Peter Sramek, Chair of Cross-Disciplinary Art Practices
Urban change is inevitable, as is our ambivalence towards modernization and the possible loss of heritage which accompanies it. During the second half of the nineteenth-century, Paris was re-imagined and a structure of wide boulevards constructed to crisscross the network of older streets. It was Charles Marville's task to document in photographs what Georges Haussmann slated for demolition. In this illustrated lecture, photographer Peter Sramek discusses his process of revisiting Marville's sites to record the changes of the past 150 years and to speak with today's Parisians about how the city continues to change in some of its oldest neighborhoods.
The exhibition Charles Marville Photographer of Paris, is on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from January 27 to May 4.
Peter Sramek studied photography at MIT under Minor White and has taught at the Ontario College of Art & Design University in Toronto since 1976 where he is currently Chair of Cross-Disciplinary Art Practices.
Sramek’s work incorporates silver photography, digital imaging, handmade books and video installation. His works are in many collections, notably the Musée Carnavalet (Paris), Toronto Archives, Art Gallery of Hamilton, National Library of Canada, the Allan Chasanoff Collection (NY) and MOMA (NY). Exhibitions of his rephotographic projects include the French Institute of Prague and Gallery 345 (Toronto). Recent group exhibitions include the Korean Cultural Centre, Beijing and the New Delhi Art Fair.
Sramek's black and white silver photography currently explores European historical sites incorporating rephotographic strategies, working from historical archives. Piercing Time: Paris after Marville and Atget 1865-2012 is based primarily on the Marville collection at the Musée Carnavalet and has been supported by a Google Research Award, as well as funding under the GRAND National Centres of Excellence Research Network (Graphics Animation and New Media). A book of this title has been released by Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press.
Photo: Charles Marville's view of Rue Tirechappe from 1865 (left), which was replaced by Rue du Pont Neuf as seen in Peter Sramek's photograph taken from the same spot in 2009.