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TERREMOTO: Mexico, 1985

September 12 – December 9, 2018
Curator: Denise Birkhofer
University Gallery, Ryerson Image Centre

On September 19, 1985, Mexico City was ravaged by a massive earthquake, or terremoto, killing an estimated 10,000 people and leaving more than 250,000 homeless. This exhibition explores the tragedy from the multiple perspectives of photographers who covered the devastation, including both international and local photojournalists and young emerging artists. Drawn primarily from the RIC’s Black Star Collection, the photographs on view document the city’s destruction, the efforts of rescue brigades, the experiences of grieving survivors, and persistent homelessness in the aftermath. An important turning point in Mexican society, the terremoto bolstered sentiments of collectivity and social activism among citizens and photographers alike.





Event(s):

Opening Party
Wednesday, September 12
6:00–8:00 PM

Special Tour
With curator Denise Birkhofer
Wednesday, November 7
6:00 PM

Exhibition Tours
Daily 2:30 PM

All events take place at the Ryerson Image Centre, unless otherwise noted

Fig. 1

Pedro Meyer, [Rescue workers at collapsed building, Mexico City], 1985, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Two people sitting in front of a pile of rubble
Fig. 2

Barbara Laing, [Survivors in front of collapsed building], Mexico City, Mexico, 1985, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

A woman wearing a face mask crying
Fig. 3

Barbara Laing, [Grieving survivor], Mexico City, Mexico, 1985, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

A night scene with people cheering holding flags
Fig. 4

Rafael Goldchain, Earthquake Ruins and Soccer Celebrants, Mexico City, from the series Nostalgia for an Unknown Land, 1986, chromogenic colour print. Ryerson Image Centre, Gift of Howard and Carole Tanenbaum, 2017
 

Installation Shots

A gallery with black walls and white photographs
Fig. 1

TERREMOTO: Mexico, 1985 (installation view), 2018 © James Morley, Ryerson Image Centre

A gallery with black walls and photographs and a video projection
Fig. 2

TERREMOTO: Mexico, 1985 (installation view), 2018 © James Morley, Ryerson Image Centre

A glass case with a colourful magazine in it
Fig. 3

TERREMOTO: Mexico, 1985 (installation view), 2018 © James Morley, Ryerson Image Centre

Upcoming Exhibitions

Fig.

Moyra Davey, EM Copperheads 1-150, Galerie Buchholz (detail), 2017, 150 chromogenic prints, tape, postage, ink. Courtesy the artist; Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York; and greengrassi, London

Fig.

Meryl McMaster, Lead Me to Places I Could Never Find on My Own, from the series As Immense as the Sky, 2019, chromogenic print. Courtesy the artist, Stephen Bulger Gallery and Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain

Fig.

Adrian Raymer, Two of A Kind, 2018, inkjet print. Courtesy the artist