Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 3, No. 6, 2004

  Current Issue  
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Robert J. Lewis
  Contributing Editors
Mark Goldfarb
Phil Nixon
Bernard Dubé
Robert Rotondo
  Music Editor
Emanuel Pordes
  Arts Editor
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
Mady Bourdage
Emanuel Pordes
  Past Contributors
  Noam Chomsky
Robert Fisk
Michael Moore
Pico Iyer
Edward Said
Mark Kingwell
Arundhati Roy
Naomi Klein
Jean Baudrillard
John Lavery
David Solway
Tariq Ali
Michael Albert
Rochelle Gurstein



There is much in photography made easy by events: a spectacular sunset, the devastation left by a hurricane, an exploding Mount Etna firing up the night. When a photographer is at the right place at the right time or on assignment, he will often find himself a mere click or two away from a great shot that is easily composed and friendly to a wide range of framing configurations. This kind of retina-busting art bursts into the imagination like a meteor shower that dazzles until it dies or the page is turned.

Opposite the big event are those unassuming photographs that grow on us as an effect of the effort and inspiration that went into their making, where the sustained gaze validates a previously undisclosed realm or aesthetic laid bare by the photographer.

Realist photographer, Bernard Dubé, is fascinated by that which lies outside the big event horizon. Through a variety of stratagems, he divests the non-event of its superficial banality in order to disclose what is significant and worthy of our attention in it, so that the image (the photograph) holds more interest than the object, which is roughly what Henry James deems as the definition of art.

"The above shots were taken at the hugely popular Ottawa Blues and Folkfests with the aim of capturing the music festival as a human phenomenon. The fact that people were prepared to sit for extended periods through sometimes pouring rain attests to the power of music and the enduring value of community. How could it be otherwise, for music and all the arts are, simply, the festival of the human experience.

"I often deliberately take shots that challenge the conventional sense of composition and aesthetics. I am left unsatisfied by photos that are impeccably balanced. Perhaps my disposition is analogous to some of Picasso's portraits where he purposely doesn’t touch the canvas in certain places. My aim -- and I really enjoy doing this -- is to force viewers to find in themselves the aesthetic that will make the picture satisfying to them, and to have them regard the photo as providing the creative elements which inspire them to engage in a sort of aesthetic ‘brocolage.’ In this same way I enjoy including a certain disconcerting element in my photos."






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