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, 29 July 2017

Post #16

(Cursor on the image for a detailed viewing,
all drawings, Hilde Schreier,
all  images copyright Michael Schreier)

'Curiouser and curiouser!' cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English). 

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

                                                                           "Tears for an Empty Desert"

                                                                                                       (Double-page layout, artist's book, Michael Schreier)

                                     Post #16, is dedicated to my mentor, and close friend,                                                                                              
                                                      Jim Borcoman, Curator Emeritus, 
                                                          National Gallery of Canada.

Following closely on the heels of the previous post, #16 might be considered a continuation. My intention throughout the structure of Camera Obscura is to offer cross fertilization, and while it may result in repetition, either of image and or of concern, it is intentional. And with respect for Carl Chirenza's previously expressed concerns, I have often returned to an image for its structure and additional thematic vitality, having always understood the relationship between image and text as being complementary. 

 Alice's musings, Curiouser and Curiouser, echoes my empathy for Lewis Carroll's understanding that an artist's sensitivity for the unknown, and the portal is critical in serving the mystery for poetry and thought. 
I remember one of the first observations Jim Borcoman offered me concerning both a photographer's perspective, intent, and the photograph, is the attention to be accorded the edge rather than the center. Certainly the process of photographing requires a sensitivity to that which occurs outside the frame and understanding its influence on the final subject represented. The photographer is required by process to select from the quotidian and the rationally perceived. And in so doing, an abstraction is both linked, yet independent of evidence and fact: passage underscored.

 The history of photography has referenced the equivalent, equivalence,and as so eloquently highlighted by Nathan Lyons , a process of notating, a Notations in Passing. Dave Heath's  A Dialogue With Solitude extends meaning and intent towards a deeper experience, a reflective attitude that may actually challenge one to reconsider Robert Frank's The Americans an "on the road" suite rather than as a social document: even as both attitudes might be interconnected.

                                                                ...the writers pallet...

Frederick Sommer occupies a profound niche, embracing music, drawing and photography. He enjoys that space within, a space so necessary for the poet, where one can challenge one's own sense of place and existential breath.

palpable, with feel-
words at the departure-

Paul Celan

                     (I would suggest the reader cursor,double-click on these images, and highlighted Paul Celan

The introductory poetic muse by Pablo Neruda with added meaning for the double page spread from Tears for an Empty Desert, suggests the existing nuance between reader and author. Rational thought remains only slightly traceable, as the reader experiences either doubt, or affirmation. 

Michelangelo Antonioni's Red Desert as described, can certainly reflect our contemporary environmental issues, challenges and possibilities for adaption. There may however be a much more subtle challenge offered: that is access to the privilege of original thought. I am to consider the vulnerability for empathy regarding another's perspective or witnessing for truth.We are given the option to accept the challenge or to acquiesce, as  Antonioni might suggest, " burn in the silence of our own making."  This is how I understand the poet's dilemma: that there is never a guarantee, or completed circuit confirming a witnessed event. Returning for a moment to Lea Dunning's painting "Idle in Paris", (corrected title, "34 Rue du Fer a Moulin"), while invited at the edge, I am clearly denied access to the distant space, blocked by the table, chair and the sitter. 

His transparent tracing suggests that they, [in themselves], may have, or are about to appear/disappear. Echoing the implied urgency in Red Desert, it is not whether one can clean or readjust, but why is there such a disregard for the vulnerability of voice and humanities's required utterance?

As Leo Stein has surmised in his "Appreciation: Painting, Poetry and Prose"

"Structurally man is just one of the facts in the universe, but compositionally he is its center. His feelings, his desires, his hopes cause him to arrange things so that he can get at least a moment's satisfaction from these interests. If he gets from them the satisfactions as though he had altered the world of real things beyond the periphery of his inner life, he is sentimentally, pathologically falsifying the world, and confusing the realms of poetry and prose."

The illusion of being "centered" within a postmodern reality however, offers contradiction as it nurtures the artist. Within the clear reality of the simulacra where truth is no longer obligatory, how can we believe in its rendition.