The works of these artists are assembled for this exhibition in a building that was formerly a house, a few doors from the childhood home of the architect Frank Gehry – born Ephraim Owen Goldberg – who recently renovated the Art Gallery of Ontario further up the street. The row of buildings is slated for demolition and redevelopment; the inhabitants of the early twentieth century have long gone, now to be replaced by yet other residents. The art works gathered in this space offer a visual and tactile snapshot of where we, North American city dwellers, have come from, how we have lived, and how we live now. The temporary gallery itself is a snapshot of the way we treat our dwelling places. This space and the images and objects created by these artists, can lead us to reflect on how good we make these dwelling places.
Cyril Reade is Associate Professor of Art History at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York. His book Mendelssohn to Mendelsohn: Visual Case Studies of Jewish Life in Berlin was published by Peter Lang AG in 2007. Reade is currently working on The Mendelssohns in Berlin: Portrait of a Family. He recently participated in the Kofflerʼs Wrecking Ball, and was guest curator for the Galleryʼs 2005 exhibition NXT.Message.
Rita Bakacs was born in Tatab.nya, Hungary in 1976; her family moved to Germany 10 years later. She earned a MA in Comparative Literature at the University of Cologne and the University of Rochester, NY. She worked in film and television in Los Angeles and Berlin where she has been based since 2002. Her first documentary video Wohnkomplex BRD (Residential Complex) won the Audience Award at the Leipzig Documentary Short Film Festival. Bakacs has received funding from the ZEIT Foundation, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and the Foundation for Human Dignity and Labour for her independent film and video work.
Susan Lakin is Associate Professor of Photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology, NY. She has a BFA in Photography from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA and a MFA in Art Studio from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She examines our interaction with mass communication through electronic screens in our homes, looking at how these displays frame our lives. Lakin has exhibited throughout the United States, including the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester; Gallery @ 49, NYC; Houston Center of Photography; and the Photographic Resource Center, Boston. She is currently exhibiting at the Lishui Photography Museum in China.
Ross Racine, born in Montréal, Québec, lives and works in New York City. He received a MFA in painting from Concordia University, Montreal. Racine draws aerial views of the city freehand on the computer. His prints have been shown in solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Canada, and Europe including Drexel University, Philadelphia; the Front Room Gallery, New York; the Los Angeles Printmaking Society; and the International Print Triennial, Katowice, Poland. His work is in several collections, including the Des Moines Art Center, the Johnson & Johnson Collection, and the Hallmark Collection.
Allen C. Topolski is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Rochester, NY. Topolski was raised in the coal region of central Pennsylvania; the artifacts from his post-industrial childhood town prompted the investigations of nostalgia and domesticity that dominate his current work. Topolski received his BA from Bucknell University and his MFA in 1990 from Penn State University. Topolski has a national exhibition record and is currently involved in a number of public art initiatives in the city of Rochester.
Design and editing: Tony Hewer | Photography: Isaac Applebaum
Digital publication to the exhibition how good are your dwelling places
Presented by the Koffler Gallery Off-Site at 23 Beverly Street, Toronto | January 14 to March 14, 2010.
Guest Curator: Cyril Reade
© Koffler Centre of the Arts, 2009, in collaboration with the individual contributors. All rights reserved.