The Lives of Documents—Photography as Project is the first of a trilogy of research and exhibition projects produced by the CCA on the medium of photography—between work of art, research tool, and document—as a means to investigate the built environment. In light of the pioneering efforts the CCA has made since its foundation in redefining the role of photography within the field of architecture as well as within research institutions and collections, the project is conceived as a display of open research where works of authors from the 1970s until today—from the CCA collection and beyond—are presented together with unpublished projects, books, publication mock-ups, interviews, and documents connected to the production of the works themselves.

Curated by Bas Princen and Stefano Graziani, The Lives of Documents—Photography as Project is structured as an exhibition, an oral history conducted in cinematographic form, a series of commissioned artists’ books, and a web issue. The project aims to dissect the practice of artists and photographers whose work has crucially contributed to defining thresholds of transformation of the discipline within the last fifty years in relation to specific topics—from the notion of landscape to the complexity of the archive as a project format, among others.

The Lives of Documents—Photography as Project embraces the idea of the documentary as an embedded quality of photographic language, and questions the relevance and actuality of photography as a means to interrogate and interpret the mechanisms that are modelling our visible world.

Information about the series of public events expanding on the exhibition can be found here.

Authors: Lara Almarcegui; Lewis Baltz; Gabriele Basilico, Stefano Boeri; Bernd and Hilla Becher; Lynne Cohen; Luigi Ghirri; Dan Graham; Jan Groover; Guido Guidi; Naoya Hatakeyama; Takashi Homma; Roni Horn; Douglas Huebler; Annette Kelm; Gert Jan Kocken; Aglaia Konrad; Susanne Kriemann; Sol LeWitt; Armin Linke; Ari Marcopoulos; Gordon Matta-Clark; Richard Misrach; Marianne Mueller; Bruce Nauman; Michael Schmidt; Thomas Struth; Tokuko Ushioda; Jeff Wall; Marianne Wex.

Curators: Stefano Graziani, Bas Princen
Exhibtion design: Dyvik Kahlen
Graphic designers: Ponik Peeters
Curatorial assistant: Emilie Retailleau
Research: Victoria Addona, Hester Keijser, Alexandra Lyn, Giacomo Rossi, Shukri Sultan
Design development: Sébastien Larivière, Anh Truong
Oral histories
Films directed by Jonas Spriestersbach
Produced by Emmanuelle Carignan, Karine Charbonneau

The CCA gratefully acknowledges the support of the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.

Audio Introduction


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