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An angular white building with no windows
Fig. 1

Robert Burley, Coating Facility, Building 13, Kodak Canada, Toronto, Canada, 2006. Pigment print mounted on dibond © Robert Burley. Reproduction courtesy the Stephen Bulger Gallery, the artist and the Ryerson Image Centre

2014 Winter exhibitions at the Ryerson Image Centre

Oct. 23, 2013

The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) marks its 2014 winter season with four exhibitions that focus on national, social and technological histories. Through the use of documentary photography and film, each exhibition examines a transforming cultural landscape. The public opening reception will take place on January 22, 2014, 6 – 8 p.m.

Robert Burley: The Disappearance of Darkness examines both the dramatic and historical demise of film-manufacturing facilities and industrial darkrooms and the shift to digital technologies. Phil Bergerson: Emblems and Remnants of the American Dream features photographs taken during dozens of extended road-trips, criss-crossing the United States in search of the ‘American Dream.’ On the Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall, Black Star Subject: Canada displays every one of the 1,853 photographs filed under the “Canada” subject heading in the Black Star Collection. Elisa Julia Gilmour: Something in Someone's Eye features four cinematic portraits using Kodak Ektachrome film, a material that will inevitably disappear with time.

Curated by Dr. Gaelle Morel, Robert Burley: The Disappearance of Darkness includes photographs taken between 2005 and 2010 that speak to sites and events related to the key corporations involved in the transformation and dissemination of photography, such as Kodak, Agfa and Ilford. The exhibition addresses both the emergence of a new technology, which irrevocably changed photography, as well as the abrupt and rapid breakdown of a century old industry, which embodies the medium’s material culture. The exhibition is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Guest curated by David Harris, Phil Bergerson: Emblems and Remnants of the American Dream features a collection of photographs taken on road-trips across the US. Drawing upon the social landscape tradition, Bergerson found his material amid the melancholic detritus of the contemporary city; in modest store window displays, hand-painted murals, graffiti, and crudely-made signs. The sumptuous colour photographs elicit a sense of both wonderment and disquiet, and ultimately a yearning for order and meaning.

Guest curated by Don Snyder and artist Pierre Tremblay, Black Star Subject: Canada displays over 1,000 Cold War-era images of Canada from the Black Star Collection. This includes images of agriculture, mining, and industry, of every province and all major cities, images of Prime Ministers from Mackenzie King to John Turner; images of a nation undergoing unprecedented growth, defining itself in an era that led inevitably to globalization.

Robert Burley: The Disappearance of Darkness and Phil Bergerson: Emblems and Remnants of the American Dream will be on view at the RIC from January 22 to April 13, 2014.

Elisa Julia Gilmour: Something in Someone's Eye presents a series of four cinematic portraits alternating between subtle movement and photographic stillness. With the use of the now-discontinued colour reversal Kodak Ektachrome film stock as source material, the transient nature of celluloid film mirrors the ephemeral nature of the subject's gaze. Through the progressive destruction of the film as it continues to play, the work brings life to a subject matter that will eventually cease to exist. This exhibition will be on view in the student gallery from January 22 to March 2, 2014.