Canadian Centre for Architecture, from 30 January to 25 May 2014
The Exhibition explores the beginnings of photography in the Middle East and North Africa as photographers, whether amateurs, pilgrims, parts of scientific missions or commercial photographers, sailed to the region bringing home impressions of their travels.
Curated by Jorge Correia, Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, University of Minho (Escola de Arquitectura da Universidade do Minho – EAUM) in Portugal, the exhibition interprets the ways in which the traditional Islamic city was represented by several European photographers (Francis Frith, Emile Béchard, Félix Bonfils and Maxime Du Camp, among others).
The curatorial approach revisits the widespread and often negative imagery which fashioned visions of the Oriental world, implying chaos and disorder, insalubrity and a lack of self-governance. Through a contemporary reading of panoramic views, streets and monuments, the exhibition offers a shift in focus towards a morphological understanding of the planning of the traditional Arab city.
The exhibition opens with an introductory section entitled Imagining the Orient and explores different interpretative themes under the label Looking beyond the veil.
A free public lecture by curator Jorge Correia – and moderated by Fabrizio Gallanti, CCA Associate Director of Public Programs – will take place the day of the opening on Thursday 30 January at 6 pm. The vernissage will follow from 7 pm to 9:30 pm, and will feature musical selections by Zac DeCam, a talented Montreal-based recording engineer, musician, and DJ, whose band Geneseo is nominated for a 2014 GRAMMY award.