Susan Moss calls her own shots. And many a shot those are. The affable and genuinely lovely lady photographer has been a fixture on the Montreal concert scene for going on 20 years, visually chronicling the rise, the fall and the redemption of many of the most influential musicians ever to grace a Montreal stage.
By her own estimate, she has shot over 500 shows since 1991, when she was a photography student at Dawson College and working at now-legendary, albeit long defunct, Ste-Catherine Street rock club Station 10. Moss has now been asked to present work chronicling the annual Osheaga Music and Arts Festival (which this year runs over three days, July 29-31, at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Ste-Hélène).
The retrospective exhibit, titled “Osheaga: The First Five Years, the Photography of Susan Moss,” is comprised of 30 meticulously considered images. “You’re getting your money’s worth,” says Moss, before laughing. “But the exhibit’s free, so…”
Curating the frames for the showing was a months-long endeavour. “It was a very, very long process of sifting through tens of thousands of photos,” says Moss. “I kind of had an idea of what I wanted, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything… It was hundreds of hours probably.”
Among Moss’s favourites, culled from some of the more recent editions of Osheaga, is a snap of Snoop Dogg getting out of some species of fancy-ass car backstage (“A Lexus? A Jeep but not a Jeep? I don’t know… I don’t know from cars”), Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus catching a beer in the face (“He took it well – he was like, ‘Hmmn, Labatt’s’”) and Iggy Pop dry-humping an amplifier. For many more along these lines, be sure to take a trip http://www.susanmossphotography.com/.
In the meantime, an army of Moss’s many friends and fans will assemble at the vernissage for “Osheaga: The First Five Years…,” which will be held at Usine C tonight, July 21, from 7-11 pm.
“There will be cheap beer [at the vernissage],” Moss laughs. “It’s not like a snooty wine and cheese – there’s DJs and vodka Redbull and, well, cheap beer.”
Vernissage for “Osheaga: The First Five Years, the Photography of Susan Moss,” at Usine C (1345 Lalonde) tonight, July 21, from 7-11 pm
The exhibit continues until July 28, admission is free