John Armstrong and Paul Collins

(Ontario, Canada + France)

John Armstrong and Paul Collins

Through a series of paired photographs, John Armstrong (Canada) and Paul Collins (France) explore the blurred edges of North American and European culture. Their images meet between the familiar and the exotic, between shared memories and individual experiences. The title of the project (pronounced bilingually, “Jim, that way, par là”) refers to the graffiti scratched onto the gravestones of Père Lachaise cemetery, pointing the way to Jim Morrison’s tomb. Using a list of 49 subjects, Armstrong shot in Canada and Collins in France where he has lived for twenty years. This two-person exquisite corps leaves the spectator guessing: Canada or France? Paris or Toronto? John or Paul?

John Armstrong and Paul Collins met at York University in the mid-1970s. Armstrong now lives in Toronto; Collins in Paris. Their first collaborative project, a bookwork titled Jim ->, was co-published by Coach House Books and the Art Gallery of Sudbury in 2002. The photographic installation Jim -> toured extensively: Robert Birch Gallery, Toronto; Art Gallery of Sudbury; Artothèque de Caen, France; Kunsthalle Erfurt, Germany; Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, New Brunswick; and Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art and Alliance Française Lakeshore in Toronto. Lakeshore, a recent collaboration in painting and photography, has been shown at L’Hotêl, Caën; Truck, Calgary; and Platform, Winnipeg.

Maison de la culture de Côte-des-Neiges 
5290 Côte-des-Neiges
(514) 872-6889
John Armstrong and Paul Collins: Jim ->
August 31, 2005– October 2, 2005
Tuesday & Wednesday 1:00-7:00PM, Thursday & Friday 1:00-6:00PM, Saturday & Sunday 1:00-5:00PM
Opening Sunday September 11, 2005 at 3:00pm

John Armstrong and Paul Collins, from the series Jim . Courtesy of the artists.