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Kim Taylor
Without Context

Kim Taylor : straight from the camera

Yet again I find a statement that art is not art without history and context. Specifically "... without context, history, background, etc., it has little meaning. Much of its meaning, in fact, comes from Davis's prior insight and work." The quote is from James Danziger's blog "The Year in Pictures" and it concerns an accidental shot he took of a painting with the light reflecting on the varnish that reminded him of a series of photographs taken by Tim Davis who shoots such images on purpose.

The argument is, if I read it correctly, that Tim Davis' work is art while James' is not since it's derivative and/or accidental. But if we use the context and history requirement, the "original" (unique) work of Davis may well be outside of history and context, while Danziger's work would be very much within the art stream and would reference Davis' work and so would be more "art" than accident yes? Perhaps we need to be talking about intention rather than context and history. If it's intended to be art it's art. R. Mutt would perhaps agree.

I come back to my own work time and time again, wondering if what I'm doing is art or "Art" perhaps I should say.

As a scientist by long time training and even longer profession I came across my share of jargon (that style of language by which we separate the bumpkins from those of us who truly know what makes the universe go around) and I am more than a little tempted to see art history and statements like this one as the equivalent of scientific jargon.

How does one separate the art critic, the art expert, from the bumpkin in the street who only "knows what he likes"? Why one invents a history of art and then one stipulates that true art cannot be made without reference to that history of course.

I may be feeling a bit uncharitable, no I guess a bit cranky, at the moment because I can't really see where my own work fits into the great conceptualism of the history of art but I really do think that there is a lot of art out there that is almost wholly "context, history and background" with very little substance to the object itself. As with being a "scientist", (pumping out yet another monthly paper on "the effect of X on Y" with X being a new chemical and Y being one's favourite animal or bacterial model) often being an "artist" seems to involve little more than turning the crank. I'm getting pretty good at spotting the Nan Goldin "shoot my buddies" lines, the Hiroshi Sugimoto "shoot the horizon" lines, the Garry Winogrand "shoot 'em up" street photography lines and the Jeff Wall "fake street" shooter lines. Does this make me an art critic? Is it important that I can tell who the photographer is imitating 'er referencing before I pass judgment on the shot?

I dunno, I think that knowing the history and context may actually make my judgments that much more dry and academic. Seeing someone take a photograph of his buddy shooting up and knowing Larry Clark's work from the '60s in Tulsa, I might just be tempted to dismiss it as derivative, or worse, to comment on the lighting and the composition as vs. what Clark did in such and such an image. I may not see the tragedy of some kid blowing whatever potential he had out the end of a needle.

On the other hand, that modern photo might acquire its proper meaning and impact if I don't consider it art, but documentary instead. In that case though, how do I now look at Larry Clark's work? Is it documentary or art? Nan Goldin? Winogrand? Sugimoto? Diane Arbus? OK Jeff Wall is making and photographing tableaux so it's not documentary, unless it's documenting a performance piece? After all he does come from conceptualism, and to make “A View From an Apartment” I believe I read somewhere that he moved the women into the apartment some weeks or months earlier to live there until he made the shot. Oh dear, and he even calls some of his own work "near documentary".

Never mind, I do think the appreciation of art is improved with a knowledge of history and context, so let's leave it at that and not worry so much today about whether or not art itself requires either.

As for myself and my work, perhaps I will find a corner of art history to hide behind and declare that the way I work is in the tradition of the Surrealists, relying on intuition and accident to uncover the workings of my unconscious mind. Would be great if I didn't have the nagging suspicion that the unconscious doesn't exist, but that's something to torture myself with some other day.

Kim Taylor : straight from the camera

These two shots were done without any sort of reference to anything other than my own work, they are mostly unintentional in that they're unplanned, just a matter of looking at the model and kicking lights around, chasing what "looks good" to me at the moment. They have no message, no connection to my unconscious that I can tell, but then again, if I knew what was in my unconscious, by definition it wouldn't be unconscious so I can never "know" what's there, I can only infer it from looking at these shots.

Yet putting a meaning to these shots after I've created them would be risky at best and perhaps greatly dishonest. In the first shot I do recall thinking "I love that nose" and "wow check out that cheekbone" while in the second I was thinking "who's pounding on the studio door"? Not much help there.

I do "intend" for my work to be art, I intend that they have at least as much meaning as a Vermeer painting, and one day I do hope to put them in some sort of context.

Mar 31, 2008
TORONTO IMAGE WORKS GALLERY is very proud to present:
James Nizam
April 3 - April 26, 2008
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 3rd from 6 to 8pm
Artist Talk: Friday, April 4th from 6 to 7:30pm
James Nizam's series of photographs entitled Dwellings, takes up a nocturnal investigation of abandoned domestic spaces just prior to demolition.  Illuminated by flashlight, and lending an otherwordly feel, these images register as spectacular and perturbed.  They represent both dismal and more playful settings marked distinctly by the transformative qualities of both found and painted light and the imposition of his movement within the space.
Please join us and meet the artist at the Opening Reception and Artist Talk located at:
80 Spadina Avenue, Suite 207
416-703-1999 ext 0.
Bernice Lyons Page


Mar 31, 2008
John Massey

Georgia Scherman Projects is now representing John Massey.

"John Massey pursues self-knowledge through a generation and investigation of resonant forms and images, a result of continuing reflection. His who am I? is a moral question for it also implies how?, why? and to what effect?

A generalized desire marks all of his work, a sense of yearning that is sensual and intellectual, physical and spiritual. But this desire is always masked and often conflicted. Essentially it is a search for further knowledge of both self and other. An intellectual eroticism."

Peggy Gale, from "To Put into Visible or Concrete Form"



Mar 29, 2008


Stefan Boudreault:
No Tell

A photographic study of Toronto's inner city motels

April 1st - April 30th

Opening night Friday April 4th @ 6:30

La Galerie
24 Spadina (one block north of Bloor)
416 922 2014

La Galerie and Alliance-Francaise Toronto are proud to present No Tell by Stefan Boudreault. As a documentary still photographer Stefan's goal with this project was to capture the essence of Toronto's inner city motels by cataloguing vacant rooms and their holdings. With a careful balance of grit and serenity Stefan's images form a landscape of urban despair granting the viewer access to a world otherwise ignored.

Mar 28, 2008
Kim Taylor

Straight from the camera
April's issue almost done

Working on it. Also still searching for that new colour or something. I kind of like this shot, I think I'm looking for something that's "whiter than white" at the moment.

Kim Taylor : Straight from the camera

With laundry, that's blue. Here's the same effect but done with different equipment:

Kim Taylor : straight from the camera

Mar 27, 2008
Announcements etc.
Lots to catch up on, so here it is all at once

Jan von Holleben
I arrived safely in Berlin and things are shaping up very nicely over here!
After years in exile I am back in my funny Heimat!
Today my latest book arrived from the printers (still fresh and smelly!) and I thought should let you know that...
The Snowbed*, a luxurious-cloth-bound-hardcover-book with 40 pages in size 16,5x22cm is now available through my website (GBP 10.- only / for now!!).
Its again a very limited edition of only 500 copies!
'The Snowbed' sprung from an artistic collaboration in November 2007 with Juan Kuz Diaz de Garaio Esnaola from Sasha Waltz& Guests Dance Company and the ZEIT Magazin. Images and more are on my website!
Apart from this, there are a few more news items.. but I wont bother you with those.. if you are interested then check them out here: http://www.janvonholleben.com/news.html  
All the best with a hint of spring from Berlin,

Gerda Taro (c) 2002 by International Center of Photography, NY
Robert Capa, Segovia front, Spain, late May/early June 1937

MAGNUM PHOTOS WORKSHOP Toronto > May 5 – 9 / 2008


"Magnum is a community of thought, a shared human quality, a curiosity about what is going on in the world, a respect for what is going on and a desire to transcribe it visually."
- Henri Cartier-Bresson

Magnum Photos is one of the most prestigious photographic agencies in the world. Representing only 60 members worldwide, it is a cooperative organization fully owned and directed by the photographers

The Magnum Workshop is a five-day event that will provide an intimate and intensive master class with six Magnum photographers from around the globe. Participants will produce individual projects under the same constraints as a professional assignment, but with daily review and editing sessions within their groups. Focusing on story formation, visual literacy, and personal vision, the master class aims to enhance ones working style and overall vision. Following the Magnum Workshop, images developed in class will launch the inaugural exhibition at the CONTACT gallery.


Three scholarships will be awarded to Canadian photography students to attend the Magnum Workshop at CONTACT. Magnum photographers will select one participant of outstanding achievement from the workshop to receive the Scotiabank Prize of $5,000.

The prize will be handed out on May 10 at the CONTACT Gallery launch.


MAY 4 – 9, 10am – 5pm

Red Bull 381 Projects
381 Queen Street West, Suite 200

MAY 10 – June 10

80 Spadina Avenue Suite 310
Opening May 10
6 - 8PM


Christopher Anderson
Born in British Columbia, Christopher Anderson spent much of his early years in Texas, where his father was a preacher. In 1999, Anderson made a reportage on Haitian immigrants trying to sail to the United States that would significantly change his work to focus on what he often thought of as experiential journalism. Anderson joined the VII Agency in 2002, and became a Magnum nominee in 2005. He is based in New York.

Chien-Chi Chang
Born in Taiwan Chien-Chi Chang's work draws on his own immigrant experience. Themes of alientation and connection surface particularly in The Chain, a collection of portraits made in a Taiwanese mental institution. An exhibition of these nearly life-sized photographs has toured internationally and been exhibited at venues including the Venice Biennale and the Biennal de São Paulo. Chang joined Magnum Photos in 1995, he lives and works in Taipei and New York City.

Bruce Gilden
Bruce Gilden's childhood in Brooklyn endowed him with a keen eye for observing urban behaviors and individual peculiarities has been present from the beginning of his career. Gilden, who has traveled and exhibited widely around the world, has received numerous awards, including the European Award for Photography, three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and a Japan Foundation fellowship. He joined Magnum June 1998 and lives in New York City.

David Hurn
Born in the UK but of Welsh descent, David Hurn is a self-taught photographer who gained his reputation with his reportage of the 1956 Hungarian revolution. In 1973 he set up the famous School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales, and has been in demand throughout the world to teach workshops. David Hurn has a longstanding international reputation as one of Britain's leading reportage photographers. Hurn became a full Magnum in 1967. He continues to live and work in Wales.

Alessandra Sanguinetti
Alessandra Sanguinetti was born in New York, and raised in Argentina from 1970 until 2003. Her photographs are included in public and private collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has photographed for The New York Times Magazine, LIFE, Newsweek, and New York Magazine. Sanguinetti became a Magnum nominee in 2007. She is currently based in New York.

Larry Towell
The son of a car repairman, Towell grew up in a large family in rural Ontario. In 1996 Towell completed a project based on ten years of reportage in El Salvador, followed the next year by a major book on the Palestinians. His fascination with landlessness also led him to the Mennonite migrant workers of Mexico, an eleven-year project completed in 2000. He recently completed The World from My Front Porch, a project on his own family in rural Ontario, where he sharecrops a 75-acre farm. Towell became a full Magnum member in 1993.

Basement Performances


Opening Reception: Friday, March 28th, 6-9pm. Artist will be in attendance.

Exhibition duration: March 25th to April 27th, 2008

Basement Performances addresses the gap between how we perceive ourselves and how we imagine ourselves perceived by others. There is a desire to perform ourselves on our terms for an audience we control: an imagined audience. In these unseen spaces we are free to reinvent ourselves, reconnecting our inner and corporeal selves into a more desirable linkage. The performances address the private spaces hidden from those outside the boundary of ourselves and a desire to control the ways in which we are perceived. The setting of the basement is significant. It is a space of storage, of unseen corners and hidden objects. It is raw and unfinished and surrounded by shadows. To expose what occurs here is invasive and somewhat shameful and for this reason the medium of photography is an appropriate vehicle. This setting lends a tension to the performance, makes the viewer feel awkward and unwelcome as if they had glimpsed something they shouldn't have.

Lindsay Page is a Canadian interdisciplinary artist working primarily in photography and video installation. She received her BFA from Ryerson University, Toronto (2003) and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2006). Her work has been exhibited internationally and has appeared in publications including Carte Blanche (2006) and Camera Austria (Spring 2007). She is the recipient of grants and awards including the Roloff Beny Foundation France Award, Society for Photographic Education Student Award and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Trustee Merit Scholarship. She gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council.

Image Credit: Untitled, from the series Basement Performances, 2005-2006 by Lindsay Page.

Pikto is open from Monday to Friday 9-7, Saturday 10-7, Sunday 12-6.

Pikto Inc.
The Distillery District
55 Mill St Bldg. 59-103
Toronto ON M5A 3C4

For more information on this exhibition please contact:
Jenna Edwards, Exhibitions and Workshops Coordinator
416-203-3443 or jenna@pikto.com

Department of Art
University of Toronto
2008 MVS (Masters of Visual Studies)


APRIL 1-12, 2008

APRIL 1, 2008, 6-8pm
Remarks 7pm

Please join us in viewing the final projects of the 2008 MVS graduates. Their complex, exquisitely produced installations challenge the eye and the intellect.

Deanna Bowen, Gospel, 2007

Erika DeFreitas, The Impossible Speech Act, 2008

Dara Gellman, Untitled (installation), 2008

University of Toronto Art Centre
Admission is FREE to all Art Centre exhibitions.

Tuesday to Friday 12 to 5 pm
Saturday 12 to 4 pm
Sunday and Monday closed

UTAC is wheelchair accessible.

15 King's College Circle
(Main floor of Laidlaw Wing)
University College
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 3H7
Tel: (416) 978-1838


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: lisa.steele@utoronto.ca


IV: Jiye Julie Bai, Daimaine Duffus, Laura-Lee Filosa & Megan Morgan

VMAC Gallery
4th Floor, 401 Richmond St, Toronto

March 20-29, 2008

Closing Reception, Saturday, March 29, 2-4 pm
Artists will be in attendance

Gallery Hours: Tues-Friday 11am - 5pm, Saturday 12 - 4pm.

IV presents the work of four young photographers in the 4th and graduating year of the Art & Art History Program, a joint program of the University of Toronto and Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

Jiye Julie Bai explores the notion of transcendence in everyday life as shown through light patterns on common surfaces. The images work to establish a connection between the transcendent and the mundane.

Daimane Duffus treats his own domestic reality as a stage set. Inspired by a character from Hitchcock's Rear Window, Duffus mixes concepts of reality and fiction to produce a series of images that allude to narrative. He creates a façade of reality that draws the viewer into the image and heightens its believability as a reflection of the real world.

Laura Lee Filosa choses animal behaviour and anthropomorphic attributions as her subject. Using video to look at the relationship between dogs and owners she attempts to establish a new understanding of artistic authorship.

Megan Morgan photographs images of women that explore themes of sexuality and cultural identity. She uses cropping as a technique to emphasize what she wants the viewer to see. Her images of women from life and film attempt to reveal how feminine identity is created through social and cultural realities.

The Art & Art History Program of the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan has offered an unusual and exciting approach to studying art since its founding in 1971: Art & Art History emphasizes both the hands-on creativity of studio art and the perspective of art history and theory. Students explore contemporary ideas, practices, and materials in art studios, while academic courses examine the art and architecture of a range of past and current cultures and traditions. Visit us online at www.artandarthistory.ca .

The exhibition is generously sponsored by Vtape. For more information visit "IV" online at www.IVexhibition.info , e-mail andrew.wright1@sheridanc.on.ca , 905.845.9430 ext.2580

Art & Art History, a collaborative BA program between Sheridan and the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM)
School of Animation, Arts & Design,
Sheridan Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning,
1430 Trafalgar Road,
Oakville, ON L6H 2L1
(905) 845-9430



C magazine invites you to Spring Fling 4, our annual benefit art auction, on Tuesday April 15, 2008 at Birch Libralato, 129 Tecumseth St., (one block west of Bathurst, one block south of Queen), Toronto.

5:30 pm preview, 7:30 pm start.

Tickets include entry into a draw for a Luis Jacob print: $35 at the door, and $30 in advance by calling 416-539-9495 or by accessing “ticket forms” at www.cmagazine.com

Come celebrate contemporary art with us at this dynamic evening! Participating artists include:

John Abrams, David Askevold, Jason Baerg, Eli Bornowski, Leigh Bridges, Matthew Brown, Ed Burtynsky, Paul Butler, Jane Buyers, Chris Curreri, Patrick De Coste, Michael de Broin, Gary Evans, Rainer Ganahl, Ron Giii, Clint Griffin, Andrew Harwood, Thrush Holmes, Patrick Howlett, Natalka Husar, Instant Coffee, Jay Isaac, Luis Jacob, Kelly Jazvac, Sholem Krishtalka, Bruce La Bruce, Jennifer Lefort, Suzy Lake, Micah Lexier, The Lions, Jason Mclean/Mark Delong, Olia Mishchenko, Michael Morris, Jennifer Murphy, Mark Neufeld, Bronwen Payerle, Ed Pien, Brad Phillips, Lucy Pullen, Brent Roe, Tony Romano, Judith Schwarz, Vincent Trasov, Kika Thorne, Margaux Williamson, and many many more!

Works can be viewed at the end of March at www.cmagazine.com

For further inquiries please call Ari Berger, Associate Publisher, at 416-539-9495


Nora Camps and DUO.CA are pleased to announce that the Second issue of SPECIAL GLASSES [Open Your Mind and Share What's There] magazine is available in Toronto at PAGES on Queen Street (across from CITY TV), TYPE on Queens Street West across from Trinity Bellwood Park, LILEO at the Distillery, SWIPE on Richmond St W. and online at www.noraspicks.com

This magazine is an independently published art magazine. The focus of this issue is FOOD.

What a great work you have there. I love it!
Very sexy and thought provoking.
D. Neagle

OK I've read it all and I'm sad I'm done. I've been savouring it bit by bit most days as I eat my lunch. It's cohesive, thought provoking, feels good and is a darn good read. M.A.C

A visual feast. J.K

Ideas that move..me BJMcB

This very special magazine is published just once a year by DUO.CA. It is an artistic pursuit - a metaphor for art in and of itself. Special Glasses does not sell or promote any product or service. The contributors to this magazine are bound together by a love of the obscure, by the conversations around the ideas, by what happens when the magazine is opened and the mind engages.

Special Glasses is a magazine intended to encourage the reader to consider, recall, and share ideas and experiences that exist between, beneath, to the right and to the left of the things you normally see. Special Glasses is an existential quantifier. it exists and, therefore, it is possible to produce a magazine that follows no rules beyond Truth, Decency, Love, Rich Imagery with Complete Absence of Commercialism.

GET YOURS in these great shops or ORDER ONLINE at www.noraspicks.com


Border Crossings New Issue
Volume 27 Number 1 Issue No. 105

The new issue of Border Crossings features an extensive interview with New York-based Kenyan artist WANGECHI MUTU whose most recent work is a compelling installation currently at the New Museum in New York. Speaking about the contemporary situation she said, “Part of my baggage with feminism is that it still hasn’t taken into consideration the work done by women outside America and Europe. We’re coming from very different behavioral patterns as far as how the patriarchy expressed itself on us.”

An article on Berlin-based artist SVETLANA HEGER discusses her work and her exploitation and exploration inside the work of the entrenched economic components of cultural production.

“The Moon, The Stars, and A Scar” tracks the survival journey through art, of African women living with HIV/AIDS. Three drawing portfolios by contemporary Inuit artists SHUVINAI ASHOONA, NICK SIKKUARK, KAVAVAOW MANNOMEE show their subtlety, humour and deft hand.

For an issue published in February BARRY DEMPSTER’s “Three Bitter Little Love Poems” make the perfect Valentine’s gift.

The review section, as always, is broad and far-ranging and includes:

Check our recently redesigned website, http://www.bordercrossingsmag.com to locate a newsstand near you -- or subscribe to BORDER CROSSINGS and receive our 2007 series of Limited Edition Artists’ Buttons.

Now in it’s second quarter century, BORDER CROSSINGS: A Magazine of the Arts, is published quarterly at Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. BORDER CROSSINGS is Edited by Meeka Walsh. The interviews, a noted feature in every issue, are by Contributing Editor Robert Enright.

500 – 70 Arthur Street, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3B 1G7

Tel: 204.942.5778
Email: bordercrossings@mts.net
Fax: 204.949.0793
Web: www.bordercrossingsmag.com

Media Contact: Joanne Bristol
Tel: 204.943.7763
Email: borderprojects@mts.net

Mar 27, 2008
Kim Taylor

straight from the camera
Kicking the Lights Around

While I still read photography magazines but I have more or less drifted away from the ones that teach me how to do stuff. I've never kept a log book to write down what I do since that would make it all work, it's always been more fun to just kick the lights around and see what I can see. Ever since I was a kid working with available light I've looked for that angle that gives me the effect and turning a studio full of expensive lighting equipment into "available light" is too much fun to ignore.

Kim Taylor: straight from the camera

Lately I've been cutting back on the magazines that concentrate more on the famous and fashionable photographers too. I'd never have found this shot if I was trying to copy someone else's lighting scheme. I'd never have found it if I had been thinking about what I was doing and trying for anything at all. Almost purely experimental, it's the result of throwing bits and pieces together, in this case a digital projector and a plastic dropcloth.

It makes me happy to kick the lights around and discover things in the camera. Kind of like when I'd pull negatives out of the tank and look at them for the first time to see what I'd caught. Does what's on the film match what was in my head when I hit the shutter? Sometimes yes, sometimes no and every once in a while there was that bewilderment of not having the slightest idea where that shot came from.

Mar 9, 2008
Kim Taylor
Art, Beauty and Pornography

If you shoot nude work it's almost inevitable that you get into the art vs porn question once in a while. I settled that question for myself quite a while ago but it shows up occasionally. I'm starting Art, Beauty, and Pornography by Jon Huer (Prometheus Books, 1987) once again. I didn't get too far into it last time before simply giving up because, while his argument is interesting (art is not related to either beauty or pornography, while pornography is related to beauty) it seems to come down being a problem of definitions that try too hard.

The idea that one can answer the question "what is art?" in any single way is a bit ambitious to say the least. While I am not presuming to comment on the meaning or philosophy of art, I do suspect that any overall definition is going to have to be much too broad to be meaningful.

Huer gives a definition on page 22.

Art is a form of persuasion by which the persuader tries to change the minds of others regarding man and the world.

I will need to read on but at the moment that definition seems to fit advertising pretty closely, (and I'm sure Huer would put advertising into the beauty rather than the art category) while excluding my own work as art since I really don't have any interest in changing anyone's mind. Does that definition exclude pornography from being art?

Catherine McKinnon and Andrea Dworkin are pretty well convinced that pornography has real effects on the mind, drafting civil rights legislation which would allow women to claim damages under the law upon exposure of the images. You can read an excerpt of their proposed legislation here: http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/dworkin/OrdinanceModelExcerpt.html and one clause states that

It is sex discrimination to:  (3) Assault, physically attack, or injure any person in a way that is directly caused by specific pornography. ...

If we accept the assumption the above wording implies, that pornography can cause someone to assault, attack or injure someone else, (yes I know there's a discussion to be had there) we must accept that those who produce porn are changing the minds of those who view it, and so porn is art.

As I said, definitions that can't be questioned are difficult to come by.

I was at a lecture the other day by Arthur Danto, a critic and philosopher of art and in answer to a question at the end he stated that his definition of art had two parts. First, there has to be a meaning behind the artwork and second, the art object must embody that meaning.

I will need to check further to make sure I'm getting that right1, and then think a bit more about it, but I can see a potential problem right now. Again, selfishly, it means I'm not producing art since I don't consciously insert any meaning into my images, although that does not prevent meaning from being present, or from being applied by viewers. It would also make Chuck Close's comment in The Genius of Photography that one of the differences between painting and photography is that photography can result in accidental masterpieces, a bit of a problem. Again, unless Danto means a piece of art can have a meaning that was not intended by the author.

An accident is, after all, by definition "meaning-less". One doesn't mean to have an accident... or perhaps I should say one doesn't mean to have the result that an accident produces, else it wouldn't be an accident. Almost all the surrealist work of the early 20th century falls into the accidental category, the whole point being to take the author's conscious intent out of the production of the artwork, in order to access the subconscious.

A meaning attached to a work which was not intended by the author is a very relativistic thing, and we quickly come back to the idea that the viewer decides the meaning, worth, and "art-ness" of the object. Put another way "I don't know how to define pornography but I know it when I see it". Not very useful for the law or for the artist even if it should prove to be the truth.

Returning to my own experience, my most recent shoot was of a couple in their own place. At one point in time close to where this shot was taken one of them commented that we were getting close to the R-rated stuff. The first thing out of my mouth was "sure, if you'd like them for yourself, we just won't use them for the project". As it happened, we didn't go on to take any shots more pulse-raising than this one, but I wonder why not?

Kim Taylor : straight from the camera                                                               

What I mean is why wouldn't I not only take the shots if the couple wanted me to, but why wouldn't I use them in a book or in a gallery? What is it that made me say we wouldn't use any R-rated shots?

People are born naked, people have sex. Naked people having sex should be a perfectly legitimate subject for art yes? It's not only "part of life" it IS life. The only reason we have a problem with images of naked people having sex is that we have socialized ourselves to have a problem with it. There's nothing other than our own cultural baggage that would give us any problem at all with seeing that. Being trained as a biologist, and being a thoroughly secular, boomer-aged Canadian I really don't have an ethical problem with it.

Not at all, but what I do have a problem with is boredom. I honestly don't know if I could find a way to shoot a couple having sex that hasn't been shot before, and I think that's my problem with it right there. So my current definition of art and pornography seems to have a lot more to do with my boredom level than any presence or absence of sex and flesh.


1 The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy  puts Danto's definition this way:

Something is a work of art if and only if (i) it has a subject (ii) about which it projects some attitude or point of view (has a style) (iii) by means of rhetorical ellipsis (usually metaphorical) which ellipsis engages audience participation in filling in what is missing, and (v) where the work in question and the interpretations thereof require an art historical context.

Still a problem for my work I suspect, but perhaps clause iii accounts for meanng or subject matter that is applied later by the audience.

Mar 9, 2008
Photography Event

An Extravaganza Tour Photography Shoot

Know thyself, a bit more complicated than it sounds.
Know your place... more problematic advice, to be sure.
The construction of identity is central to an understanding of contemporary society
David Ross, Whitney catalogue.


Mar 9, 2008
Grit Schwerdtfeger, Mädchen, 2006, 28" x 40" colour print


Grit Schwerdtfeger
Distanz 2006

opening Saturday March 8, 2 - 5 pm
artist will be in attendance

Distillery District 55 Mill St., bldg 61
Toronto, ON M5A 3C4

Cheerful, melancholy and frequently laconic, Grit Schwerdtfeger balances her art on the threshold between anticipation and memory.” - Kristina Tieke

The photographs of German artist Grit Schwerdtfeger are enigmatic, distanced meditations on everyday places, landscapes and sites of social engagement. Proudly presented at the Corkin Gallery, the images in Schwerdtfeger's body of work Distanz 2006 reveal the unusual beauty of familiar public spaces. Balanced, symmetrical and controlled, to the point of near abstraction in some images, these serene, harmonious scenes belie the often chaotic nature of tourist and recreational sites.

Schwerdtfeger distances herself from her subject matter by employing a central perspective and rigidly controlled composition, in effect removing any specificity of place or time. The viewer is left to contemplate the somewhat troubled relationship between human activity and the domesticated landscape.

Born in Berlin, Schwerdtfeger completed her studies at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, where she currently lives; her work is included in corporate and private collections in England, France, Austria, Belgium, Germany and Canada.

Presence of Portraits Extended
On exhibit now until April 27th

Following favourable reviews and increased public attention, the Presence of Portraits has been extended until April 27. The exhibition provides the public with a rare opportunity to see 80 original prints by some of the greatest photographers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Showcasing images of famous writers, musicians and artists, the exhibit examines portraiture as a representation of identity, with a particular focus on the emergence of modernism in 1920s and ‘30s Europe.

For more information please visit www.corkingallery.com

Media Contact: Jayne Wilkinson info@corkingallery.com
(416) 979-1980


Distillery District 55 Mill St., bldg 61 Toronto, ON M5A 3C4

Gallery Hours: Tues – Sat 10–6 Sun 12–5
(416) 979-1980


Mar 9, 2008
Uta Riccius | “Package 1” | 36 x 54 Inches | Lightjet Print | 2008

a group exhibition featuring ten gallery artists

March 5 to March 31, 2008

Artist Reception:
Friday, March 7, 2008
5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Artist Talk:
Sunday, March 30, 2008
3 p.m.

Featuring: Nichola Feldman-Kiss, Deborah Margo, Uta Riccius




is pleased to present SHOWCASE, a group exhibition featuring new and iconic works by ten gallery artists exploring themes and issues relevant to their professional practices. The exhibition features challenging new work based in photography, painting, digital imagery, new media, sculpture, and textiles. The projects operate as a primer for exhibitions to be presented at the gallery throughout the 2008 and 2009 season.

For more information:

2401 Bank Street
Ottawa Canada K1V 8R9

Tel. 613.746.0690 TF: 1.800.388.3298

Mar 9, 2008
Call for Submissions
Contact 08


Show your photos on the TTC -

Submission Deadline: April 18, 2008

Contacting Toronto is an annual, open-call photography exhibition on the Onestop network of over 200 TTC screens. It offers photographers an audience of 1.3 million people a day in over subway 40 stations.

The 2008 theme is Memories for the City.

This exhibition asks people to help create a collective memory of moments for the city, by sharing their stories or creating new ones. Submit a slideshow and share your story with the city.

We are looking for stories that take place on the streets of Toronto... love stories, playful stories, frustrating stories, stories of chance encounters or sad goodbyes.

The city can be as intimate as it is alienating. It’s a place where private lives are lived out in the public sphere: we are all watchers and watched in equal measure. The small stories of our lives pile up, and then disappear everyday under the weight of our routines. This is your chance to bring one of these moments to light.

It’s easy and free to enter – just upload a series of 5-8 photographs that tell a story you want to share with the city by April 18th.

The submission will either be selected as a whole, or not at all. Every sequence of images that is selected will run as a 30-second slideshow, cycling throughout the day, for at least 1 day of the exhibition.

Curated by Sharon Switzer of Art for Commuters. (www.art4commuters.com)

This exhibition is participating in Contact, an annual photography festival held throughout greater Toronto.

Visit www.contactingtoronto.ca for more information and to submit your photographs.

Mar 9, 2008
Kim Taylor
The Blog Cycle

Wow, about a month and a half ago I thought to myself, "hey, why not do a story on all the photography related blogs out there" I figured I would interview some of the folks who are fresh and keen and posting daily.

Seems I've lost my window, they have all started interviewing each other so if you want to catch up with the current internet photo-group, dive right in at "What's the Jackanory" and follow the links.

Me, I'm about to start on April's issue of 180 and trying to figure out why I'm shooting 3-4 times a week without any time to think or edit or print the work in between.

Kim Taylor: Straight from the Camera Kim Taylor : straight from the camear

Mind you, having great models to work/play with may be a big factor in how much work I'm doing. Not doing any job hunting or self-promoting also helps... a lot. I get to shoot as much as I want, and only to please myself. What's not to like, guess there's less to figure out than I thought.

Mar 7, 2008


Daniel Jensen-Golden

Curated by Lin Gibson and Gordon Lebredt

March 12 to April 13, 2008
Opening Reception, Thursday, March 13, 6–8 pm

Simone Interiors
1690 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M6R 1B3

Contact: Lin Gibson_416-530-2948_info@simoneinteriors.com

Mar 8, 2008
Kim Taylor
Just what is intellectual property anyway?

Part of my monthly image intake includes a couple of blogs where the members scan and post images from the current fashion magazines. I don't feel the least bit guilty about looking since the editorials are being exposed to a wider audience and the photographers will benefit from the greater exposure. I also buy many of those magazines so I'm not denying many profits there either.

One thing that never ceases to make me laugh, however, is the notice that the posters put on their scans. They insist that if you copy "their" image you have to credit them.

As what? The person who copied someone else's copyrighted image and posted it on the net? Hey personally, I'd be hoping nobody tracked it back to me, just in case Condé Nast ever decided to get nasty.

Kim Taylor : getting nasty
Getting nasty

All part of our intellectual property = fame and fortune mindset I guess. If I copy it, you better give me my due for my efforts.

Mar 3, 2008
Kim Taylor

straight from the camera
Money where mouth is

I've been nattering on about "straight from the camera" for a couple months now I think, so it's time to put the money where the mouth is, and I've done that with my story An Afternoon Out in this month's 180 magazine.

Not only is the story unedited but it's without a makeup artist. Well, in the interests of complete honesty, there is one lighting adjustment on the shot below, but apart from that no crops, no sharpening, no other editing just the files from the camera. The black and white shots were done with a point and shoot Pentax set for B/W and the colour shots with my usual Canon slr.

It was a delight to shoot, no muss no fuss and as you can probably see, not much else in mind except wandering around with a couple of models for a day.

I suspect I'll be doing this again, it's too much fun.

Kim Taylor : not quite straight from the camera

Mar 2, 2008