Canadian photographer Michel Campeau pays homage to analogue photography through his book, “Photographic Darkroom/Photogenic Obsolescence.”
The rise of digital technology is a double-edged blade: on one side, we live a more comfortable life thanks to modern inventions; on the other, we lose some of the things that we’ve loved and grown accustomed to. It’s no secret that analogue photography has been taking some of the strongest blows so far, one case in point being the halting of production of certain models of cameras and many brands of film.
We see Campeau’s “Photographic Darkroom/Photogenic Obsolescence” as a tribute to analogue photography. In it are his photographs of darkrooms, or what were also regarded as “chambers of analogue photography,” from all over the world, taken beginning 2003 in Toronto, Mexico City, Havana, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Niamey, Ho Chi Minh City, and Tokyo. With digital technology slowly overtaking analogue, darkrooms are now almost obsolete, merely appearing “like allusions to a time long gone.”
My project, built on an observation of the decline of silver-based photography, took as its central object the darkroom, rapidly deserted because of the phenomenal growth in computer technologies. Both an actor in and a witness of this pivotal period in the history of art and photography, caught between analogue and digital processes, I wished to record the iconic nature of these post-industrial ruins and the remains strewn among them.
Meanwhile, Campeau’s photographs are currently in exhibition through Michel Campeau: Icons of Obsolescence until January 5, 2014 at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.