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Spring Hurlbut: Airborne

January 20 – April 10, 2016
University Gallery, Ryerson Image Centre
Curator: Dr. Gaelle Morel

Acclaimed Canadian artist Spring Hurlbut’s video Airborne (2008) is a silent reflection on mortality and the physical presence of death. The piece documents the release of cremated remains entrusted to the artist by relatives of the deceased. Captured in slow motion, the artist opens the urns of six individuals, including that of her own father, and the ashes gracefully ascend, creating a delicate smoke that swirls against a black background. Exploring loss, the process of mourning, and the relationship between the animate and inanimate, Airborne offers a mesmerizing immersion in a poignant ritual.




Event(s):

Opening Party
Wednesday, January 20
6:00 – 8:00 PM

Artist Talk
Spring Hurlbut
Wednesday, March 2
6:00 PM

A woman wearing a mask as smoke rises in front of her
Fig. 1

Spring Hurlbut, Airborne, 2008, still frame from video installation © Spring Hurlbut. Courtesy of Georgia Scherman Projects

A woman wearing a mask as smoke rises in front of her
Fig. 2

Spring Hurlbut, Airborne, 2008, still frame from video installation © Spring Hurlbut. Courtesy of Georgia Scherman Projects

Smoke in a dark room
Fig. 3

Spring Hurlbut, Airborne, 2008, still frame from video installation © Spring Hurlbut. Courtesy of Georgia Scherman Projects

Smoke in a dark room
Fig. 4

Spring Hurlbut, Airborne, 2008, still frame from video installation © Spring Hurlbut. Courtesy of Georgia Scherman Projects

Six images of different smoke patterns, a woman wearing a mask
Fig. 5

Spring Hurlbut, Airborne, 2008, still frames from video installation © Spring Hurlbut. Courtesy of Georgia Scherman Projects

Artist and Curator Bios

Spring Hurlbut
Artist

Spring Hurlbut (b. 1952, Canada) lives and works in Toronto. She studied at the Ontario College of Art—now OCAD University—and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Hurlbut’s work can be found in many private and public collections, and has been exhibited in numerous national and international venues, such as the Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal (2009), the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa (2010), the 4th International Photography Festival F/Stop in Leipzig, Germany (2010), the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto (2013), the Salzburger Kunstverein in Salzburg, Austria (2014) and the New Orleans Museum of Art (2015). Hurlbut is represented by Georgia Sherman Projects in Toronto.

Dr. Gaelle Morel
Curator

Dr. Gaelle Morel is an art historian and Exhibitions Curator at the 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.

Installation Shots

Video still of smoke rising in a dark room
Fig. 1

Spring Hurlbut: Airborne (installation view), 2016 © Larissa Issler, Ryerson Image Centre

Video still of smoke rising in a dark room
Fig. 2

Spring Hurlbut: Airborne (installation view), 2016 © Larissa Issler, Ryerson Image Centre

Video still of smoke rising in a dark room
Fig. 3

Spring Hurlbut: Airborne (installation view), 2016 © Larissa Issler, Ryerson Image Centre