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Before Digital: Post-1970 Photography in Alberta

  • Illingworth Kerr Gallery Sait Way NW Calgary, AB, T2N Canada (map)

Adjust your lens.

Through the eyes, film cameras and darkrooms of 27 fine art photographers.

Before Digital displays what is beautiful, unusual, striking and surprising about taking photographs as it was done for over 150 years, without computer technology. Before Digital focuses on artists working in analogue within Alberta since the 1970s. Featured in the exhibition are over 80 photographs in black and white, colour, infra-red, cyan-blue and in video, as well as an artist book, a hand-made camera and mobile darkroom.

Long before people were using smartphones as cameras, photographers were documenting their lives and the lives of others. Although all working in analogue, the artists in this exhibition demonstrate a wide variety of approaches through their process, ranging from highly technical to playful, spontaneous, and performative. Their photographs tell stories that are engaging and moving: some deeply reflective of places and communities often unseen or on the margins, others in urban settings, the Rockies, or even in the photographer’s imagination.

Presented in partnership between Contemporary Calgary and the Illingworth Kerr Gallery at the Alberta College of Art and Design, Before Digital: Post-1970 Photography in Alberta is a sweeping survey of discovery, exploration, humour and personal expression.

Featuring works by Randall Adams, Dianne Bos, Douglas Clark, Don Corman, Diane Colwell, Douglas Curran, John Fukushima, Hubert Hohn, Dan Hudson, M.N.Hutchinson, Carol Johnston, Sima Khorrami, Ernie Kroeger, Don Mabie, Arthur Nishimura, Ingrid Plaudis, Garth Rankin, Craig Richards, Orest Semchishen, Colin Smith, Ed Spiteri, Barbara Spohr, Sandra Vida, George Webber, John Will and from The Mobile Darkroom: Shane Arsenault and Natalia Barberis.

Mary-Beth Laviolette, Guest Curator

Visiting hours for the IKG: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 12-6pm, Thursday: 12-8pm and Saturday: 12-4pm

The IKG is located in the main mall on the ACAD campus: 1407 14 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4R3

Image: Diane Colwell, Cosmos & Cabbage, 1989, enlarged Polaris as Type ‘C’ colour print.