Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof: Relics of Lumen
January 20 – April 10, 2016
Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall, The Image Centre (formerly Ryerson Image Centre)
Curator: Dr. Gaelle Morel
This newly-commissioned work by Canadian experimental filmmaker Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof weaves together representations of stars and night skies with images of people in transit, captured in still and moving images over the last century. Evoking displacement and the power of memory, this video stitches together mosaics, collages, superimpositions and patterns of imagery to offer a visual polyphony.
Pruska-Oldenhof sought inspiration from influential filmmaker Stan Brakhage’s 1972 short film The Riddle of Lumen, an impressionistic inventory of light sources and their different emotional registers. Her source material is drawn primarily from two archives—The Image Centre's (formerly Ryerson Image Centre) Black Star Collection of photo-reportage, and still and moving images from the United States’ government agency NASA. Viewing these repositories as “archives of light,” the artist links found images together, framing them as tracings and monuments of displaced entities. Representations of sea travel, depicting vessels, immigrants and refugees, overlap with documentation of the Apollo 11 moon landing and astronomical discoveries from the Hubble Space Telescope, connecting the movement of people over water to celestial passages through space, and conjuring a sense of illumination and revelation.
Wednesday, January 20
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Wednesday, February 24
Artist and Curator Bios
Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof is a Toronto-based experimental filmmaker and Assistant Professor at the School of Image Arts, Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University). Her films have been screened at the 43rd International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands (2014); the Images Festival, Toronto (2014); the Diagonal Film Archive, Seoul, South Korea (2008); and the 10th Festival des Cinémas Différents de Paris, France (2008). She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the National Film Board and the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers Toronto (LIFT). Pruska-Oldenhof is a co-founder and active member of the artist-run Loop Collective.
Dr. Gaelle Morel
Dr. Gaelle Morel is an art historian and Exhibitions Curator at The Image Centre (formerly Ryerson Image Centre), Toronto, Canada. She received her PhD in the History of Contemporary Art from Universite Paris 1 – Pantheon-Sorbonne, France. Her research and recent work deal with the figure of the artist as author in French contemporary photography. She also works on the artistic and cultural recognition of the medium in the United States in the 1930s. She was, until 2013, a member of the board of the Societe francaise de photographie, and a member of the editorial committee of Etudes photographiques, a bilingual peer reviewed journal on the history of photography. She edited Les Derniers Tableaux. Photojournalisme et art contemporain (Paris: Editions des Archives Contemporaines, 2008) and co-wrote with Thierry Gervais La Photographie published by Editions Larousse in France (2008, 2011). She was a recipient of a Terra Foundation for American Art Travel Grant in 2007, for her work on the American art dealer Julien Levy who closely worked with Berenice Abbott in the 1920s and 1930s.