Summer 2011 Grads

Molly Heron

Molly Heron

Mallary Johnson

Mallary Johnson

Roman Hasiuk

Roman Hasiuk

Amy Stout

Amy Stout

Karen Hipscher

Karen Hipscher

Jamie Donaldson

Jamie Donaldson

Cindy Short

Cindy Short

Casey Naumann

Jo Ann Block

Jo Ann Block

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Alumni Feature-Paula Imirzian Aug ’15

Paula Imirzian, "Body Alteration" (2014) Lab Book 3.5x5.5, acrylic, gouache, ink. Photo Chip Rutan

Paula Imirzian, “Body Alteration” (2014) Lab Book 3.5×5.5, acrylic, gouache, ink. Photo Chip Rutan

Research “Lab Book” (2014) on eugenics inspired by “The Black Stork” by Martin Pernick

Paula Imirzian, “Below the Skin” (2014) installation

Research articles and images mapped to the body on Mylar (2014)

Research image of brain MRI

Paula Imirzian, “Yellow Growth” (2015) digital art

Paula Imirzian, “P2498” and “Bio-Xform” (2015) installation. Photo Martin Castaneda

Paula Imirzian, “Bio-Xform” (2015) still of interactive digital image application

Paula Imirzian, “P2498” (2015) still from 3 minute stop motion animation

Paula Imirzian, “Below the Skin” (2014) still from 2 minute stop motion animation

 

My work resides at the intersection of biotechnology and art as I investigate the body and its environment, with a focus at the molecular level. I am concerned with how we humans – as well as the organisms around us – can be manipulated and controlled at the cellular level without our full knowledge and perhaps changed beyond repair.

By relying upon information that is often diluted and diminished through mass media, our view of complicated scientific information is at best simplistic. The complex nature of science leaves us in a grey area of not having complete information about our world. Nevertheless, while we remain uninformed, amazing scientific advances take place. Perhaps some of these advances wouldn’t happen if we were truly informed? Or perhaps they might happen in ways that could be more productive or responsible?

Many artists influence and provide direction to my research and art: subRosa, Critical Art Ensemble, Anab Jain, and VCFA faculty Faith Wilding. Museum collections, medical imagery,  historical writing as well as current writing from Richard Lewontin, Donna Haraway, and Evelyn Fox Keller provide perspective into scientific endeavors. I also review scientific research and collate articles to create notebooks (Lab Books) to track my research. As I do so, I am reminded that we aren’t so far removed from the eugenic practices of the past, as we proceed to categorize, and alter ourselves and our surroundings at a microscopic level. I am also aware of the difficulty of using art to critique and inform about science and medicine. With this in mind, I try to balance scientific intrigue with various artistic techniques to engage, attract, repel and enlighten.

 

 

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In Residence

from L-R: Cauleen Smith, Naeem Mohaiemen, AK Burns, Ashley Hunt

Then Artist-in-Residence, now program Co-Chair, Luis Jacob participates in graduate Matthew Whitney's work.

Then Artist-in-Residence, now program Co-Chair, Luis Jacob participates in graduate Matthew Whitney’s work.

Faculty Ashley Hunt leads workshop

Faculty Ashley Hunt leads workshop

Faculty critique with Dont Rhine.

Faculty critique with Dont Rhine.

Faculty Critique with Cauleen Smith

Casey Neumann

Casey Neumann

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Alumnus John James Donaldson

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Research group notes

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Returning Student Opening

Artist and alumna Yukiyo Kawano

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Artist and alumna Laura Alger in her mobile studio space

The “Ark” Alumni Hall Student Exhibition

Guest Artist John Willis leads critique.

Guest Artist John Willis leads critique.

Installation in process, Artist Joann Block

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Winter 2014 Grads

Cai Xi Silver

Cai Xi Silver

Craig Saddlemire

Craig Saddlemire

Hunter Neal

Hunter Neal

Jeffrey Jennings

Jeffrey Jennings

Tara Smith

Tara Smith

Stephen Maine

Stephen Maine

Robin McLaurin

Robin McLaurin

Patricia Miranda

Patricia Miranda

Michele Shibley

Michele Shibley

Louis Tortora

Jenna Kelly

Jenna Kelly

Claudia De Loach

Carissa Burkett

Carissa Burkett

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Summer 2015 Grads

Nate Burgos

Nate Burgos (photo credit: Martin Castaneda)

Lori Grinker

Lori Grinker (photo credit: Martin Castaneda)

Shari Pratt

Shari Pratt (photo credit: Martin Castaneda)

Tara Sasiadek

Tara Sasiadek (photo credit: Martin Castaneda)

John Gibson

John Gibson (photo credit: Martin Castaneda)

Robby Gilbert

Robby Gilbert (photo credit: Martin Castaneda)

David Joron

David Joron (photo credit: Martin Castaneda)

Denise Hoover

Denise Hoover (photo credit: Martin Castaneda)

Ruby De La Fuente

Ruby De La Fuente (photo credit: Martin Castaneda)

Erica Lynn

Erica Lynn (photo credit: Martin Castaneda)

Paula Imirzian

Paula Imirzian (photo credit: Martin Castaneda)

Chip Rutan

Chip Rutan

Nancy Deleary

Nancy Delray (photo credit: Martin Castaneda)

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Winter 2015 Grads

Mimi Solum

Mimi Solum

Sam Erckert

Sam Erckert

Dennis Fougere

Dennis Fougere

David Allio

David Allio

Beth McGee

Beth McGee

Patrick Quinn

Patrick Quinn

Tyler Gill

Tyler Gill

Jeffrey Huston

Jeffrey Huston

LA Watson

LA Watson

Taylor Harlin

Taylor Harlin

Erin Gleason

Erin Gleason

Melora Griffis

Melora Griffis

Joann Argue

Joann Argue

Claire Emery

Claire Emery

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Summer 2014 Grads

Aaron Rose

Aaron Rose

Ruth Dudley-Carr

Ruth Dudley-Carr

Naomi Elena Ramirez

Naomi Elena Ramirez

Mary Telfer

Mary Telfer

Mark Read

Mark Read

Margery Theroux

Margery Theroux

Lorraine Reynolds

Lorraine Reynolds

Lisa Crafts

Lisa Crafts

Kristin Serafini

Kristin Serafini

Kimberly Marshall

Kimberly Marshall

Julia Dixon

Julia Dixon

Joseph Keenan

Joseph Keenan

Douglas Brull

Douglas Brull

Bob McCann

Bob McCann

Andrea Taylor

Andrea Taylor

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Summer 2013 Grads

Paul Tonnes

Paul Tonnes

Rick Morgan

Rick Morgan

Liz Winter

Liz Winter

Robyn Duff

Robyn Duff

Carrie Ramig

Carrie Ramig

Joe Rivera

Joe Rivera

Carol Wylie

Carol Wylie

Jeff Marley

Jeff Marley

Lisa Beerle

Lisa Beerle

Jessica Halliday

Jessica Halliday

Elaina Kennedy

Elaina Kennedy

Samantha Perrelli

Samantha Perrelli

Christie Herbert

Christie Herbert

Ken Horne

Ken Horne

John Auciello

John Auciello

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Winter 2013 Grads

Beth Gilmore

Beth Gilmore

Todd Leisek

Todd Leisek

Thais Mather

Thais Mather

Michael Ruiz

Michael Ruiz

Jon McAuliffe

Jon McAuliffe

Janelle O'Rourke

Janelle O’Rourke

Jim Rivera

Jim Rivera

Colin McFee

Colin McFee

Chris Faust

Chris Faust

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Faculty Portfolio of Recent Work-Luis Jacob

Luis Jacob, “Spirits of the Grotto” (2012), public art at Dufferin underpass, Toronto.

Luis Jacob, “Spirits of the Grotto” (2012), public art at Dufferin underpass, Toronto.

03.City of Toronto Archives City Hall Conditions of Competition 1957

City of Toronto Archives, “Site of City Hall (from Conditions of Competition, City Hall and Square)” (1957), RG Reports, Box 9.

04.The Demonstration.2013

Luis Jacob, “The Demonstration” (2013), two-colour silkscreen print

05.Jack Chambers.photo study c.1970

Jack Chambers, “Untitled photo study” (c.1970)

06.Broken statue in Rome

Broken statue representing a theatre actor, photographed in Rome by Luis Jacob.

07.Sphinx.2015

Luis Jacob, “Sphinx” (2015), installation with sculpture and library of books, Children’s Conservatory, Allan Gardens, Toronto.

08.Sphinx.2015

Luis Jacob, “Sphinx” (2015), installation with sculpture and library of books, Children’s Conservatory, Allan Gardens, Toronto.

09.Sphinx.2015

Luis Jacob, “Sphinx” (2015), installation with sculpture and library of books, Children’s Conservatory, Allan Gardens, Toronto.

10a.Sphinx.2015

Luis Jacob, “Sphinx” (2015), installation with sculpture and library of books, Children’s Conservatory, Allan Gardens, Toronto.

I feel that contemporary artists are under constant pressure to conduct their practices in accordance with a cosmopolitan definition of art, privileging artistic languages that are legible within the art capitals – at the expense of the multitude of artistic languages spoken in the peripheries (that is, in most of the planet).

My work stems from an intuition that, as artists, the diverse places where we live and work are not incidental to the work we make.  I want to explore the conscious and unconscious ways in which these places shape our self-images and our cultures.

Toronto is the place I call home.  Researching the colonial relations between settlers (like me) and First Nations people allows me to grasp why life in this city is perceived to happen as if on a vacant lot.  Exploring the example of local artists like Jack Chambers, Greg Curnoe, Joyce Wieland and General Idea, instructs me about their engagement with these questions of place, regionalism, nationalism and mediation.  Travelling to other places exposes me to artistic languages unfamiliar to me, and to the ways in which people in different contexts engage the reality of colonization, globalization and resistance.  Riding my bike around town, reading local narratives, auditing a course on the history of urban planning at the University of Toronto, attending a seminar on the history of Toronto filmmaking at the Bloor Cinema – these activities help me develop a more nuanced sense of the city I live in.

I have heard people say, “Toronto has no history.”  In my work I refer to this fantasy of ‘the blank canvas’ as a perfect allegory for the chasm in Toronto between the richness of local history and the pervasive vacancy of local memory.  I make work that ‘looks back’ at the viewer in an attempt to summon the spirits that haunt this place I call home.

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