The After-Image (Swan Songs)

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The expression ‘swan song,’ is derived from the Greek myth that swans are mute, but burst into song just before they die. Over the ages the legend was embraced by poets and came to mean a person’s last eloquent words or performance: a final farewell appearance. In the context of my current cycle of work, I am exploring the swan songs of a sequence of historical, or otherwise atypical artists and intellectuals, who produced remarkable final works which were intimately connected with their deaths.  The body of work is realized as a cycle of photographic encounters with the landscapes and architectural sites connected to particular swan songs, selected for their poetic and political resonance. In this sense, The After-Image (SwanSongs), seeks to record echoes etched in landscape, and acts to engage the physical locations of these swan songs as a point of departure for a sustained meditation on final acts and their sites of articulation. In an exhibition setting, the photographic images are interspersed with text, mounted as vinyl lettering directly on the gallery wall. These fragmentary readymades are citations from various thinkers who dedicated a period of their work to the subject of the life-death relation.

This project is supported by Le Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Société et la Culture and Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

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