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The Brothel Without Walls

Print of Two women with colored circles and colour spectrum at top and bottom

Works by:

Susan Anderson, Maria Gadonneix, Joachim Schmid, Clunie Reid, Jessica Dimmock, Evan Baden, Stefan Ruiz, Christopher Wahl, Douglas Coupland, Lewis Kaye, David Rokeby

The Brothel Without Walls

April 29–May 29, 2010

Co-curated by Matt Brower and Bonnie Rubenstein

Presented in partnership with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

University of Toronto Art Centre

The Brothel Without Walls opening at the University of Toronto Art Centre on May 1 is the gallery’s inaugural Primary Exhibition for the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Presented in partnership with Scotiabank CONTACT this provoking show explores photography’s role in our contemporary media environment through the lens of communications guru Marshall McLuhan on the thirtieth anniversary of his death and one year before his centenary begins.

The exhibition title is derived from McLuhan who in 1964 wrote of the photograph as “The Brothel without Walls”. McLuhan described photographs as “dreams that money can buy” which could be “hugged and thumbed more easily than public prostitutes.” Co-curators, UTAC’s Matt Brower and Scotiabank CONTACT’s Artistic Director, Bonnie Rubenstein have brought together 9 Canadian and international photographers whose works give form to McLuhan’s concepts helping us to grasp the cultural role of photography, not in isolation, but in relation to our general media culture, and more specifically television and the internet.

Further reflecting on the enduring influence of Marshall McLuhan and the relevance of his theories to this year’s CONTACT festival, Canadian artists Lewis Kaye and David Rokeby were commissioned to create the site-specific work Through the Vanishing Point at the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology. Kaye and Rokeby have created two separate but complementary works that visually and aurally construct McLuhan’s presence in the coach house, the building where he held his famous seminars.

The podcast component of Lewis Kaye’s Through the Vanishing Point sound installation can be downloaded from this page. These three podcast files are designed for both the Coach House installation and stand-alone listening.

Thompson_Parker_McLuhan (7min 39 sec)

McLuhan and Parker At The Vanishing Point (8 min 12sec)

Monday Night Seminar Space (6min 34sec)

Panel Talk

Freeze Frame on Marshall McLuhan
Saturday May 15, 2010, 1-6pm
Featuring Seamus Ross
Father Madden Hall, Carr Hall
St. Michael’s College

Artist Talk

Nobody Can Commit Photography Alone
Saturday May 1, 2010, 6pm
Featuring Joachim Schmid, Susan Anderson, Lewis Kaye, David Rokeby, Christopher Wahl, Bonnie Rubenstein, and Matthew Brower
Video Documentation
University of Toronto Art Centre

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the operating support of the Canada Council for the Arts with additional project support from Scotiabank, the Government of Canada, Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Faculty of Information, the University of Toronto, University of St. Michael’s College, the Ontario Arts Council, Consulat général de France à Toronto, and Jason and Susan Martin.

Title Image: Marina Gadonneix, Mire # 11, 2006. Digital C Print. 98 X 116 cm.

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