This book is a document of Micah Lexier’s project, David Then & Now, which took place in a series of bus shelters in Winnipeg in the summer of 2005. The project consisted of a 48 different images placed in the spaces normally occupied by bus shelter advertisements. Each bus shelter image consisted of a pair of images, taken of the same person 10 years apart. Each of the people being depicted in the images had the ﬁrst name of David. The original images were taken in 1993 for a project entitled A Portrait of David which consisted of 75 different men and boys named David, one for each age, from age 1 to age 75. David Then & Now updates that project and is a document of what a decade looks like as seen in the changes that each individual went through over that 10-year period of time.
The main body of the catalogue consists of 75 full-page image spreads, one for each of the original 75 Davids including their before and after picture. (Those Davids that we were unable to ﬁnd or who had passed away by the time we did the 2003 photo shoot were represented with a blank spot.) In addition to this photo spread, there are two essays and two photo-essays. One photo essay consists of 6 images by Sheila Spence of the bus shelters throughout the city. The other photo essay is by Doug Lewis of the 2003 photo session.
Steven Matijcio’s essay “Portrait of a Decade: Time, Life, and Language in the work of Micah Lexier” approaches Lexier’s David Then & Now project from a semiotic perspective – seeking its structural foundation to question the ﬁxity of Lexier’s parameters. In the process, Matijcio evaluates the place of David Then & Now in the tradition of portraiture, and how the photos simultaneously speak – and subvert – the supposedly universal language of time.
Steven Matijcio, the curator at Plug In ICA and Alison Gillmor, a local Winnipeg writer, contribute text essays. Gillmor’s essay is an introduction to the project explaining how the idea developed. She talks about some of the practical decisions, and illuminates the connection and differences between the two projects. She addresses the way personal experiences inﬂuence our perceptions of the passage of time and comments on the dichotomy between the dispassionate/conceptual presentation and the humanity that still manages to shine through.
Micah Lexier: David Then & Now Winnipeg: Plug In Editions, 2007 Essays by Alison Gillmor & Steven Matijcio Foreword by Anthony Kiendl Design by Susan Chafe & Micah Lexier 184 Pages; Colour and Black & White Images
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