Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

Robert Frank. HOLD STILL - keep going. Film/photoworks Only venue in North America June 22 to September 12, 2002

Ottawa, Canada - June 21, 2002


 Robert Frank. HOLD STILL - Keep going. Œuvres photographiques et cinématographiques Une seule escale en Amérique du Nord du 22 juin au 12 septembre 2002  
The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (CMCP) is particularly proud to be able to offer its visitors a unique opportunity to explore the fascinating work of photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank. The CMCP is the only North American stop of the travelling exhibition Robert Frank. HOLD STILL - keep going. Film/photoworks providing a rare chance to view the works of one of the most important and influential photographers of the 20th century.

HOLD STILL - keep going is devoted to the work of Robert Frank, an artist who has had a decisive influence on photographic production since the Second World War and has also done much to contribute to the artistic and cultural stature of filmmaking and photography. On display are early single photographs and photo series, photo-book projects, films, videos and photo-text montages.

The photographs
Born in Zurich in 1924, Robert Frank moved to New York in 1947. Since 1970, he has divided his time between New York and Mabou, a small community on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The artist's life in Cape Breton is, in fact, the subject of a number of photographs. Frank was the first European-born photographer to be awarded, in 1955, a Guggenheim Fellowship, which he used to make a photographic exploration of the United States. Of the 20,000 images he made of all aspects of American life, 83 were published in Paris in 1958 by Robert Delpire, in the groundbreaking book under the title Les Américains

Robert Frank's photographs challenge ideas of linear narrative and the function of the photograph as a conveyor of "truth." Frank has never confined himself to allowing a photograph to stand on its own as a statement about the world. Rather, images appear within images to create multiple commentaries on reality.

The films
In 1959, Frank produced the highly influential Beat Generation film Pull My Daisy, and his fascination with film has continued throughout his career. He combines documentary approaches with subjective and fictional elements to create intense works where private and public realities intermingle. "I was very interested in the transition from photography to video," Frank commented to Ute Eskildsen, Director of the Photography Collection and Vice-President of the Museum Folkwang, in Essen, Germany. "Film gave me the opportunity to learn to communicate, which was probably the most important thing for me on a personal level. And film enables us to speak in real life as well."

HOLD STILL - keep going presents the complex vision of an artist whose work emphasizes the ability of photography and film to make statements, to question, and to challenge our perceptions and assumptions about reality and our relationship to it. The viewer is part of a creative exchange, piqued by inquisitiveness, between image and subject, image and images, and image and words.

Robert Frank. HOLD STILL - keep going. Film/photoworks was organized by the Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany, in co-operation with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain.

The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography is grateful for the support of the exhibition's media sponsors, Ottawa Xpress and Voir Outaouais

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