Chuck Samuels is a visual artist who has been exhibiting his photographs since 1980. He frequently photographs himself, and his work tends to address memory, photography, and cinema as subject matter. His prints have been exhibited extensively in Québec, Canada, and internationally, and have been widely published.
Samuels’ photographs are part of the collections of La Maison Européene de la Photographie, Paris; La Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; and Le Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec; Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts; and the Cinémathèque québécoise, Montréal, as well as many private collections.
Chuck Samuels writes:
“Photography is my medium. It is also my subject. Since my first exhibition in 1980, I have been questioning how photography (and, to a lesser extent, cinema) works and doesn’t work. In many of my projects I have photographed (and filmed) myself to examine these issues. In some ways I use myself as a surrogate for photography; by focusing the camera on myself I am, in fact, turning the spectator’s gaze upon the very nature of photography.
Using this approach I have commented on the futility of the documentary impulse in The Mission of Photography (1985), examined the history of the photographic representation of the female nude and its largely uncritical acceptance in Before the Camera (1991), meditated on how cinema presents the Other in Psychoanalysis (1996 with Bill Parsons), explored the figure of the photographer in popular cinema and television of my father’s era in Before Photography (2010), pondered my own place within the history of photographic self-portraiture in The Photographer (2015), I remade the remakes in order to revisit appropriation art in After (2020), I reconsidered the role of the critic and the authority of critical text in On Photography (2020) and, in an unbridled frenzy, I delved into on the historical function of the photography magazine in The Complete Photographer.”