to dwell is to leave traces

Location Mirvish Village - Bathurst & Bloor
Dates September 2018 - 2020
Curator Ilana Altman

While buildings rise and fall, while brick gives way to concrete, steel and glass; I realize that Walter Benjamin’s words “to dwell is to leave traces” applies more than ever to Toronto. As I reflect on the cultural and architectural legacy of Honest Ed’s and the Mirvish Village, I understand that through the collection of traces, the debris, the discarded remnants of the city, we might find clues to, not only the past, but the possible futures that the past contained. Toronto reveals itself as a palimpsest: a collection of layers built up from half-forgotten stories, hand painted signs and ruins of Modernist high-rises and bay-and-gable houses.

Drawings on archival and current photographs of Honest Ed’s and the iconic buildings of Markham Street, I printed, cut and folded together an architectural history of place that transcends any single moment in time. Beginning in 1948, these images flow seamlessly until the present. Folding the past into the future, my hands create an unending series of folds in a single sheet of paper. I was interested in both reframing these precious photographs and renewing their lives in a new way; as if my interventions into the urban cityscape are attempts to leave my own traces, to proclaim that “I, too, dwelled here.”

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