Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

Susan McEachern and Phil Bergerson at the CMCP

Ottawa, Canada - September 17, 2004


 Susan McEachern et Phil Bergerson au MCPC 
The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (CMCP) is proud to present two striking new exhibitions that contemplate culture from two different but equally compelling perspectives.

Susan McEachern: Structures of Meaning, which opens tomorrow and runs until 9 January 2005, examines photography’s role in the production of cultural meaning, and its capacity to simultaneously depict both the real and the desired.

This exhibition includes early works in which the Halifax artist uses photographs and text to investigate the home, the kinds of activities that occur there, and how the domestic sphere relates to greater social realities, particularly for women. McEachern’s more recent projects focus on culture’s presumed opposite – nature – and the social values humans assign to it.

“Susan McEachern’s work is engaging and complex,” says the CMCP’s Andrea Kunard, curator of the exhibition. “In some instances, she uses photography to deconstruct commonly held understandings of the world. In others, through choice of subject matter and techniques such as cropping and framing, she constructs a vision of the world as she would like it to appear.

Structures of Meaning provides viewers with a thoughtful and challenging inquiry into how certain beliefs and attitudes are produced within society, and the various means by which they are supported by individual choice and by larger economic, political and cultural processes.”
Visitors can Meet the Artist and view the exhibition in the company of Susan McEachern on Sunday 14 November at 2 p.m. She also shares her thoughts in an online interview featured on CyberMuse, the CMCP and National Gallery of Canada’s educational Web site (http://cybermuse.gallery.ca/).

Phil Bergerson: Shards of America, now showing on the CMCP’s Terrace Level, is a selection of 20 photographs from the new book of the same name. The works feature odd and ironic elements found in the American social landscape: garish colours, scrawled messages, bizarre architectural elements, flags, newspapers, consumer goods and kitschy artefacts. Together they are evocative of the values of a nation.

Bergerson, a professor of photography at Toronto’s Ryerson University, says his images “are about the fragments, shards, clues – the signs, both literal and figurative, that people leave behind – signs that can nudge viewers into reflection about the quirky nature and condition of culture, society and themselves.”

Phil Bergerson: Shards of America runs until 2 January 2005, after which an expanded version of the exhibition, featuring 54 works, will tour other galleries in Canada.

- 30 -