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Two black benches sit in the center of the room, text on the wall reads "Archival Dialogues: Reading the Black Star Collection" and "The Art of the Archive: Ryerson Students and Alumni"
Fig. 1

The Art of the Archive (installation view), 2014 © Eugen Sakhnenko, Ryerson Image Centre

Ryerson Image Centre opens The Art of The Archive inaugural exhibition

Sep. 25, 2012

The Art of the Archive is one of the inaugural exhibitions heralding the arrival of the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC), Toronto’s newest public gallery. All the emerging artists involved are students or recent alumni associated with Ryerson’s School of Image Arts. The exhibition includes works by Alyssa Bistonath, Kyle Brohman, Julia Callon, Jenna Edwards, Tara Ernst, Daniel Froidevaux, Elisa Gilmour, Ben Lenzner, Marc Losier, Eugen Sakhnenko, Kate Tarini, and Andrew Williamson.

French philosopher Jacques Derrida called it “archive fever,” the desire we have to create collective memory. The Art of the Archive looks specifically at how this desire plays out through the photographic and video images we choose to keep and share.

“In aestheticizing the archive these young artists take their place within an artistic enterprise long in the making,” says Dr. Gaelle Morel, the RIC’s first Exhibitions Curator. “The appropriation and study of images from the past play an important role in photography’s recognition as an art form.”

Family history, the evocation of childhood, political history and the architecture of the spaces that house archives are just some of the themes explored in The Art of the Archive.

“Archives were once relegated to a subordinate position in the history of art,” says Morel. “But now the archive enjoys a prominent place in contemporary artistic practice.”

“The Ryerson Image Centre will showcase student work alongside the œuvre of the world's top professional artists, curated by national and international experts in the field,” says Doina Popescu, Director of the Ryerson Image Centre. “We are proud to make work by advanced Ryerson University students in photography, film, new media and installation art available to the many diverse communities on campus as well as to the public."

The work featured in The Art of the Archive includes installation-based projects, film and large-format photographs. The exhibition is built on the popular theme of capturing memory and history through photographs and video, using personal experience as a point of departure. In an era when the fascination with documentation through photography and video has never been greater, The Art of the Archive is a timely, insightful look at how we archive our lives.

The Art of the Archive
September 29 - December 16, 2012
Ryerson University students and alumni investigate time, memory and history through photographic and video images. Works by Alyssa Bistonath, Kyle Brohman, Julia Callon, Jenna Edwards, Tara Ernst, Daniel Froidevaux, Elisa Gilmour, Ben Lenzner, Marc Losier, Eugen Sakhnenko, Kate Tarini, and Andrew Williamson. Part of the grand opening of the Ryerson Image Centre.
33 Gould Street, Toronto, Canada. Admission is free.