Thurs, May 3, 7-10 PM
1172 Queen St West
gallerywest presents a collaborative photography exhibition for the Scotiabank CONTACT festival
The simulacrum is never what hides the truth – it is truth that hides the fact that there is none. The simulacrum is true". Ecclesiastes*
Both Susan Bozic and Evan Tyler have deployed mannequins to great effect in each of their art practices in uniquely differing and similar ways. While both artists explore society's obsession with self-image and the pursuit of the ideal human prototype, the narratives elicited from their photographic works shift from glimpses into a Utopian romantic relationship to the upkeep and cosmetic applications used to create the body beautiful. In both series, the artists reveal staged moments of socially constructed behavior through a multiplicity of images. We become voyeurs observing the suggestion of human intimacy in private and public space.
In her series, entitled "The Dating Portfolio", Bozic captures the essence of an idealized boyfriend, Carl, who is able to fulfill a young woman's every fantasy about a perfect relationship. The use of a mannequin together with the language of an idealized dialogue, transports the viewer into each photograph, allowing one to participate in each illusory nuance and interaction portrayed. Bozic uses highly focused and controlled lighting to capture a variety of iconic dating moments, prompting us to question the volume between each interaction. The photographs, in turn, inspire us to observe our own expectations and ideas of the "ideal partner".
In Tyler's series, "At the Spa", we are invited to become observers to the methodical experience of the day spa. Tyler's mannequins, Amber and Natalia, undergo a full spa treatment that consists of pedicures, manicures, face masques, steam treatments and massages. Tyler identifies the contemporary day spa as both a spiritual, yet sybaritic and glamorous temple where sacred and cherished rituals occur. He utilizes light illumination and spatial reverence in this work to evoke both a clinical yet intimate narrative of the inner workings of the day spa. Many of the images both reveal and conceal the process of transformation that is characteristic of day spa culture.
The human gaze is an interesting phenomenon. We are taught not to stare at others, or to objectify a subject; we are often socially uncomfortable with personal and physical intimacy. The works of both artists invite the viewer to actively participate in a voyeuristic, virtual world and therefore, to experience private moments. The images evoke in the viewer the inescapable truth, that while relationships may exist, image is everything.
Both artists challenge us to examine the meaning, anguish, and quixotic notions of an idealized world which negates imperfections.
*Footnote: "Simulacra and Simulation", Jean Baudrillard
Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, p. 1
Susan Bozic is an artist who lives and works in Vancouver. She received her BFA, with distinction, at Concordia University in Montreal, majoring in photography and minoring in cinema. Her work has been exhibited in Canada and the US, in non-profit, commercial and public galleries. Working in primarily black and white, her subjects have included the male body, nature and taxidermy animals. She is interested in creating work that questions the viewers' perceptions by creating artificial constructs in familiar settings. The cycles of life, death and rebirth are also prevalent themes in her images. she is the recipient of both the Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council Grants. She was recently listed as "one to watch" in the Huston Center for Photography in Texas.
Evan Tyler is an intermedia artist working in video, photography, drawing, writing, text and performance. Tyler employs humor and the absurd as entry-points into acknowledging social behavior as well as the models, tropes and templates inherent of contemporary culture. His current works relates to metropolitanism and the urban uniform, examining the conversations and trends that occupy frenetic environments.
Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Evan Tyler grew up making home movies and rap recordings. The Fine Arts Program at the University of Regina honed his multi-media practice and in 2008 he earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA), majoring in Intermedia. Tyler has exhibited his work at the Godfrey Dean Gallery, Yorkton, Sask. (2010), galleryDK, Toronto (2010), the University Club, Regina, Sask (2009) the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Regina, Sask. (2007), gallerywest, Toronto (2011), Dupont Projects, Toronto (2011) and Mercer Union, Toronto (2011). Tyler currently resides in Toronto, Ontario where he is the owner and director of all programming at gallerywest, a contemporary art gallery located at 1172 Queen St West.
1172 Queen St West
For programming and general inquiries please contact:
Owner and Program Director
For all media/pr inquiries please contact:
Press Coordinator | gallerywest