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Monday to Friday

9AM - 5PM

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FFOTO's Five Quarantine Questions for Peter Horvath, Lise Hosein, and Stephen Bulger

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covid-19 digital collage by Peter Horvath

In less than one month, our society has collectively reorganized to help stop the spread of Covid- 19. Exhibitions are postponed, galleries temporarily closed, and we must all #WFH. Curious about how our friends are persevering in these strange times, I reached out to artists and colleagues working in the arts, asking them to respond to our FFOTO Quarantine Questionnaire to tell us how they’re tackling this period of worldwide physical isolation, and to give us a glimpse into what working from home means to them. 

In this first dispatch, we connect with collage artist Peter Horvath, CBC Arts correspondent/producer Lise Hosein, and FFOTO co-founder Stephen Bulger.

- Craig D'Arville

 

 

 PETER HORVATH, artist (@lushhungarian)

Something About The Monumental And Infinitesimal #1, Single [In collaboration with Chris Soos] by Peter Horvath

Something About The Monumental And Infinitesimal #1, Single [In collaboration with Chris Soos], 2013

Craig D'Arville: Tell us a bit about "Something About the Monumental and Infinitesimal". 

Peter Horvath: This image is part of the series "Something About The Monumental And Infinitesimal" a collaboration with Los Angeles cinematographer Chris Soos. With this series we chose a subject/title, photographed elements that fell within predetermined parameters, with iPhones, in our respective cities. We then created large scale grids of 9 & 25 images that presented as non-linear narratives. This image is part of a 25 grid artwork. I was drawn to this unknown woman as she stared into the falls, wearing a fur coat on a warm summery day in early September. I wondered what she was thinking, and why she chose to wear a coat unsuited to the temperature. Is it something she wears all the time regardless of weather conditions? Is it a family heirloom? Does it give her an overabundance of security? I feel a combination of loss and hope in this photograph.

CD: How is physical distancing affecting your art practice?

PH: I think these two images answer this question best: 

WIP Assemblage by Peter HorvathFrom the series "Assemblage" - available at FFOTO

CD: What are you doing to stay engaged with your community during this strange time?

PH: There have been a lot of FaceTime get togethers, usually unplanned and spur-of-the-moment, so it feels like running into someone on the street. But because we are in our private cocoons the conversations become more meaningful, which is nice. Or sometimes it's been a way to share a beer ;)

CD: We're all spending a lot of time on social media right now. Whose work is getting your attention right now?

PH: I've been enjoying New Media artist Clive Holden's work (@cliveholden) and a number of painters - James Lahey (@jameslaheystudio), Shelly Adler (@shelleyadler_studio), and Hush (@hushartist).

CD: Any advice you’d like to share to help others coping with working from home, or in isolation?

PH: To enjoy the obvious things like having more time with family (husband/wife and kids if you have some). This is a great time to catch up on classic films, and reading - but I have mostly been concentrating on making new work, and not getting overly consumed by the news.

Isolated Artist in Repose by Peter Horvath

Shop FFOTO: Peter Horvath

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LISE HOSEIN, Correspondent/producer, CBC Arts (@secretghost

Lise Hosein selfie

Craig D'Arville: What are you working on right now?

Lise Hosein: I'm a busy bee producing a short series for CBC Arts about artists coping with isolation, how they're changing their process or making work responding to being cloistered at home. You can find it on the CBC Arts Instagram (@cbcarts). I'm also working on a painting, but since I'm not a painter this will likely be a disaster.

CD: How is physical distancing affecting your work flow?

LH: As is the story with many creatives, I'm very well positioned to be alone for long stretches of time. Having said that, I'm trying to write and publish stories and videos from home, which can be challenging - plus looking half decent during video meetings when my hair is DEFINITELY ISOLATION HAIR.

CD: What are you doing to stay engaged with your community during this strange time?

LH: Luckily, my job is to talk to artists - a lot. So I'm hearing many stories from artists across the country and sharing in their challenges, fears and moments of success. I feel more tuned into my community than ever before.

CD: We're all spending a lot of time on social media right now. Whose work is getting your attention right now?

LH: I've become a big fan of the work of Moira Ness (@moiraness). She's a Toronto artist who became known for her photography, but she's more recently been concentrating on painting - I'd call her a conceptual artist but I'm not sure she'd like that. 

CD: Any advice you’d like to share to help others coping with working from home, or in isolation?

LH: Don't spend too much time in front of screens. Tell a lot of jokes. Look out a lot of windows and, if it's safe, get some air. Remember that while you might be alone, we're together, and we're going to survive together, too. Call your friends. Have a Zoom party and wear a wig. If you don't have a wig, make one. Wear a LOT of dumb clothes that don't match. Also, don't try making one of those mug cakes. They're really bad.

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STEPHEN BULGER, art dealer and co-founder of FFOTO (@stephen.bulger)

Stephen Bulger selfie

Craig D'Arville: What are you working on right now?

Stephen Bulger: I have a 10 minute walk to work, so my current routine is helping start my daughters with some homeschooling in the morning, and then I head to work. I’m fielding sales requests that come into FFOTO as well as ABEBooks; working on appraisals; organizing my office; inventorying a backlog of photographs; and planning for our exhibition schedule to resume.    

CD: How is physical distancing affecting your work flow?

SB: I’m here alone, and my staff are at their homes, so we’re using ZOOM meetings in the mornings, and email/telephone during the rest of the day. Not having everyone here is lonely, and having the door locked quite isolating, so I find having a few tasks on the go helps me keep my brain fresh. 

CD: What are you doing to stay engaged with your community during this strange time?

SB: We’re posting more about the gallery on social media, including little videos on YouTube about what we do, and what we exhibit. Now that we expect the lockdown to continue for another 4 weeks, we’re looking into ways that we can offer some helpful tips for our community, which exists of photographers as well as collectors.

CD: We're all spending a lot of time on social media right now. Whose work is getting your attention right now?

SB: I’m still in favour of photographic prints, so I don’t look to instagram etc. to look at new work. In terms of new media, I’m happy to see that Clive Holden (@cliveholden) has been posting excerpts from his moving image artworks.

CD: Any advice you’d like to share to help others coping with working from home, or in isolation?

SB: I’ve tackled a few small projects that can be completed in a short time, like organizing the reference books and record albums in my office (yes, I listen to vinyl at work). I also try to call up some friends to see how they are getting along.

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