Some artists associated with conceptualism began to use photography in the 1970s to challenge traditional artistic values, and because of them photography is an essential part of Canadian art today. Gabor Szilasi and Geoffrey James in Montréal and Lynne Cohen in Toronto questioned the nature of documentary photography by concentrating on ordinary and incidental aspects of the everyday environment. In contrast, Angela Grauerholz and Genevieve Cadieux in Montréal and Suzy Lake in Toronto distorted images—by cropping, blurring, fragmenting, framing, or other manipulation—so that the facts of reality become less specific and less clear.
Other artists used photographs along with film and videotape to create multilayered images of contemporary society. Prominent among the many artists who combined seemingly contradictory images of people and places to create new stories are Michael Snow and Vera Frenkel in Toronto and Ian Wallace, Stan Douglas, and Roy Arden from Vancouver.
In another ongoing experiment these artists and others, including Liz Magor and Jamilie Hassan in Ontario, assemble works from numerous photographs that describe various moments in time, but not necessarily in chronological order.
Large-scale color photographs, influenced in subject matter and composition by television, motion pictures, and advertising, have created new definitions of portraiture, as seen in work by Evergon in Montréal, Jeff Wall in Vancouver, and Shelagh Alexander in Toronto.
In work that combines everyday objects with photographs, videos, and other film-based imagery, Eric Cameron, Ian Carr Harris, Robin Collyer, and John Massey explore contemporary culture and suggest the distance that has developed between nature and technology. "Canada" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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