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RYERSON IMAGE CENTRE

Clive Holden: UNAMERICAN UNFAMOUS
January 23 – April 14, 2013
Curator: Dr. Gaëlle Morel
Media Wall

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Is it un-American to be un-famous? Are Americans failures if they die without fame?

Drawing from the Black Star Collection at Ryerson University, Clive Holden creates UNAMERICAN UNFAMOUS using the “un-famous” as an organizing principle in his selection of one hundred image details and faces. Plucked from obscurity, these people can be found in the backgrounds of famous photographs, or simply hidden in the depths of a photographic archive. At times they are literally seen over the shoulders of celebrities in the iconic photographs that capture the “American Century”.

The work’s media tile construction is made with a hybrid adaptation of photographic, cinematic, and web tools. Its many cultural influences arise from a wide variety of media and genres as the work spans the divide between time-based and non-time-based art forms. It also uses film leader as raw material (the beginning and end pieces of film reels). With a complex series of randomizing algorithms, these film loops are juxtaposed and continually remixed with the “unsung human leaders” found in the Black Star Collection, as well as with photographs of local un-famous un-Americans nominated by members of the general public. The work will evolve over the course of the exhibition as more images are submitted via social media.

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