Alex Kisilevich, Hair Head (detail), from the series Kallima, 2010. Digital chromogenic print. Image courtesy of the artist.

Constructed View

May 26 - May 26, 2018

Jamie Campbell, Tara Cooper, Susan Dobson, Astrid Ho, Alex Kisilevich, Anita Matusevics, Tom Ngo, Marie de Sousa

Curated by Patrick Macaulay

From a quick glance to a long gaze, what we see and how we remember it is always in question, as our memory reconstructs things in ways that are not always truthful. In creating an image, artists are confronted with his dilemma; how is an event remembered or how is a thought or a memory transposed? Some struggle to present works as close to what they believe is truthful. While others will push and construct an image in directions which best suit the way they want to express their idea of truthfulness. It is the playing with truth in the context of image that this exhibition explores.

–Patrick Macaulay, Head, Visual Arts


Jamie Campbell

Portal, from the series Looking Askance, 2011

Portal is one of 12 photographs from a recently created body of work entitled, Looking Askance. This series, inspired by William H. Mumler (the first spirit photographer), examines the skepticism based around photography as a medium of objective representation. Through staged scenarios and carefully constructed mise-en-scène-type images stylized around archetypal ideas of sci-fi and the supernatural, my work brings to question the truth and fiction occurring in front, and behind, the camera’s lens. It begs the audience to scrutinize the photograph, to look askance and question the authenticity of a represented reality. This particular image is meant to conjure up an image idea of a situation, which, in actuality, could never occur.

–Jamie Campbell

Jamie Campbell was born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario. In 2006, he received a BFA from Ryerson University in Toronto. In 2011 he completed his MFA from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

His practice is based around the creation of fictional narratives that display introverted moments of vulnerability and the exhaustion wrought by defeat. His photography has been exhibited in both Canada and the United States and has been featured in various international publications. Campbell currently lives and works in Toronto.

Tara Cooper

Lucky, Lucky, 2011

Fog encapsulated the lake with a mix of light snow and freezing rain, but the ice fishing was good. Then it turned. All of us heard the distant rumbling. We thought it was a freight train, the sound of metal hitting metal. I’d never heard of a thunder snowstorm. Once we realized our mistake, we packed up our gear.

Our snowmobiles flew across the lake; lightning struck one of the tall pines that hugged the shore, blowing dirt and shards of rock across the ice. The lake’s surface became charged, electrifying the air with tiny sparkles. A strange odour permeated – long fingers of light radiating from the moving snowmobiles. I was knocked into the air, off my sled, but I don’t remember anything. I still get headaches and some of my friends complain about memory loss, but we’re lucky, lucky to be alive.

–Tara Cooper

Beneath the rubric of Canadian Nature, Tara Cooper’s observations combine fieldwork and footwork moving from an amateur ornithologist, to the idea of north, to her most recent study involving the language of weather. This interest in fieldwork has led Cooper to participate in many artist residencies including: Kloster Bentlage in Rheine, Germany; Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California and the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson. In 2010 she received support from the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council, as well as the Nick Novak Scholarship from Open Studio for her project entitled Weather Girl. She works as an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo and is a member of the Loop Collective.

Susan Dobson

Flight Path, 2010

I am interested in how photographic images can generate a sense of both déjà vu and doubt, especially when the veracity of seemingly straightforward documentary photographs is brought into question. When this happens, locations and narratives become dislocated from time and place. In the photograph titled Flight Path, for instance, part of an airplane is visible behind a stand of trees. It is not clear whether the jetliner is about to land, or perhaps crash-landed years ago and sits nose first in the ground – a leftover relic of a previous era. Where is this place? Is this a documentary photograph depicting the past, or is it a constructed fiction foreshadowing the future or a future past? The photograph Flight Path is part of a larger series of works titled Dislocation.

–Susan Dobson

Susan Dobson’s photographs have been exhibited internationally at museums and photography festivals such as CONTACT (Toronto), Fotoseptiembre (Mexico City), Le Mois de la Photo (Montreal), Bitume/Bitumen (Brussels) and FotoNoviembre (Spain). She was a contributing artist to the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad and she is the recipient of two Gold National Magazine awards and the K.M. Hunter award for visual arts. In 2011, she received a major grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for her project Shifting Tenses in Contemporary Photography. Her work is in many public and private collections, including the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography.

Astrid Ho

Broken Bowl #2, 2008

Broken Bowl #2 is part of an ongoing series of print-based works that explore Chinese traditions and beliefs imparted by my family, and my reinterpretation of their meanings. One of the beliefs my mother imparted throughout my childhood was that it was bad luck to break dishes, particularly during Chinese New Year. Respecting her belief, this resonated with me over time. As an adult I discovered that what my mother imparted had no traditional basis. Her intention was practical; to be careful with dishes. Broken Bowl #2 mimics the fragments of a broken bowl on Japanese paper. Revealing the pieces in a lucky red* box, they are presented like miniature treasures. The artwork challenges my mother’s intentions and finds beauty in such “misfortune”.

–Astrid Ho

*Red is an auspicious colour in the Chinese culture and represents good luck and fortune.

Astrid Ho is a Toronto-based visual artist. She has a BFA from the Ontario College of Art & Design, attended printmaking residency at the Vermont Studio Center and is a staff and artist member of Open Studio. She has taught at the McMichael Collection, Latcham Gallery and Open Studio. In 2009, Ho received an Ontario Arts Council Access and Career Development Grant. Exhibitions include Fleck Dance Theatre (ON), Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery (NFLD), Olive Branch Press (NY) and Open Studio (ON). Her works are represented in various art collections including the Canada Council Art Bank, Holt Renfrew and National Bank of Canada.

This work was printed at Open Studio, Toronto. The artist is self-represented and represented by Open Studio.

Alex Kisilevich

Hair Head, from the series Kallima, 2010

I remember quite vividly a particular exercise my best friend Josh and I would perform on our way home from school, while sitting at the back of the bus. Staring at the backs of other students’ heads (specifically those with long hair which covered their ears and napes), we’d reach an ultimate point where their head disappeared and transformed into an all-encompassing ball of hair. For us, they were no longer our peers, but foreign entities which bounced in front of us with every bounce of the bus. We’d see how long we could remain in this trance-like state. It was like looking at an optical illusion; one stares at it until something else emerges, perhaps a sort of impossibility – and then, with a snap of the fingers, it disappears. Hair Head, an image stemming from this experience, is part of a series titled Kallima, which looks at notions of camouflage, illusion, distinction and assimilation.

–Alex Kisilevich

Alex Kisilevich is a photo-based artist living and working in Toronto, Canada. He is a recent graduate of the MFA program in Visual Arts at York University and holds BFAs in Music and Photography from York University and OCAD University, respectively. Kisilevich was the national winner of BMO’s 1st Art! 2009 and his photographs have been featured in publications such as BlackFlash Magazine and Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward. His work has been exhibited internationally and was recently shown at the Lianzhou Photography Festival 2011 in China. Kisilevich is represented by Angell Gallery in Toronto.

Anita Matusevics

E.B. as Dymaxion Projection (Dead Man’s Secret), 2012

When he died, the Indian Prince began to transmit images to her.
The others recounted how E.B. produced the drawings while in a trance-like state.
They are said to be maps to his hidden treasure.

(as recounted by E.B.’s great-granddaughter, J.W.)

I’ve been working with E.B.’s drawings for about nine months now. I’m occupied by how people navigate complex sets of information and by how we can use structural patterns to re-compose that information into something legible. In E.B.’s case, the main question was: Why don’t her drawings look like maps? The answer, so far, looks something like this: Well, what happens when you re-construct the drawings using cartographic conventions?

–Anita Matusevics

Artist Anita Matusevics is trained as an architect, industrial designer and graphic designer. She is partner at wonder incorporated with Jason Halter (Toronto) and co-producer of (artistic landmarks in contemporary experience) founded by curator Barbara Vanderlinden (Brussels). She is a sessional lecturer at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto (Visual Language & Production Workshop). Matusevics is a former senior associate at Bruce Mau Design leading collaborations with Rem Koolhaas, Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Vitra Design Museum and Maharam Textiles. Current projects include contributions to the work of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, StudioLab and a new entrepreneurial multiples project, entitled VVVM. Past exhibitions include the Book Machine performance and installation at Laboratorium, as part of Anterwerpen Open (Antwerp, Brussels, 1999), and Stress, an installation of 26 objects at the MAK Museum of Applied Arts (Vienna, Austria, 2000).

Tom Ngo

The Grass Grew There Mythically Tall, 2008

My work often alters assumptions and rules to create new arrangements of architectural space. Within this drawing, grass was assumed to grow large and “mythically” tall. This drawing examines the architectural implications of this rule change by creating a structure for a solitary gardener depicted in two different seasons. In the spring when the grass grows long, the house peaks through the top of the greenery. As the grass recedes in autumn, the underlying structure is revealed. In the end, the work highlights a different method that can be use to create architectural form.

–Tom Ngo

Tom Ngo is a mixed media artist presently based in Toronto. Through his art, Ngo employs architectural absurdity and whimsy as rhetorical device for our built environment. Concurrently, Ngo is an intern architect at the esteemed office of Moriyama & Teshima Architects in Toronto. Ngo’s close relationship with the architectural practice gives him insight on its limitations and aspirations and helps form the foundation of his work.

Marie de Sousa

Workshirt, 2010

Workshirt is a soft sculpture made from a cotton shirt. It is one of five identical shirts that my father wore to work over many years. After his death, I started to think of these items as artifacts of a life lived and time passed. His belongings, especially his clothes were infused with a symbolic weight. The fibres were shifted, molded and frayed. They carried memories and showed traces of his body and activities. I cut the shirt into one continuous strip from the bottom edge to the collar and then crocheted it into its present form, a different kind of container.

–Marie de Sousa

Visual artist Marie de Sousa has studied at OCAD University and Concordia University. She has been awarded numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council. De Sousa has participated in many group shows, and has had solo exhibitions at the Read Head Gallery, Katharine Mulherin, I Space Chicago and was part of Beyond/In Western New York at Cepa Gallery in Buffalo.

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