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SARA ANGELUCCI is a Toronto-based artist working in photography, video and audio. Her work explores vernacular photographs and films, analyzing the original context in which images are made. Drawing attention to conventions of image making, her work foregrounds the cultural role vernacular images play in framing particular stories, creating histories, and memorialization. Angelucci’s work has developed from an examination of the family archive and immigration, to a broader analysis and interpretation of anonymous/found photographs. In recent photography, video, and audio projects, Angelucci draws from the history of photography, as well as natural and social histories, transforming found images and repositioning them within the broader cultural context from which they emerge.

SARA ANGELUCCI completed her BA at the University of Guelph and her MFA at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She has exhibited her photography across Canada including exhibitions at the Art Gallery of York University, Le Mois de la Photo in Montreal, Vu in Quebec City, the Toronto Photographers Workshop, the MacLaren Art Centre, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Richmond Art Gallery, and the St. Mary’s University Art Gallery in Halifax. Her work has been included in group shows in the US, Europe, and at the Pingyao Biennale in China. Her videos have been screened across Canada and abroad, at festivals in Europe, China, Australia and the U.S. She has participated in artist residencies at the Art Gallery of Ontario, NSCAD (Halifax), the Banff Centre, and at Biz-Art in Shanghai.

ANGELUCCI is an Adjunct Professor in Photography at the School of Image Arts, Ryerson University.

 

AVIARY

Aviaries, like photographs, sprang forth in the nineteenth century, a time of keen interest in science, unprecedented colonial expansion, and a rapacious appetite for collecting. Shooting, a word associated with hunting, also lent itself perfectly to the idea of pointing a lens and capturing an image. The same colonial enterprise that drove the Victorians to expand their rule to a quarter of the world’s land and a fifth of its population, spurred a sense of callous entitlement over its creatures, hunted for sport and captured for the pleasure of entertainments. With an increasing desire for imported goods, there came too an avid demand for exotic birds, to be held in aviaries, or preserved by taxidermists.

The growth of consumer demand for photographs was just as fervent. In 1854 French photographer André Disdéri patented a new process that would revolutionize the trading and collecting of photographs. The carte-de-visite, as it was known for its small visiting card size, was a portrait photograph that could be cheaply produced in large quantities. Almost anyone could then afford to have their photograph taken and their multiplicity made them easy for trading with acquaintances and loved ones. The carte-de-visite became a craze for portrait collection, spawning commercial studios that spread from Europe to North America. No nineteenth century parlour was complete without a photographic album replete with cartes-de-visite and cabinet cards (a larger version) of friends, family members, and celebrities.

Women were the definitive keepers of the family album, and all things related to the parlour were within her purview. The parlour became a microcosm of society, expressing the customs of the times, and the interests and desires of those who inhabited them. The parlour was where the family, with the woman of the house at its social helm, would receive visitors, and there enact the roles of civilized social exchange. The many objects on display expressed the family’s