• Stan Douglas, Guilty (1950)
  • Stan Douglas, Guilty (1950)
  • Stan Douglas, Guilty (1950)
  • Stan Douglas, Guilty (1950)


Stan Douglas, Guilty (1950)


Artist: Stan Douglas

28” x 34.5” (image size 18” x 24”), Digital fibre print mounted on dibond aluminum

Produced as an edition of 25 (with 5 APs)

Please contact gallery for pricing, payment, framing and shipping options.

Guilty, 1950 (2010)
Special fundraising edition for the Or Gallery, previously unreleased from the artist’s Midcentury Studio series.

Stan Douglas produced his “Midcentury Studio” series of photographs in 2010, meticulously staging a series of photographs under the conceptual premise that they were the work of an anonymous Vancouver photographer practicing between 1945 and 1951. Work in the series includes studio shots of fashion and hair models, promotional shots for entertainers, candid street scenes and film noir-like snapshots of possible crime figures caught in the glare of a blinding flash bulb, destined for the newspaper pages. Guilty, 1950 is of this latter category. Reminiscent of the crime photography of Weegee (Arthur Fellig) or Vancouver’s Ray Munro, the work depicts a well-coiffed man walking up a narrow stairwell, covering his face with his open palm against the ambushing photographer.

“Midcentury Studio”, 2010-2011 

After World War II, former soldiers turned to photography, hoping to earn a living as photojournalists. A striking example of such a career was Raymond Munro. According to Douglas, Munro was “a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force who, in 1949, arrived in Vancouver slightly drunk and with a broken collarbone to apply for the position of aerial photographer with a local newspaper. Munro had no photographic training, but he was pretty sure he could fly a plane with one hand, and he got the job.” In the archives of the photo agency Black Star at Ryerson University, Douglas looked through numerous images from the years 1945 to 1950. These were taken by autodidactic photographers using 4 x 5 field cameras with flashes that were slow to load and cumbersome to reset. The motifs were street and crime scenes, accidents, animals, moonshine bars, and famous people – anything with which a photographer could earn money. For his 29-piece black-and-white series “Midcentury Studio”, Douglas slipped into the role of such a postwar photographer, who photographed for practical purposes and shot “technically bad pictures that now and then could be interesting images”. In Douglas’s “Camouflage, 1945” (2011), “the lighting intended to make the subject more visible [but] makes him more invisible; in “Athlete, 1946” (2011), “the portrait of the athlete [was] shot at the wrong moment with peripheral action distracting from the “subject.”

Although Douglas meticulously researches historical events and stages them in a complex manner, these photographs remain free of any claim to historical truth or interpretation. They reveal themselves as conjectures and fragments, as spoken narratives told in the conditional tense. Here, Douglas makes use of a literary technique: After researching historical facts, the author creates a fictional protagonist who narrates from the authorial perspective, telling about how things might have been. A novel constructed in such a way also gives the impression that knowledge is piecemeal and reality unstable.
– Art Daily, Exhibition of photographs produced since 2008 by Stan Douglas on view at Haus der Kunst