With The Photographer, I am moving ever closer to the source of photography: the photographer him or herself. By shifting my attention to the manner in which photographers have represented themselves, I plunge deeper into the history of the medium and, deploying my irreverently reverent style, attempt to situate and question my place within this history. Through attempting to become the self-image of various photographers from the history of photography, I’m endeavoring to become photography itself. In so doing, I am inviting the spectator to join me in reflecting on and questioning the various functions of the medium, its archives and, more specifically, the numerous roles played by the photographic self-portrait.
The photographs are accompanied by a short video that sinks into the depths of an enigmatic and fabulated world of photography consisting of cameras and photographers’ disembodied and re-embodied voices. This video provides a link, albeit a visual and audio cacophony, between the false self-portraits and the actual voices of the photographers, thus further confusing the real and the constructed.
A video interview of Chuck Samuels talking about The Photographer (made by Phil Rose for Centre production Daïmõn) can be viewed here.
The artist would like to thank the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and Centre production Daïmõn for their support in the production of this project.
The Photographer: Exhibition history
Solo (or duo) shows:
2021 Becoming Photography, an exhibition in two venues: Expression, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC & Plein sud, Longueuil, QC (publication)
2015 Galerie Le Réverbère, Lyon (in conjunction with Dépaysé, a solo show by Serge Clément)
Group shows or projections:
2017 Documentar, contar, mentir, El Museo de la Cancilleria, Mexico City
Documentar, contar, mentir, Ex-Convento del Carmen, Guadalajara
Documentar, contar, mentir, Centro Cultural Clavijero, Morelia
2016 The Photographers, Festival International du Film sur l’Art, Montréal (part of IMPRESSIONS, a series of artists’ videos curated by Nicole Gingras presented at Centre Phi)
The Photographer: Bibliography
2023 Alasdair Foster, “In Photography,” Interview on Talking Pictures website, Brisbane, Australia.
2022 Christina Natlacen, “Chuck Samuels: Becoming Photography,” EIKON International Magazine for Photography and Media Art, #118, Vienna, 2022, p.86.
Carole Coen, “Huitième art en « je »,” Fisheye Magazine , No. 51, Paris, January-February 2022, p. 110-111.
2021 Chuck Samuels, Becoming Photography, publication with texts by Joan Fontcuberta & Mona Hakim, co-edited by Kerber Verlag, Berlin, Expression, Saint-Hyacinthe & Plein Sud, Longueuil, 2021
Sylvain Campeau, “Chuck Samuels. Devenir la photogaphie,” Ciel variable, no. 118, Automne/Fall 2021, Montréal, p. 93-94.
Robert Enright, “The Man with the Moving Camera,” Border Crossings, Vol. 40, No. 2, Issue 157, August 2021, p. 100-111.
Gabrielle Sarthou, “Devenir la photographie. Chuck Samuels,” Espace art actuel, No. 129, Automne/Fall 2021, p. 109.
Sevia Pellissier, “Chuck Samuels. Devenir la photographie,” Vie des arts, No. 263, Vol. LXVI, Montréal, Été 2021, p. 89.
Joan Fontcuberta, “Històries i contrahistòries,” El món d’ahir, No. 19, Barcelona, Summer 2021, p. 50-69.
Donald Bracket, “How to Throw Your Voice Visually: Becoming Photography,” Critics At Large (criticsatlarge.ca), May 26, 2021, n.p.
Jérome Delgado, “Tête de star,” Le Devoir (Le D Magazine), April 17, 2021, p. 23.
Christian Gattinoni, “Portrait de l’homme photographique dans l’histoire de ses chef-d’oeuvres,” LaCritique.org, 24 mars, n.p. 2021
Chuck Samuels, “Scabs, Runny Noses & Wardrobe Malfunctions,” Ciel variable, No. 116, January 2021, Montréal, p. 95-98.
2015 Jules Roeser, “L’Oeil du photographe,” LeMauvaisCoton.fr, July 30, 2015, n.p.
Christian Gattinoni, “Chuck Samuels rentre dans l’histoire,” LaCritique.org, May 29, 2015, n.p
The Photographer: Images published
2016 EXIT Magazine, “FAKE,” No. 64, December, 2016, Madrid, p. 116 – 125.
KATALOG – Journal of Photography & Video, vol. 27, no.2, 2016, Kerteminde, Denmark, p. 16 – 23. (Purchase magazine here.)
The Photographer: Exhibition and edition details
Simulating a museum installation of a history of the self-portrait in photography, the prints are sequenced chronologically based on the date the original photograph was taken and each is entitled to include the name of each photographer. All twenty-four prints of the North American set of exhibition prints of The Photographer are matted to fit into 20 x 24 inch / 51 x 61 cm frames (the European set of exhibition prints will be matted to fit into 50 x 60 cm / 19.7 x 23.6 inch frames). The entire set of matted but unframed exhibition prints are crated in a wooden shipping box that measures approximately 66 x 56 x 13 cm x 22 kg / 26 x 22 x 5 inches x 48½ lbs (the boxes for the North American and European sets are slightly different from one another).
The 5-minute HD video, entitled The Photographers, is an integral element of project can be presented as an HD projection with relatively modest sound equipment or shown on a flat screen monitor with a speaker or headphones. The video could, in certain circumstances, be presented alone.
The Photographer has been prepared as an edition of 12 prints for each of the 24 images. In addition, there are 2 sets of exhibition prints and 1 set of artists’ proofs, all of which belong to the artist. Specially priced complete sets of all 24 images of The Photographer can be acquired.