Stephanie Comilang, Erika DeFreitas, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Neil Goldberg, Milutin Gubash, Vivek Shraya
Curated by Crystal Mowry
Opening Reception: Friday 5 October, 8 pm
Artist Talk featuring Erika DeFreitas at 7pm
In front of the lens, I am at the same time: the one I think I am, the one I want others to think I am, the one the photographer thinks I am, and the one he makes use of to exhibit his art. In other words, I am a strange action: I do not stop imitating myself, and because of this, each time I am (or let myself be) photographed, I invariably suffer from a sensation of inauthenticity, sometimes of imposture (comparable to certain nightmares). In terms of image-repertoire, the photograph (the one I intend) represents that very subtle moment when, to tell the truth, I am neither subject nor object but a subject who feels he is becoming an object. – Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida
Prior to the advent of digital photography, a mirror was an essential part of a camera’s anatomy. The mirror inside a camera’s body enabled light to travel from the lens to the viewfinder so that the photographer could see what the mirror saw. Each pivot of that mirror would freeze an image on film, allowing a moment to be reproduced ad infinitum.
For many of us, our first introduction to photography is grounded in the discovery of our own subjectivity. As children, we perform in front of the lens, acting out a narrative shaped by our parents and the manner in which they prefer to remember us. With adulthood comes the awareness that we are part of a continuum of physical likeness – a sense that we are catching up in some way or another with our own past.
I’ll be your Mirror convenes the work of contemporary artists who enlist their parents in their practice. Working across various lens-based strategies to revisit and reinvent found images, each artist proposes multiple ways of understanding familial intimacy. Some choose to engage their parents as performers in both absurd and poetic capacities, as a subject or a disembodied narrator. Others lean on their parents to provide a tether to the past and to question the formation of identity. Tender and unflinchingly honest, these works spur us to think about how expectation inevitably shapes intergenerational relationships, often in ways that only make sense when we are grown.
This project is generously supported by the Allan MacKay Curatorial Endowment Fund, established by the Musagetes Arts and Culture Fund, held at The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation.
Exclusive Projector Sponsor
Neil Goldberg, My Father's Camry Filled with Leaves, 2009. Inkjet print, 58.42 x 83.82 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Cristin Tierney Gallery.