Visual artist and photographer, interested in still and moving images, extended fiction, narrative, memory and archive.
Raymonde April was born in Moncton and raised in Rivière-du-Loup in Eastern Quebec. She lives in Montréal where she has taught photography at Concordia University since 1985. Her work has been exhibited in Canada and internationally in various solo shows, such as: Tout embrasser (2001), Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University (curator: Régis Durand); Les Fleuves invisibles (1997), Musée d’art de Joliette (curator: Nicole Gingras); Jour de verre et autres fictions (1992), Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa; and Voyage dans le monde des choses (1986), Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (curator: Josée Bélisle). Her works are part of several important public and private collections in Québec, Canada and abroad. In 2003, she was awarded the prestigious Prix Paul-Émile Borduas (Ministère de la culture et des communications du Québec). More recently, in 2005, she received the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Art Photography from the Ontario Arts Foundation in recognition of her lasting contribution to contemporary photography in Canada.
Raymonde April is a pioneer in what recent art criticism has termed “auto-fiction.” Her photographic work has persistently embraced performance for the camera, scenes of personal experience which sometimes include close friends and family, pictorial narratives of the self in which the boundaries between storytelling and autobiography, life writing and the writing of photography as fiction are purposely left unresolved. It can be said that all her work pertains specifically to the vision of an “I,” if only because it nevertheless critically “frames” the act of speaking, writing and making images from the standpoint of the first person singular.
Equivalences 1 – 4 is a project by Raymonde April developed in collaboration with curator Eduardo Ralickas. It consists of three distinct series of photographs and one video work shown in three Montréal spaces: Occurrence, espace d’art et d’essai contemporains; Les Territoires; and Galerie Donald Browne. Most of the photographs, which contain a significant number of landscapes, are unpublished and were taken between 2005 and 2009. The project also includes found images and some older works. Each of the three exhibitions contains ten to fifteen images, including landscapes, portraits and scenes of everyday life captured with large-format, 35mm and digital cameras in a variety of urban or rural settings such as Montréal, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Eastern Québec and Southern Alberta. While foregrounding landscape (and, occasionally, figures within space), these series also contain prosaic elements that assume poetic form by means of the transformative power of photography. This project grew out of a desire to understand April’s creative process and to translate it into spatial terms. It is a topography of sorts which brings to the fore the way in which April’s photographic work functions by spatializing meaning—a process that is unique in the contemporary photographic landscape.
Noemie da Silva
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