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On September 23, 1995, Vox Populi, in collaboration with the Musée d'art contemporain, organized a conference entitled "The Presence of Photography in Museum Collections: Specificity of a Medium and a Culture." In his text "Le silence des agneaux" (The silence of the lambs), Sylvain Campeau gives his impressions of this event.With regard to both discussions between panel members and participation by the audience, Campeau stresses the weaknesses in the concept of "collection" among Canadian institutions and the limits that institutional acquisition committees place on the real choices of curators. Comments by artists present at the conference also shed light on the lack of follow-up in some of these collections. The foreigners on the panel, for their part, shared their vision of the meaning of a collection and the importance for their institutions of the acquisitions they make.
Daniel Kieffer's photographs constantly transport the viewer from one side of the lens to the other. With his camera at the service of sensation rather than the "beautiful image," Kieffer returns us to the essence of an art that teaches us about "the unconscious view" (Walter Benjamin). Seeing and experiencing sensation seem to be the conditions of artistic expression. The living soul is capable of anything. What can be expressed is made possible only under the guidance of sensation. Knowing things (learning) is not the only purpose of the art of seeing; this art also allows us to understand things and thus interpret the world better (become the other at the moment one encounters it). Through his witnessing, the photographer enables us to see the world from the outside (distance), but, through his involvement, he participates in what he witnesses (proximity); the result is a pragmatic, disturbing effect on our position with regard to the world and its representation. Excerpt of a text by Charles Perraton