Headlighting 1974-1978

Photographs by Thaddeus Holownia
Introduction by Robert Tombs

Headlighting 1974-1978
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"In each image of Headlighting, a single vehicle’s side view is centred in the foreground, its long horizontal shape reinforced by the geometry of the 8x20-inch frame. . .. The principal allusion is that relationships develop between humans and technology. Each image’s long ... Read more


Overview

"In each image of Headlighting, a single vehicle’s side view is centred in the foreground, its long horizontal shape reinforced by the geometry of the 8x20-inch frame. . .. The principal allusion is that relationships develop between humans and technology. Each image’s long exposure, shallow depth of field, and tonal range confer a kind of atmosphere poetics to the mis-en-scène. " — Robert Tombs

In 1974, the distinguished graphic designer Allan Fleming encouraged Holownia to use a large-format view camera — a conversation that proved instrumental in shaping Holownia’s aesthetic. Shortly after, Holownia set out from Toronto on a trip that took him into the U. S. Midwest and then east into Atlantic Canada. Each day, Holownia captured images of cars and their owners in their everyday settings, developing the exposures in makeshift darkrooms at night.

An encapsulation of the everyday life and fashions of the mid-70s and a tribute to classic vehicles of all shapes and sizes, Headlighting 1974-1978 is a compelling document of a time and a place when car culture was at its peak.

Thaddeus Holownia

Thaddeus Holownia is emeritus professor of fine arts at Mount Allison University. His photographs have been exhibited and collected at museums throughout North America and Europe.

Robert Tombs

Robert Tombs is an Ottawa-based artist and designer, who is currently the president of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

Reviews

“It’s a book more than four decades in the making. ”

Vawn Himmelsbach

Headlighting: 1974–1978 asks us to view the past through the lens of contradictory information. It asks us to hold competing interpretations and conflicted feelings in our minds at the same time, to see the '65 Ford Mustang as both an object of desire and an object of contempt. ”

Kyle Wyatt

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