Corporate Culture

Corporate Culture


Corporate Culture

Corporate Culture, 1984
Gelatin Silver print, color or metalllic surfaces, 40 x 52" each



"Corporate Culture"its capability to lift a moment out of time. This, of course implies a measure of control with regard to one's existence. You stop time long enough to dissect it. It makes you feel as if you apprehended that moment. A frozen record out of one's life experience. A record of being there. And it's largely a misrepresentation: a visual record, removed from its context, a reference to an event which precludes all but a split second reflection of the occurrence. It's a fiction, like the way history works. History as an embodiment, an after-the-fact creation wherein disparate bits and pieces of information are compiled and interpreted in terms of a contemporary point of view. The photograph, in its reference to reality, works in such a way. But behind it is an intention and the impulse to act. It is the individual shaping a meaning. It is an expression and a response to an experience based on one's particular circumstance."
  George Legrady

Corporate Culture Series takes up and extends the idea of using photography to effect a visual archaeology of a site. Legrady took the first photographs for this series while he was working on Catalogue of Found Objects. Indeed, these two series can be seen as the systematic and poetic sides of the same problematic.

In Catalogue of Found Objects, Legrady painstakingly organized the objects in a way that made use of their forms, textures, and colours to create a typology. Corporate Culture Series, on the other hand, constitutes a play of objects in which Legrady assigns one of the main roles to chance. The operational parameters are simple; the classic rule of three is respected. First, there is the location: construction sites littered with miscellaneous materials. As sites of unlimited possibilities, they are open to every action whose aim is construction. Second, there is the time: night, whose shadows erase topographic detail, hanging a black curtain as a backdrop. Finally, there is the action: Legrady throws disparate materials up into the air and uses a photographic flash to catch them in flight. The expressionist painting produced by this action abounds in objects that appear to defy the laws of gravity, in sharp contrasts and perspectives distorted by the flash as it cuts through shadows. This approach reveals how photography freezes time and creates incongruous juxtapositions of objects reminiscent of the "chance encounters" in the poetry of the Surrealists.
Pierre Dessurault
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography