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Simone Estrin: A Shift in the Landscape

November 2 – December 4, 2016
Student Gallery, Ryerson Image Centre

A Shift in the Landscape is a documentary film that investigates the battle to protect celebrated American sculptor Richard Serra’s seminal work Shift (1970-1972). In 1970, at the beginning of his career, Serra began to create this monumental sculpture composed of six massive concrete walls that zigzag across a farmer’s field in King City, Ontario. Since then, he has become one of the most renowned artists in the world, while Shift has remained hidden not only from international art lovers, but even from local residents, tucked away in this remote Canadian field.

Shortly after Serra created Shift, the land it sits on was sold to a housing development company, which inadvertently became its lawful owner. While the sculpture has been left undisturbed for more than forty years, the developer recently started to build houses on the adjacent land. In the past few years, Shift has been made even more inaccessible by a chain-link fence that the landowners installed around the property, further cutting it off from the outside world.

Through interviews with Serra himself, as well as American art historian Rosalind Krauss and King City councillor Cleve Mortelliti, along with panoramic footage of Shift, viewers are given unprecedented access to this unknown masterpiece and the creative process behind it. By highlighting what Shift means to the local community and, on a broader scale, the international art world, A Shift in the Landscape shows why it is vital to fight for art.




Event(s):

Opening Party

Wednesday, November 2
6:00–8:00 PM

A man draws a map on a pad of paper and holds up to show it
Fig. 1

Simone Estrin, still from A Shift in the Landscape, 2016, video installation. Courtesy of the artist

A hand-drawn map with elevations, directions, and calculations
Fig. 2

Simone Estrin, still from A Shift in the Landscape, 2016, video installation. Courtesy of the artist

Aerial view of a forest, with houses backing onto the left
Fig. 3

Simone Estrin, still from A Shift in the Landscape, 2016, video installation. Courtesy of the artist

A field of bright leaves in autumn
Fig. 4

Simone Estrin, still from A Shift in the Landscape, 2016, video installation. Courtesy of the artist

A snowy field, a sign reads "No trespassing" in bright red
Fig. 5

Simone Estrin, still from A Shift in the Landscape, 2016, video installation. Courtesy of the artist

Installation Shots

A projected video still of a field
Fig. 1

Simone Estrin: A Shift in the Landscape (installation view), 2016 © James Morley, Ryerson Image Centre

A projected video still of a man sitting at a desk speaking
Fig. 2

Simone Estrin: A Shift in the Landscape (installation view), 2016 © James Morley, Ryerson Image Centre

A projected video still of two people standing in a field of grass
Fig. 3

Simone Estrin: A Shift in the Landscape (installation view), 2016 © James Morley, Ryerson Image Centre