by Matthew Monteith
Galleries, museums and exhibitions spaces are created to house what we commonly think of as invaluable, irreplaceable works of art. These spaces are in fact sites for the transference of ideas, ideas that are reliant on art objects to be brought into our consciousness. Teachers, docents and guides play key roles in this process. I am fascinated with the art of explanation, the moment when one individual, using their own knowledge of an object, both conceptual and historical takes on the task of animating that story and attempts to plant the seed of that idea into the minds of others. These ideas morph into new ideas and ultimately into new works. The following photographs explore that territory of quasi-magical transfer of ideas through the act of explanation.
by Tim Davis
Of all the platitudes ever uttered in the underboiled history of Arts Education, the one that leaks its yolk most unilaterally over my plate has always been “write what you know.” Writing was invented by accountants, not to express any inner certainty but to keep track of ever uncertain outer stores: recipes, formulas, injunctions, warnings away. Writing was investigative before there was journalism. Keeping track, even in cuneiform, is a way of limiting the unknown, rather than expressing the known. Write what you write I’ve always felt. The best writing drags the writer beyond the Sumerian millet stocks of awareness, surety and geometry, and into untooled regions, where the story has its fiery camps... more
Matthew Monteith: Czech Eden
by Michael Famighetti
After the Velvet Revolution marked the end of Czechoslovakia’s Communist regime tourists from across Western Europe, and the world, arrived by the busload in Prague to marvel at this spire-marked capital that had effectively been off limits, for a half century, to those outside the Soviet empire’s reach. Naturally, many of these visitors took photographs, proof that they had visited this fairytale-like place where time had seemingly stood still. Digital photography was not yet the norm, so a friend of mine, who worked in a photo lab near the center of Prague processed, day after day, photographs of the Charles Bridge, the Castle, and the famed astronomical clock, bemoaning that for all their good intentions, the photographs hit the same flat notes again and again. They were fine images to show to their friends back home but they ultimately revealed very little, beyond what Susan Sontag called “the indisputable evidence that the trip was made.” ... more
Cars have been removed from their purpose of transportation, as they grow larger and less fuel-efficient. The experience of traveling through a place becomes the experience of traveling in a car. Intended as an extension of the family living room, the interiors of cars are designed to be banal and functional, but exhibit a latent eroticism. These vehicles represent a transformation in society as the global economy becomes more and more consumer driven, suppressing human emotions and contact and replacing them with hyper-designed representations of desire.
Matthew Monteith – The Hospital
Matthew Monteith takes an interest in the functional aspects of the group of hospitals in Clermont-Ferrand. Through his “portraits” of machines and of the medical staff, Monteith makes the various practical aspects of the institution appear by revealing what he considers to be one giant machine composed of a multitude of human and technological elements. His space is one in which everyone, including the patients and the staff, is under constant examination by both human and technological eyes.
by Nicholas Herman
ArtKrush, Issue 10: July 13, 2005
We all live in a bubble, an architectural metaphor that holds us captive while exposing our fantasies. Over the past five years photographer Matthew Monteith has repeatedly returned to the subject of enclosure, presenting the environments in which we live, learn, and play as a series of revealing bubbles, where evidence of our dreams and ideologies is trapped and recorded... more