Mike Steinhauer is a photographer and conceptual artist based in Ottawa. The artist is also involved in arts administration and has works as a museum director -- experiences which have shaped the focus of his practice on both a visual and ideological level.
I really enjoy Mike’s photographs of artworks in museums. It’s fascinating to think about the artistic implications of these photographs -- the way they appropriate and recontextualize existing pieces that are already on display, and the way that they interrogate the museum space itself. It’s especially interesting to see contemporary artworks in museum spaces with very old or particular architecture, like in Mike’s photos of Jeff Koons’ works at Versailles. It’s an odd juxtaposition -- sometimes it works, sometimes something feels decidedly off.
Another one of Mike’s projects, Your Dream Starts Here, focuses on vacant real estate properties in and around Montreal. By creating signage and marketing materials that emulated those of actual real estate firms and affixing them to various properties, Mike gathered data and experiences from a different side of a fraught real-estate market.