Date of Lecture: 1991-01-10
Geoffrey James, a self-taught photographer, is best known for his black and white panoramic views of sites as diverse as the asbestos mines of Quebec, the cultivated parks of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and the formal gardens of Europe. A recent project by James entitled Running Fence (1999) focuses upon the first fourteen miles of border fence that separates the United States and Mexico, beginning at the Pacific Ocean and ending at Otay Mountain. In 1999, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery invited James to produce a series of photographs dedicated to the city of Lethbridge and its distinctive prairie setting. The project resulted in James’ most recent book Place: A City on the Prairie (2002). The book Paris: Photographs by Geoffrey James was also published in 2002 and features an essay by Hubert Damisch. The author discusses James’ ability to present the ancient capital with all its manifest modernity as if it were a contemporary archeological site.
James has participated in exhibitions in Paris, Venice, New York and Toronto as well as being featured at Documenta 9, in Kassel, Germany. He has also contributed to the development of the visual arts in Canada through his role as an educator, journalist and critic.
In 2002, James was awarded the Gershon Iskowitz Prize in recognition of his contributions as an artist and The Roloff Beny Prize for his book Paris.