Prefix ICA » Movers and Shakers

January 11 to March 24, 2018

Movers and Shakers
Sandra Brewster, Stephanie Comilang, Esery Mondesir, Sabrina Russo,
Kate Schneider
and Tek

Curated by Betty Julian

Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art is pleased to present Movers and Shakers, a world-premiere exhibition curated by Betty Julian that features new photographic and video works by six early- and mid-career Toronto-based artists: Sandra Brewster, Stephanie Comilang, Esery Mondesir, Sabrina Russo, Kate Schneider and Tek.

At the present moment in Toronto, many people are feeling pressure from the shifting and changing social, cultural and political environment. At such times, artists have a way of bringing to the foreground the state of our daily living and the cultural shifts that are shaping our lives. In Movers and Shakers, the featured artists present still and moving images that direct our attention to various aspects of their ways of moving, working and being, both in the local community and the larger world.

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, January 11, 2018 from 7 to 10 PM at Prefix, located at 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 124, Toronto. The curator and most of the artists will be present. A curator’s talk will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 2 PM at Prefix. Also, a series of joint artists’ talks will be held throughout the exhibition, with Sandra Brewster and Esery Mondesir speaking on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 2 PM at Prefix. (The details of additional talks will follow.) The exhibition continues until March 24. The gallery is open to the public from Wednesday to Saturday, 12 to 5 PM, and by appointment. Admission is free.

About the Artists

Sandra Brewster is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in Toronto. She holds a BFA from York University (Toronto) and a Masters of Visual Studies degree from the University of Toronto. Her work has been exhibited nationally and abroad, with recent exhibitions at Aljira (Newark, NJ), Eastern Edge Gallery (St. John’s, NL) and the Art Galleries at Allegheny College (Meadville, PA). For her most recent solo exhibition, she received the Gattuso Prize for outstanding featured exhibition in the 2017 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival. Currently a residency fellow at Instituto Sacatar (Itaparica, Bahia, Brazil), she will participate in a group exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto) in 2018. She is represented by Georgia Scherman Projects (Toronto).

Stephanie Comilang is a Filipina-Canadian artist who lives and works in Toronto and Berlin. She holds a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design (now OCAD University, Toronto). Her documentary-based work examines the social and cultural factors that shape an environment. Recent exhibitions include Artspeak (Vancouver) and Trinity Square Video (Toronto), along with screenings at Asia Art Archive in America (New York), S.A.L.T.S. (Basel), UCLA (Los Angeles), Images Festival (Toronto) and Art Athina (Athens).

Esery Mondesir is a Toronto-based filmmaker who was born in Port-au-Prince, Haïti. He worked as a high school teacher, a book designer and a labour organizer prior to receiving an MFA in cinema production from York University (Toronto) in 2017. His work, which includes documentary, fiction and experimental narratives, takes a critical stance on modern-day social, political and cultural phenomena to suggest a reading of our society from its margins. In 2016, he received the Lawrence Heisey Graduate Award in Fine Arts and, in 2017, he received the Paavo and Aino Lukkari Human Rights Award. His short film, Dangerous Weapons, was among the ten finalists at the 2016 TVO Short Doc Contest.

Sabrina Russo is a Toronto-based artist, art educator and art administrator with a background in photography, performance and history. She holds a BFA in Photography from the Ontario College of Art and Design (now OCAD University, Toronto) and an MFA from Concordia University (Montréal). Taking an experimental approach to the processes of photography, she often works with video, animation, kinetic sculpture and installation. As an instructor at OCAD University and the School of Design at George Brown College (Toronto), she regularly facilitates experimental student-driven collaborative artworks for exhibition.

Kate Schneider is an artist and educator who currently lives and works in Toronto. In 2004, she received a BS in Photojournalism from Ohio University and, in 2009, she received an MFA from Ryerson University (Toronto). Her work critiques representations of land in visual culture, while speaking to the alliances between individuals and their environment. She has exhibited, presented at conferences, and published writing throughout Canada and the United States on the subject of environmental sustainability and photographic discourse. Her travelling exhibition has shown at Soho Photo Gallery (New York), the Great Plains Art Museum (Lincoln, NE) and Spellerberg Projects (Austin, TX). Her artwork has been featured in Feature Shoot, Aint-Bad, C41, and the 2013 and 2015 editions of Flash Forward.

Tek was born in 1978 in Seoul, Korea, and moved to Canada in 2000. Originally trained in documentary-style photography while serving as a military press photographer, he later went on to receive a BFA in Photography from the Ontario College of Art and Design (now OCAD University, Toronto). His artwork has been featured in exhibitions and at art fairs, nationally and internationally. Tek is the founder/director of PUP Contemporary, a Toronto-based pop-up gallery for emerging artists. Currently, he works as a technician in the Photography Centre at OCAD University.

About the Curator

Betty Julian is an independent curator of contemporary art with a specialization in photography and media art. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she currently lives and works in Toronto where she is a trained psychoanalytic therapist. She began her professional arts career in 1988, when she assumed the role of director of A Space, a pioneering artist-run centre in Toronto. She was a founding member of the New Initiatives in Film programme for Aboriginal Women and Women of Colour at Studio D, National Film Board of Canada. She was also a founding member of the national advisory council for Prefix Photo magazine, where, until 2004, she brought her wealth of curatorial knowledge to the process of reviewing photographer’s submissions for publication. Since 2004, she has been a member of the curatorial council for Prefix ICA, where she curated 31 by Lorna Simpson in 2005, the group exhibition Trade Marks in 2013, and Facing by Renée Green in 2016. Until 2015, she was a photography instructor at OCAD University (Toronto). Currently, she is developing an integrated programme of research and study on photography as a contemporary art form, for which she is exploring critical issues of representation, the politics of aesthetics and psychoanalytic thought.


For their support of Movers and Shakers, Prefix gratefully acknowledges the in-kind support of Blake Fitzpatrick and Vid Ingelevics, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and YYZ Artists’ Outlet, and the assistance of Business for the Arts, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts.