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Denis Farley (Montréal)

Présence étalonnée

In addition to offering the public a direct experience of the work in the street, this project simultaneously presented DARE-DARE with the artist's research space.

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As part of the Mois de la photo à Montréal, DARE-DARE presents the latest developments in the research work of artist Denis Farley.

A photographer of human presence as a scale for measuring landscape, Denis Farley is as concerned with the historical reference of a visual document as he is with the inevitable presence of the observed and the observer. In these new mises en Situation de Présence étalonnée incorporated into new physical spaces, it is the past of the document itself and that of the shot that merge at the present moment when the viewer, in turn, inhabits the landscape. Points of reference are updated, units of measurement are compared, fictitious perspectives emerge. Denis Farley introduces us to a kind of photo teleportation subterfuge. From the anonymous photo to the reappropriation of an image, from the projected image to the floating surface, the photographic document becomes fictitious. We wander like a prospector discovering the true scale of a mountain range as we go along!

The suggested itinerary for Présence étalonnée was to begin with the silhouette installation near the fountain at the Musée d'art contemporain (Place des Arts), before moving on to the image installation at DARE-DARE.

In addition to offering the public a direct experience of the work in the street, this project simultaneously presented the artist's research space at DARE-DARE. The key element was a series of identical silhouettes arranged on the Place des Arts esplanade: the artist seen from behind, wearing a red-and-white-checked suit and carrying a cell phone to his ear.

At DARE-DARE, there was a projected image of the outdoor installation, a few objects used to measure or delimit, and a light box: a large-format reproduction of a war photo in which Farley had placed his "character". Through two types of dissemination, Présence étalonnée raised the question of identity on both a physical and social scale.

These new propositions by Denis Farley act on the viewer as a situational setting for the photographic act, both at the moment of shooting and during the contact with the photographed landscape. After all, doesn't photography capture an action?

With Présence étalonnée, Denis Farley invites us, during this Month of Photography in Montreal, to experience the performative aspect of the image in action.