From daguerreotype to digital, technological advancements have greatly altered the way we take photos—however, our reasons for taking them remain largely the same. The title of the National Gallery of Canada’s new exhibition, The Extended Moment: Fifty Years of Collecting Photographs reflects our ongoing desire to capture and sustain moments in time.
In addition to technological changes, photography has undergone another type of evolution over the past 180 years. Formerly considered to merely be a means of documentation, photography gradually came to be accepted as a form of fine art. The Extended Moment traces the progressive shift in the public’s perceptions of the medium by examining 175 photos and images from the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada’s collection.
Visitors can expect to see work from notable artists including Eadweard Muybridge, a pioneer of 19th-century photography; Diane Arbus, who was known for documenting marginalized communities; Canadian industrial landscape photographer Edward Burtynsky; and the controversial Robert Mapplethorpe, who captured New York City’s underground BDSM scene in the sixties and seventies.
While the National Gallery’s photography collection will continue to grow and evolve for generations to come, this exhibition only runs from May 4 until September 16—all the more reason to seize the moment.
The Extended Moment: Fifty Years of Collecting Photographs will be at the National Gallery of Canada from May 4 until September 16, 2018.
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