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.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Post  # 10

The Beholder, beheld:
(the reader, read)

(cursor on photograph for detailed view,
note: unless otherwise indicated all photographs,
by Michael Schreier and drawings by Hilde Schreier,
reproduction, without permission, prohibited.)

                                  From Series; Camera Obscura               Hilde Schreier                     From Series; Corner room
                                                    2016                                      circa 1995                                    2016
                                            Michael Schreier                                                                         Michael Schreier

Disturbances in Reading, Palimpsest

Michael Schreier, (artist book),

 "It is time I get a name fit to live in," he had written me.
"The one I have used so far is the name of my absence."
"I need my life in order to write, but did my life want
to be written?" he asked.
"Every life is the writing of a life," he was told.

The Book of Dialogue
Edmond Jabès

Translated by Rosemarie Waldrop

I began this post wanting to offer some clarification, perhaps some additional references, that might make for an easier or less confusing reading. It has been suggested that my reflections have tended to the opaque, dense and perhaps even the esoteric. I have never wished to obfuscate but simply to reach a more exacting and responsible reading both for myself and for my reader.

                                                             "It is time I get a name fit to live in," he had written me. 

The above photograph was taken at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico. Visitors were invited to offer marks to this panel, signatures, dates, scribbles, whatever they chose to trace. I spent time studying this photograph, intrigued    with some poetic license    by its subtle reference to Walker Evans:

Further study, of the Mexican photograph, (serendipitously) revealed the word "temes". Susan Blackmore makes reference to "temes" as the basis of technology. How ironic that this word should appear on an anonymous panel with vernacular markings. It seems that the profundity in this accidental marking could imply that the basis for technology might just include an urgency to voice and mark-making. Certainly Walker Evans in his critical work American Photographs, with text by Lincoln Kirstien, underscores the value for the quotidian and vernacular gesture.

An aside:

A friend of mine studying Hebrew indicated that the graffiti on the wall can be loosely translated as "lushi" meaning to knead, 
as in bread, before baking in an oven. 

This double-page spread is taken from my artist's book, "Storyteller/Waiting for Words"

Taking on the formal costume of utterance is no easy task. Utterance embraces a series of sounds placed within a designated structure, to be recognized initially as word and then as sentence. I am not aware as to when abstract thought-perspective was initiated. One does however eventually embrace rational and abstract voice, both within the social and the privatized experience. Walker Evans' Studio suggests humanity's collective library, each one embracing and challenging continuity within Babel's unreachable intention to assemble and to recognize.

The three photographs in the introductory layout are all taken in library, museum or gallery facilities. Each offers a distinct reference to both the beholder and the beholder beheld. The beholder embraces the outsider vantage point while at the same moment being beheld. The larger image from Palimpsest recognizes a rich still life, while reflecting its viewer's presence. That shadow however assumes a peculiar attitude, framed by an outside frame, (shadowed), it ascribes to a similar position as the artist in Durer's woodcut previously discussed in Post #9. It is suggested that the shadow will never attain a presence inside the garden/still-life, exiled. It seems to me that this offers an understanding for knowledge...that one can attain a certain amount of clarity that is then immediately rendered  in doubt and further more, inaccessible.

and then, 

"The one I have used so far is the name of my absence."

From Series: Corner Rooms
Michael Schreier

Balance, Transition and Continuity remain, for both author and reader/beholder, integral to voice and clarity. As Jabès asks in Dialogue...but did my life wish to be written...I suggest this is the fundamental question to be asked. In fact we are given this question throughout our history even though, at times, its answer may not be as clear. Certainly in the last number of years as my work progresses it reflects two elements: the first a conviction towards trying to understand and then a profound embrace for doubt. I am motivated to trust my intuition while at the same time measuring each garnered instinct and trace for any sense of credibility. Perhaps that's why Duchamp proposes a time element for the viewing of the Small Glass. 

And finally Jabès offers;

...Every life is the writing of life... 



Post  # 11

Words yet to Come

Storyteller/ Waiting for Words
Artist book: 2007-8

Michael Schreier