Press Release: Public Studio, Under the Last Sky


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Under the Last Sky
A solo exhibition of recent works by:


September 12-October 11, 2013

©2013, Public Studio

DATES: THURSDAY, September 12, 2013, 6 – 9 p.m.
Opening Reception

Artists will be in attendance

131 Ossington Avenue, Toronto.

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 – 6 and by appointment.
TELEPHONE: 416.413.9555


The title of Public Studio’s new exhibition, Under the Last Sky, is a phrase borrowed from the late poet Mahmoud Darwish: "Where should we go after the last frontiers? Where should the birds fly after the last sky?" In 1985, Edward Said produced a book together with photographer Jean Mohr called After the Last Sky, a photo book that emanated from an absence of images; a people who were never seen nor heard. Today, we have a different problem-the ubiquity of images-but still the crisis of representation persists. Currently, millions of images are being recorded from mechanized apparatuses that document our lives without our awareness or permission. While surveillance has been with us for some time, the consequences are now greater: Targeted killing, collateral damage, and the death of privacy. This catastrophic sequence of events begins with an image.
Public Studio, in their ongoing investigation of war in the everyday, use silicone wafers as a starting point to engage in conversations about surveillance, drones, and image making. Under the Last Sky considers the current state of photography and its relationship to us. Further, the radical notion that photography is no longer produced by people but rather is a function of digitized mechanisms caching and recirculating millions of images is interrogated by Flanders & Sawatzky.
The silicone wafers are etched on one side with images of skies where drone attacks occurred over the past year. The obverse hosts electronic circuitry produced through photolithographic processes that are both highly technologically advanced and simultaneously reliant on some of the oldest photographic practices known. The artists thus scrutinize the photographic medium by presenting a history lesson of photographic practices – from daguerreotypes to digital images in this meditation on the relationship between surveillance and photography.


ELLE FLANDERS is an award-winning filmmaker and artist based in Toronto. She was raised in Montreal and Jerusalem and holds both an MA in Critical Theory and an MFA from Rutgers University. Her work has been exhibited at museums and festivals internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Berlin International Film Festival. Together with Tamira Sawatzky she founded Public Studio, with recent works including:Kino Pravda 3G, a multi-channel video installation, What Isn’t There, a photo installation, and Road Movie, a film installation. She directed the award-winning feature documentary Zero Degrees of Separation, which has screened worldwide and has been broadcast on the Sundance Channel, the Documentary Channel and MTV. Flanders is a PhD candidate in the Visual Arts Studio Program at York University, where she also teaches.

TAMIRA SAWATZKY is an award-winning architect and artist working in Toronto. In addition to an ongoing architectural practice, her recent art work includes: Kino Pravda 3G, a video installation; What Isn’t There, a photo installation; Road Movie, a film installation; and Road Shots, a series of still photographs. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the Art Gallery at York University (AGYU) and Flux Factory in New York.

For Media Information:

Rachel Anne Farquharson

T: 416.413.9555

E: rachel

O’Born Contemporary

131 Ossington Avenue

Toronto, ON M6J 2Z6

Tuesday – Saturday 11 – 6


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