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Scott Conarroe, Red House
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(b. 1974, Edmonton, AB; lives in London, ON)
Red house 2005
61 x 71 cm
Gift of Peggy MacKinnon, 2007
Mount Saint Vincent University Collection
Scott Conarroe completed a BFA at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2001, graduating with an MFA from NSCAD University in 2005.
Conarroe’s 2004-2005 series Harbour, consists of colour photographs printed from large-format negatives depicting sites along the Halifax waterfront. With deliberate irony, this young artist has selected precisely the urban landscapes that would be avoided by photographers seeking scenic material, and he has done so while living in a region renowned for its picturesque scenery. His consistently high vantage point, distorted colour and luminous skies transform nondescript scenes that would never appear in precisely this fashion to the naked eye. By shooting with prolonged exposure times at dusk and dawn, Conarroe builds in the theme of duration, in place of the expected instantaneous capture, and exchanges documentary priorities for conceptual ones.
Conarroe used a Linhoff 4 x 5 camera with exposure times varying from ten to forty minutes. The surfeit of information registered on film serves to abstract the image, eliminating moving components and bathing each scene in an eerie pearlescent light. Although the sky seems filled with daylight, street lamps and other lights are illuminated. The incongruity is sufficient to prolong the viewer’s glance at the photograph—and by extension, at the transitional, “no-place” sites that so characterize the Halifax waterfront.
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