False Clues [Faux Indices]

Lynne Cohen
September 26, 2014 - January 4, 2015
Organized and circulated by the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
Curated by François LeTourneux


Lynne Cohen, Laboratory, 1999/2013, chromogenic print, 194.3 cm x 232 x 3.3 cm. Courtesy of Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto.

The exhibition False Clues, organized and circulated by the Musée d'art contemporain de Montreal, features some forty photographs by Montréal-based artist Lynne Cohen, ranging from the 1970s to more recently produced works. Known since the early 1970s for her photographs that suggest scale models or fabricated décors, she uses a view camera to photograph "ready-made" interior spaces. While it is not always evident from the titles of her works, Cohen's photographs are  always empty of occupants, which the works' titles usually do not specifically identify. Over the years, interiors and public or semi-public venues--skating rinks, hotel lobbies, men's clubs--have given way to more complex, less readily accessible settings, such as classrooms, science laboratories or military installations. Whatever the (sometimes ominous) nature of the places pictured, the artist underscores the humour, artifice and illusion that lie therein. Cohen, it should be mentioned, does not alter nor intervene in any way in the sites she photographs. She explains her process this way: "None of my places appears real. But, then again, not much appears real when you step  back and take a look.... While I aim for a kind of deceptive neutrality in the way I photograph, the subject ... is scarcely neutral."

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