Exhibition view, ABC : MTL at Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2013. Courtesy Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal
Photo installation (ABC:MTL)
"The prevalence of the archival method as a means to record and catalogue the everyday has permeated into the works of many artists and writers, as in An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris by George Perec where the author sets out to document all events and non-events happening in a small square in Paris, or as in the illustrations of Atelier Bow-Wow recording hybrid constructions in Tokyo. With the emergence of Google's mapping technology, the mass of visual documents enables new sets of collections and archiving possibilities.
Started as a Tumblr page by artist Vincent Chevalier, the project PWIFd features a series of street views of Montreal, recording at first glance a seemingly ordinary panorama of cropped façades of buildings, street signs, empty parking lots, storefronts, and parks. The exhaustive documentary nature of this photographic collection reveals and austere portrait of the city, capturing both the built environment and the blurry faces of the pedestrians. Yet the subject of the photographs extends far beyond the blank canvas of the Google Street View images and the locations they document. The project is a personal record of all the places where the artist engaged in sexual acts, casually organized through online chat rooms and dating sites. "Neither a biography, nor a fiction," the project exposes a constantly updated personal mythology coded with an abstract dictionary of hashtags describing the variety of sexual acts: #versa, #top. #oral. #bdsm, #w/s, #ff, #kinky. Playing with disclosure, anonymity, and surveillance, the project frames the spatial realities of mediated sexualities and queer spaces in the city."
-- curatorial text for ABC:MTL at the Canadian Centre for Architecture