Jeff Guess

(United States + France)

Jeff Guess

With From Hand to Mouth (1993), a 22-metre long photographic series, Jeff Guess treats viewers to an original visual experience. The piece takes the form of a circular panorama hung from the ceiling of a darkened room. The artist assigns a particular place to viewers, who are invited to step into the centre of the installation. Without a privileged viewpoint that would make it possible to take in all the images at once, the work invites viewers to move about, to circulate. From Hand to Mouth is shown with a single, isolated photograph, Fonce Alphonse (1993).

The works are presented for the first time in Canada.

Jeff Guess was born in 1965 in Seattle, Washington, United States. He lives and works in Paris, France.

Since the late 1980s, Jeff Guess’s works have combined performance and photography in the pursuit of various operative modes in which his actions, body, and voice successively make their appearance. By physically involving the artist and, subsequently, viewers in the time and space of the exhibition, Guess’s works introduce elements of the staged and the haphazard into the visual experience. Although familiar with the issues of cinematography and the new media, Guess has remained faithful to the medium of photography, its history, and its technical possibilities, some of which are rudimentary and experimental — such as the pinhole camera, which he reinvented using his mouth (From Hand to Mouth, 1993). He explores the motion of images and their successive appearance over time by fragmenting, shifting, or translating images, reflecting the camera’s mobile recordings (Déplacement, 1997), and appropriates various media in order to modify the viewer’s initial relationship to the image. Inscribed within the conceptual tradition, Guess’s works generate interaction between the written and visual registers in order to investigate the inventories and typologies that characterize image banks (Ekphrastic Objects, 2004; Bank of Nature: Concepts, 2007). From virtual manipulations (Permutations, 1999–2003) to panoramas (This and That, 1988–93), Guess’s projection of images onto screens and into exhibition spaces heightens the spatial dimension of the photograph and creates new path- ways for the gaze.

Jeff Guess took part in Film & Co at the Centre Georges-Pompidou in Paris (2007), and has had works in various group exhibitions (Ren- contres d’Arles, 1996; Monter/Sampler, Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris, 2000; A House in Four Dimensions, Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, 2004).


2550, Ontario St. East
514 872 7882

SEPT. 11–OCT. 11, 2009

Tuesday to Thursday, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
> Opening Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009 at 3:30 p.m., the artist will be present
> Artist’s talk, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009 at 3:45 p.m.

Jeff Guess, From Hand to Mouth, 1993. Installation view, The American Center, Paris, 1995. Photo: Jeff Guess. is shown with a single, isolated photograph, Courtesy of the artist.