Ho Tam

Posing

April 30 - May 29, 2004

Posing
Posing
Posing

Posing

Posing, 2004 installation view

Paul Petro Contemporary Art is pleased to present the photographic work of Toronto-based artist Ho Tam. This is Ho Tam's first solo exhibition with our gallery.

Ho Tam's Posing is a series of portraiture that mixes the traditions of social documentary and snapshot photography. The title of the exhibit refers to the strangers who are asked to pose for the photographer in public spaces. Using a consumer type point-and-shoot camera, the snapshot sessions are conducted candidly, resulting in informal portraits of the individuals in their casual and spontaneous, yet at times intriguing and revealing, personae. Subjects include people on the streets of Montreal, Buddhist monks in Bangkok and guys with the stuffed animals they have won on the CNE midway.

"Posing is about looking at how people present themselves in front of the camera in the everyday situation. The images are of people on the street, in the public space, very casual and mostly without pretensions. They are direct and candid -- all are done in a few seconds to a minute or two. The participants are asked and then photographed instantaneously. I think in this day of mechanical reproduction and technology everyone is trained to perform (pose) in front of the camera. In this process of posing, we derive our existence from the photographer -- even though this dependence is an imaginary one -- and let our image be generated. "

- Ho Tam, April 2004



"I know I am posing, I want you to know that I am posing, but... this additional message must in no way alter the precious essence of my individuality: what I am, apart from any effigy."

- Roland Barthes