Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, Hard Copy, Reading the newspaper, No. 1, The Globe and Mail

Reading the newspaper, No. 1 (2017)

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, Transcontinental, newspaper printing press, Hard Copy

Press night, No. 1 (2016)

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I once worked for a newspaper editor who would sometimes refer to Arthur Miller’s quotation about the definition of a good newspaper: a nation talking to itself.


In a “post-truth” world full of shuttered and struggling newspapers, where tyrants brand journalists as enemies of the state, it seems appropriate to examine how viewing a series of documentary photographs about the newspaper industry is like having a much-needed conversation with ourselves.


The act of printing a daily newspaper – and its culminating expression, reading the hard copy version – invites us to hold competing ideas in our mind about fact and fiction, truth and obfuscation, power and privilege.


The series, “Hard Copy,” presents the newspaper industry as an extended metaphor for the human condition, examining our capacity to find meaning, share ideas, and exhibit resiliency in the face of existential crisis.

Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, Transcontinental, newspaper printing press, Hard Copy, The Globe and Mail

Press night, No. 2 (2016)

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, Transcontinental, newspaper printing press, Hard Copy, The Globe and Mail

Press night, No. 3 (2016)

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, Transcontinental, newspaper printing press, Hard Copy, The Globe and Mail

Press Night, No. 7 (2016)

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On a late night, in the summer of 2016, I photographed the printing presses that produce The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, shortly after the Toronto Star closed its Vaughan press plant and outsourced its printing contract to Transcontinental, which has published The Globe for several years.


There’s a vitality in the architecture of an operating press, as well as a complicated representation of humanity, capitalism, and technology. It’s not inconceivable to see how the internal structures of a printing press would anticipate the more instantaneous communication of the internet and smart phones.


Still, reading the hard copy of a newspaper is an examination of past and present, the ephemeral and the permanent – a case made clearer by hollowed out press buildings that, at an earlier time, stood as the paramount of communication.


Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, Transcontinental, newspaper printing press, Hard Copy, Toronto Star

Press night, No. 4 (2016)

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, Transcontinental, newspaper printing press, Hard Copy, The Globe and Mail

Press night, No. 5 (2016)

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, Hard Copy, Metro newspaper carrier, Union Station

Metro newspaper carrier, Union Station (2017)

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, newspaper boxes, Front Street

Empty newspaper boxes, Front Street (2017)

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A good friend who still works for a daily newspaper joked that I was trying to photograph the dinosaurs before they disappear. This series isn’t meant to be a funeral, but in some ways, he’s right: according to a recent Canada Public Policy Forum report, since 2010, 225 weekly and 27 daily newspapers closed or merged in more than 210 federal ridings across Canada.


The printed newspaper format of this series borrows heavily from Louie Palu’s concept newspapers on Mexico and Guantanamo, in which image pages can be assembled and re-assembled to create competing narratives about a topic.


I should also say this work would not have come to fruition if not for the support and guidance of Ruth Kaplan, the printing wizardry of Paul Schillinger, and the darkroom magic of Marco Buonocore.


—Matthew Trevisan, April 2017

Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, Reading the newspaper, The Globe and Mail

Reading the newspaper, No. 2 (2017)

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, Transcontinental, newspaper printing press, Hard Copy, Toronto Star

Reading the newspaper, No. 3 (2017)

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, Toronto Star printing plant, Vaughan

Former printing plant, the Toronto Star (2017)

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, former Globe and Mail building, Front Street

Former Globe and Mail building, Front Street West (2017)

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, former printing plant, Globe and Mail

Former printing plant, The Globe and Mail and Toronto Telegram (2017)

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, Hard Copy Exhibition View

Hard Copy, Exhibition View, Gallery 44, 2017

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer, Hard Copy Exhibition View

Hard Copy, Exhibition View, Gallery 44, 2017

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer

Hard Copy, Newspaper Publication Version

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer

Hard Copy, Newspaper Publication Version

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Matthew Trevisan photography, Matthew Trevisan photographer

Hard Copy, Newspaper Publication Version

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