The Brothel Without Walls opening at the University of Toronto Art Centre on May 1 is the gallery’s inaugural Primary Exhibition for the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Presented in partnership with Scotiabank CONTACT this provoking show explores photography’s role in our contemporary media environment through the lens of communications guru Marshall McLuhan on the thirtieth anniversary of his death and one year before his centenary begins.
Above right: Susan Anderson, Danica, Age 5 Santa Ana, California 2005, 2005. Above: Stefan Riuz, Rubble backdrop, Amarte es mi Pacado set, 2003.
The exhibition title is derived from McLuhan who in 1964 wrote of the photograph as “The Brothel without Walls”. McLuhan described photographs as “dreams that money can buy” which could be “hugged and thumbed more easily than public prostitutes.” Co-curators, UTAC’s Matt Brower and Scotiabank CONTACT’s Artistic Director, Bonnie Rubenstein have brought together 9 Canadian and international photographers whose works give form to McLuhan’s concepts helping us to grasp the cultural role of photography, not in isolation, but in relation to our general media culture, and more specifically television and the internet. The exhibition will include works by: Susan Anderson (USA), Maria Gadonneix (France) Joachim Schmid (Germany), Clunie Reid (UK), Jessica Dimmock (USA), Evan Baden (USA), Stefan Ruiz (USA), Christopher Wahl (Canada), and Douglas Coupland (Canada) who has recently written a book on McLuhan for Penguin’s Extraordinary Canadians series.
Further reflecting on the enduring influence of Marshall McLuhan and the relevance of his theories to this year’s CONTACT festival, Canadian artists Lewis Kaye and David Rokeby were commissioned to create the site-specific work Through the Vanishing Point at the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology. Kaye and Rokeby have created two separate but complementary works that visually and aurally construct McLuhan’s presence in the coach house, the building where he held his famous seminars.
The podcast component of Lewis Kaye’s Through the Vanishing Point sound installation can be downloaded from this page. These three podcast files are designed for both the Coach House installation and stand-alone listening. Please follow the links to listen immediately or if you would like to save the podcast to your computer right click on the link and save the mp3 files to your preferred local folder. You can listen to these files on any sound system, but because they use binaural recordings they are best experienced with headphones, ideally under the six-channel sound installation at the Coach House itself.
Through the Vanishing Point is located at The Coach House at St. Michael College, 39A Queen’s Park Crescent East and is live Tuesday to Saturday 11 am to 11pm.
Supported in part through contributions from Scotiabank; Government of Canada, Canada’s Economic Action Plan, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, University of St. Michael's College, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Consulat général de France à Toronto and Jason and Susan Martin.