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Ran from: 23rd November 2013 – 2nd Feb 2014

Street Level Photoworks
Trongate 103 : Glasgow G1 5HD
T: 0141 552 2151

Gallery opening hours:
Mondays: Closed
Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sundays: 12 noon - 5pm
Open until 8pm the first Thursday of the month.

Sylvia's website

Visit the Street View Tableaux Farms dedicated page>>

Sylvia Grace Borda

image from - Seeing Technologies


‘Camera Histories’ is an exhibition of 6 new bodies of works by Borda, in which the apparatus becomes the central subject of her digital compositions - found and staged photographs of cameras are manipulated and montaged to create unconventional portraits. Typically the camera is not the subject matter of a photograph: it instead stays hidden between photographer and image.

Whether directly using found images, as in ‘Cameras and Watercolour Sunsets’ (2010 to present) and Still Life (2013), or staged images, as presented in ‘Interrogations of a Camera’ (2012) and ‘Seeing Technologies’ (2011), Borda’s work causes us to consider our responses to the worthiness of the camera as subject, and that to the evolution of digital photographic technologies at the expense of traditional film media.

Alongside these considerations, the artist incorporates pop cultural and photo lab elements into her completed works. Working with the 8”x12” print that is traditional of wedding photography and school pictures, Borda montages both images and cultural markers, crossing different frames of reference. In ‘Still Life’ (2013), for example, Borda pays homage to the development of early photographic imagery from the 1840s, when it was commonplace for photographers to stage still life images of flower vases and silverware that replicated the formal qualities of 17th and 18th century Dutch paintings.

Upon closer inspection of this series, one notices that the aestheticised camera arrangements are at odds with their surrounding environment: Borda’s extraction of online auction images, which present the cameras as both commodity and part of a larger photographic directive, draws new representation of motive and open-forum imagery into her aesthetic montages. Contrasting the cultural signifiers of two different times in history through composition and subject, Borda creates a historical dialogue of photography’s common threads, development and misalignment.

Sylvia Grace Borda  
Image from - Cameras and Watercolour Sunsets

Image from - Camera Still Life

Image from - Interrogations of a Camera

Image from - This is not a Camera

Image from - Farm Tableaux  

Documentation from the Q+A session with Sylvia and Christiane Monarchi from Photomonitor Magazine - 24th November 2013

Street Level Photoworks would like to extend thanks to our Canadian partners, Surrey Art Gallery and Arts Centre (BC) and funders in supporting Borda’s development of Farm Tableaux and the stereo work This is not a Camera which feature as part of Camera Histories.

Surrey Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia’s BC Creative Communities, and Creative BC (BC Film + Media) and BC Arts Council Arts Innovation Fund.