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Claude-Philippe Benoit: Working from the Margins

Oakville Galleries May 31 to Aug 31 2008
Claude-Philippe Benoit  <i>Untitled #80</i>  2005  Courtesy of the artist Claude-Philippe Benoit Untitled #80 2005 Courtesy of the artist

Claude-Philippe Benoit <i>Untitled #80</i> 2005 Courtesy of the artist

The Quebec photographer Claude-Philippe Benoit makes art from the discovery and interpretation of empty spaces. The photographs that brought him to attention in the late 1980s were of dense forest clearings in which haphazard structures happened in the entropic silence of the wilderness. Likewise, he has photographed the empty UN Security Council chamber in New York as well as law courts in Paris, venues where power players are absent but the architecture of authority remains. In his latest series, Société de ville, Benoit turns his camera and black and white film onto fringe urban spaces in Montreal. The city is shown abandoned, and the resilience of the trees, grasses and shrubs can make it seem as if nature is reclaiming the civic arena—a process that he shows already underway at the margins and moving inexorably inward. (120 Navy St, Oakville ON)

This article was first published online on June 4, 2008.

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