Australian-born, Toronto-based photographer Renée Munn is best known for her large-scale fragmented female portraits. Composed from multiple negatives Munn’s artistic play on reality manipulates time and space, allowing the viewer to transcend the frame and undergo the multiple dimensions of appearance and experience of oneself.
As a photographer Munn is interested in the expressive possibilities of the medium. In her work she explores numerous analogue and darkroom techniques such as double and triple exposure, photogram’s, combination printing and cliché verre to alter her figures and create a single image which
is both real and imagined. Munn’s collages are finished with beeswax and resins and are exhibited unframed and tangible.
Munn has a BFA from Ryerson University School of Image-Arts in photography. Her artwork has been acquisitioned by Ryerson and accepted into the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. In 2013, she was awarded 1st place in the San Francisco International Photography Exhibition and 3rd place at Grand Prix de la Decouverte in Paris. This year Munn debut her first solo show titled The Looking-glass Self at the CONTACT Festival in Toronto.
The figure of Ophelia stands multiply exposed. She is, at first glance an object of beauty. Yet her beauty is not the beauty of life and vitality. Ophelia is fragile. Ghostly double exposures suggest this haunting disintegration of what at first glance appears to be a stable, straightforward image. Ophelia’s body belies the tension of being both living and dead, revealed in the cracks that fill the print. In the fissures where prints meet and misalign, fragments of texts sneak out, telling the story Ophelia’s body cannot complete.
The Looking-glass Self
In The Looking-glass Self, I examine self-image and the act of seeing. As I explore in the work, identity is constituted by our power of looking and in the ways in which other people become authors, through the act of looking, of our own identity. Further, in the series I bring to the foreground a specific experience of the female gender as it becomes a site for the convergence of these acts of looking.
In the work I use double exposures to show the multiple dimensions of experience and appearance. This act of doubling, which is both aesthetic and conceptual, refers to the often conflicted ways that our identities make themselves visible. The pieces themselves feature a mirror, sometimes intact but often broken. Tension created by repetition of imagery and thematic fragmentation, makes visible the relationship between the many layers of perception and expression that form a sense of one’s self.
2014 - Reminiscence, PGP Olga Korper Edition, Art Spin, Toronto (CA)
2014 - Convergence, CONTACT, Earl Selkirk Gallery, Toronto (CA)
2013 - The Looking-glass Self, CONTACT, Akasha Art Projects (Toronto, ON)
2014 - Dead Ringer, Exhibit No. 9, (Asbury Park, NJ, USA)
2013 - Paris Salon de la Photo , Grand Prix de la Decouverte, Versailles, Paris (FR)
2013 - San Francisco International Photography Exhibition, Gallery Photographica (USA)
2013 - Dark Room 2.0, CONTACT, Gallery 918 (Toronto, ON)
2013 - Creative Rising, projections Garden, Linc LIC Building, Long Island City, Queens NY (USA)
2013 - The story of the Creative, See Exhibition Space, Long Island City, Queens NY (USA)
2011 - The New Romantics, Akasha Art (Projects, Toronto, ON)
2011 - Exhibition of Photographic Works, Ryerson School of Image Arts (Toronto, ON)
2011 - Yorkvillism, The Yorkville Sales Centre, (Toronto, Canada)
2010 - Maximum Exposure, The Gladstone Hotel (Toronto, ON)
2010 - Hang with the Best: 2nd Annual Client Show, TIW Gallery (Toronto, ON)
2009 - Holiday Show, Ryerson Gallery (Toronto, ON)
2009 - Maximum Exposure, Lennox contemporary (Toronto, ON)
2009 - Third Year Show, Ryerson Gallery (Toronto, ON)
Awards & Grants
2013 - 3rd place Experimental, Grand Prix de la Decouverte, Paris
2013 - 1st place, San Francisco international photography exhibition, Gallery Photographica
2013 - Jim P. Shea Award for Best Overall Submission, SNAP Toronto
2013 - Winner, Self-Portraits pdn Portrait Photography Contest
2010 - Ryerson President Sheldon Levy personal donation
2010 - Best presentation, Maximum Exposure, Ryerson University
2007 - Robert S. Gooblar Scholarship, Ryerson University
Selected Public Collections
2013 - Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris, FR)
2010 - Ryerson Dean of Business permanent collections (Toronto, ON).
2010 - Ryerson Dean of Faculty and Communication permanent collections (Toronto, ON)
2013 - ND Magazine: Canadian Photographers
2013 - All About Photo.com: Emerging Photographers
2013 -PDN Magazine, Faces, Portrait Photography Contest
2011 - Yorkvillism, Lifetime Developments
2011 - Ryerson admissions handbook
2011 - echoReview, Faculty of Communication
2010 - Function Magazine, Issue 11
2010 - Portfolio Eleven
2011 - Bachelor of Fine Arts, Photography Studies, Ryerson University