Voyage to Italy. The exhibition comprises three works that the British conceptual artist created in 2006: Voyage to Italy, a single screen digital video projection with sound, and Basilica I and Basilica II, two series of black and white photographs accompanied by text; as well as the nineteenth-century photograph by Carlo Fratacci of a basilica in Pompei that inspired them.
Voyage to Italy
curated by Hubertus von Amelunxen
Victor Burgin: Voyage to Italy is a Tangent exhibition on view from 7 December 2006 until 25 March 2007, featuring new works commissioned by the CCA. British conceptual artist Victor Burgin has created formally powerful black and white photographs and an evocative video that engage the timeless beauty and lasting resonance of a Carlo Fratacci photograph of Pompeii. Conceived by Hubertus von Amelunxen, visiting curator of the CCA Photographs Collection, the Tangent exhibition series seeks to bring contemporary artists into dialogue with the CCA's rich collection.
The exhibition comprises three works Burgin created in 2006, Voyage to Italy, a single screen digital video projection with sound, and Basilica I and Basilica II, two series of black and white photographs accompanied by text; as well as the nineteenth-century photograph by Carlo Fratacci that inspired them. Fratacci's image of the Basilica at Pompeii derives from an album of 26 albumen silver prints in the CCA Photographs Collection entitled Principales Vues de Pompei par Charles Fratacci, Naples 1864.
The ruins of Pompeii are understood by Burgin as a simultaneous moment of destruction and preservation: the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 annihilated the city of Pompeii and its inhabitants while conserving the traces for later civilisations. The ruin thus acts as an archive of the past. Photographs perform a similar action, fixing a living presence into a still image while capable of recalling a life long since ended. As Burgin writes, “every photograph is the trace of a previous state of the world, a vestige of how things were. The sum of all photographs is the ruin of the world."
Victor Burgin: Voyage to Italy is part of the Tangent exhibition series, conceived to engage artists in reflection on the relationship between photography and architecture, beginning with a body of photographs from the CCA's collection. The commissioned works enter the CCA collection. The CCA Photographs Collection is dedicated to the history of photography as it relates to architecture and the built environment. Begun in 1974, it comprises more than 55,000 items dating from 1839 to today. The objective of the collection is to bring together works that will make it possible to study and understand the presence and role of photography in the representation of architecture, the city, and landscape.
The CCA is an international research centre and museum founded in 1979 on the conviction that architecture is a public concern. Based on its extensive collections, the CCA is a leading voice in advancing knowledge, promoting public understanding, and widening thought and debate on the art of architecture, its history, theory, practice, and role in society today.
Conversation with the artist: 7 December, 6 pm, free admission Victor Burgin and Hubertus von Amelunxen in discussion
Canadian Centre for Architecture
1920, rue Baile - Montreal