Gallery Installation

Found Objects Collection Site

Two Circular Objects

A Catalogue of Found Objects, 1975

"I used to do on-site landscape photographs with a concentration on the structuring of each image: the relationships of objects, ordering of lines, spaces, tonal values, etc. Six years ago, I stood at a vacant corner lot intending to make images of the miscellaneous garbage within this environment. Instead I took the objects home and photographed them against a common backdrop. Up to that point I felt uneasy about the self-conscious nature of manipulated subject matter."

  George Legrady

A Catalogue of Found Objects signals a break with the social and humanist photographic practice to which Legrady has devoted himself since leaving Loyola College in 1970. The earlier works combined the influences of John Max and Charles Gagnon, who were committed to a photography that explored, respectively, the workings of the human soul and the forms of urban landscape.

A Catalogue of Found Objects endeavours to uncover the secret language of objects as seen through the effects of displacement and context. Legrady begins by marking off a site: a vacant lot becomes an excavation site where, like an archaeologist, he gathers cast-off objects that become traces of consumer society and its system of values. After this initial phase of retrieval, the recovered artifacts are arranged in a photographic catalogue. Legrady lays them out on sheets of computer paper, and this unified visual field forms a backdrop for a play of juxtapositions and repetitions that reveal similarities and contrasts. The photographic medium freezes and relays these arrangements, creating a series of still lifes. The standardized backdrop evokes electronic Memory, which makes it possible to organize and process a body of information too great for the capacities of the human brain. At the same time, it reveals the artist's interest, already marked, in the uniformization which pulls the electronic media along in its wake.

Pierre Dessurault
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography