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Anachronism and assemblage: the unfinished image of Montreal - 9 June 2022

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Johanne Sloan (Photogenic Montreal, 2021) will be speaking on new meanings generated by the redeployment of Montreal's visual archive. 

When the 50th anniversary of a student protest occurred in 2019, long-buried archival photographs of affected buildings and streets in downtown Montreal had already begun to circulate – appearing in a documentary film and locally-organized activist programming, but also in the French art historian Georges Didi–Huberman’s touring exhibition Uprisings (2016-18) and the Belgian artist Vincent Meessen’s Blues Klair exhibition (2018), across town.

With this activation of the archive and re-circulation of selected images, historical episodes that had been marginalized could be asserted and accorded a new centrality; the city’s modern identity could be re-narrativized. The city itself is thus regarded not as a fixed entity, but rather as an inherently unfinished oeuvre, to use Henri Lefebvre’s term. Equally important, though, is the question of how archival urban imagery gets redeployed. When such photographs of Montreal reappear in Warburgian artworks or assemblages, relational meanings are generated, and a number of questions arise – about urban temporality, historical context, and anachronism.

Organised by Professor David Peters Corbett (The Courtauld Institute) and Dr Craig Moyes (King’s College London), this is a collaborative event between the Centre for American Art at The Courtauld and the Quebec and French Canada Research Network at King’s. 

A reception will follow in the Terrace Café from 18.30-20.00.

At this event

Johanne Sloan

Johanne Sloan

Professor of Art History, Concordia University

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Event details

9 June 2022