blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The stream of day-to-day

On our living room walls we have three framed photographs by Raymond Aubin, a one time colleague of Chris' at Nortel. Since 2008, Raymond's work has become more experimental. He has an exhibition of his more recent work running at the Ottawa City Hall until November 17th, and you can pick up a leaflet about the show if you go to see it, explaining that
Aubin is interested in public places and the ways in which we connect to them. He sees organized chaos within them, where the unfamiliar overlaps with the familiar.
An image from Au jour le jour, by Raymond Aubin
Because this notion of juxtaposing the familiar with the unfamiliar appeals to me, I went to hear him give a public lecture about it last weekend. His exhibits are images reproduced on vinyl: selected photographs of webcam shots taken by a webcam (Earthcam) positioned above Times Square, New York. At any moment of the day or night, a viewer, from anywhere in the world, is able to look at Times Square from different angles, zoom in and pan the camera (click on the symbols in the bottom left corner of the virtual screen) and this fascinates Raymond, as does the way the colours of the scene change through the changing seasons, even in this urban environment. Of 7500 momentary images he captures from the continuous display, Raymond keeps about 320, then from these he carefully and deliberately selects perhaps eight pictures, invariably rather blurred but having an interesting composition, and aligns them along a scroll-like strip. He says he's influenced by ancient Chinese art that tells stories by means of paintings on a scroll. As for the subject matter, "I look for strange situations," he says, and adds that he has no difficulty in finding them, every hour, every day, asking himself, "What breaks the stream of day-to-day?"

On his website, Raymond puts it this way:
Comme artiste, j’explore la phénoménologie du quotidien dans les lieux publics. Je m’intéresse à leur désordre organisé. Je suis attentif à l’interstice entre l’ordinaire et l’étrange. Je travaille la plasticité de la photographie et sa mise en espace.
During the lecture he told us that his preference for a long, thin picture format, where the normal rules of composition do not apply, was influenced by photographers like Geoffery James whose Utopia/Dystopia * was shown at the National Gallery in 2008.

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