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Loop Canyon, Chicago, IL
(b. Edmonton, 1974; lives in Vancouver and Zurich)
Loop Canyon, Chicago, IL 2007
chromogenic print mounted on board
78.5 cm x 99cm
Gift of the artist, 2010
Mount Saint Vincent University Collection
Scott Conarroe is well known for his social landscape photographs, which evoke romantic pictorial traditions while participating in contemporary photography’s critical discourse.
Loop Canyon, Chicago, IL was part of Conarroe’s 2008 exhibition, By Rail, shown at MSVU Art Gallery. Depicting a dense urban area, Conarroe’s signature elevated vantage point frames the intersection of four sets of train tracks surrounded by skyscrapers and a mostly empty parking lot. Despite apparently daylight conditions, the lights are on and the scene is eerily abandoned.
Connaroe typically takes long exposures of up to twenty minutes at dawn. This adds an elegiac effect to his documentary images, by erasing moving objects, rendering the sky as a featureless pearly expanse, and registering outdoor lights that were extinguished before the shutter closed. The lack of human presence in Loop Canyon, Chicago, IL suggests the abandonment of rail as a modern, effective mode of transport and its importance in connecting people. Connaroe’s choice to document the railroad while driving across the country in a rickety, gas-guzzling van during a period that saw record-breaking gasoline prices is also poignant in this context.
Railroad tracks, although not the principal subject, were also visible as part of the photographs of industrial sites in Conarroe’s2005 Harbour exhibition which debuted at MSVU Art Gallery
Conarroe received his BFA from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2001 and his MFA from NSCAD University in 2005.
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