May 5 to August 28, 2011
Koffler Gallery Off-Site
Sheppard Plaza, 4400 Bathurst Street
Curator: Mona Filip
Share the Moment elicits the memories of North York residents to reconstruct a fragment of local history. With this multi-media installation, Toronto artist Stephen Cruise instills new life into the former Fotomat on the Sheppard Plaza parking lot – the drive-through photo-processing booth that served the community back in the 1970s and was the first one of its kind in Canada. Through Cruise’s creative intervention, the obsolete structure becomes once more a site of public exchange and a catalyst for collective recollection.
Exploring a nostalgic era when popular access to film-based photography and car-centric convenience were novel, Cruise revives the kiosk with snapshots collected from the surrounding community. These images are screened onto the windows of the booth in a continuous slideshow, illustrating neighbourhood life around the time when the Fotomat was active.
With its exterior refurbished to mimic the appearance of a tree, the structure evokes the natural landscape that once stood there, metaphorically attempting to reverse its obliteration by the built environment. At the same time, by hosting and sharing the community’s historic pictures, the location acquires the symbolism of a tree of life that connects and preserves memories. Share the Moment highlights the central though imperfect role of photography in recording physical reality and examines its intricate relationship with time and remembrance.
Share the Moment is a Featured Exhibition at Scotiabank CONTACT Festival 2011, the world’s largest photography event, an annual month-long festival with over 1000 local, national and international artists at more than 200 venues across the Greater Toronto Area in May.