Keesic Douglas, Jose Angel Rodriguez
February 4th to March 4th 2011
This exhibition is sponsored by Pine Needle Productions and Can Sign Industries. Our season sponsors are, CBON, la Première Chaîne, Espace musique and Radio-Canada Television | Internet.
Works by two aboriginal artists from both ends of the continent converge in this exhibit: Keesic Douglas an Ojibway from the Rama First Nation in central Ontario and José Angel Rodriguez, a Mestizo from Chiapas in Southern Mexico. Though their cultural backgrounds differ, these two photographers share an objective: they tell the stories of their people in images and in spirit.
Keesic Douglas’ contribution to the exhibit is four large colour photos, the subject of which is the land itself. Each work consists of two scenes composed by the artist: the image on the left represents a typical, peaceful scene of Canada’s North, while the one on the right is largely a mirror image, yet tells a very different story. Douglas thereby raises important questions concerning the rights of First Nations and the loss of certain customs. There are no people in these photos, yet the presence of a community defending its rights is ingrained in them.
For his part, José Angel Rodriguez presents a photo selection of religious ceremonies and rituals he has taken over the last thirty years. Some are the result of a complicit exchange between the artist and the subject; some are captured in silent waiting for just the right moment; all reveal a story. Furthermore, to add to the mystical tone of this project, Rodriguez’s photos are developed with palladium, an ancestral technique that necessitates sunlight. He explores this practice on traditional surfaces such as Aztec paper, stones and drum skins.
Keesic Douglas lives and works in Toronto. He has a MFA from the University of British Columbia and a BFA in photography from the Ontario College of Art & Design in Toronto. His works have been exhibited in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.
Jose Angel Rodriguezhas been an active photographer for forty years. His works have been exhibited many times in Mexico as well as in the United States and in Europe. His first book “Vidas Ceremoniales” (Ceremonial Lives) was published in 1991 and his second, “Cazador de Imagenes” (Hunter of Images), in 2002. Rodriguez is also a professor of photography at the Universidad Intercultural de Chiapas.