michael Schreier, Blurb.ca)


Edmond Jab├Ęs' Book of Questions challenges the idea of absolute laws, reflected in the introductory layout. The rules of engaging with art demand a clarity for personal values, to be tested, and appreciated in the broader creative arena. However they have little to do with a pragmatic resolution and more to do with the mysterious embrace of knowledge and wonder as each generation's experience, whether of comedy, tragedy or the lost sense of place imagines an embrace of the privatized with the social. The "Innere Stadt" must remain fluid as it provides a witnessing of the quotidian.

(Vienna shadows, window light)


Disturbances in Reading, Palimpsest

(Blurb.ca, Michael Schreier)

Disturbances in Reading, Palimpsest

Photograph layout, Michael Schreier
Drawing, Hilde Schreier

I have always been intrigued by my mother's drawing as it touches on the very core of Carl Jung's Night Sea Journey, displaying a dawning, that initial moment of utterance. These figures appear on one page, are not edited nor arranged. They offer an artist's insight for the development of conscious thought from intuitive insight. It rings true my concerns for the reflection of an original idea, linked to the broader community of mythology, just as architecture might reflect a latent witnessing of its history: sunlight might suggest a still to be acknowledged silent presence for memory of a city's past military insignia. 

The next Installment:

The Tableau, the Anti-Hero.

February 28, 2016