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The Gaze of History: Portraits from the Collection

The Gaze

The Gaze of History: Portraits from the Collection with
Drawing Installation by Elizabeth MacKenzie

July 6-August 26, 2012

What we look at and how we look at it are important aspects of social interaction and communication. Because of the way our brains are hard-wired we want to look at faces. Portraits invite us to gaze at other people’s faces without embarrassment or fear. They invite us to understand ourselves as we contemplate the image of someone else.

Drawn from the City of Burnaby’s Permanent Art Collection, The Gaze of History probes the conventions of portraiture and the exchange of the gaze through drawing, printmaking, photography and painting.

In conjunction with these portraits from the collection Vancouver artist Elizabeth MacKenzie will create subtle drawings of faces directly on the gallery walls. Acknowledging the history of Ceperley Mansion before it became the Burnaby Art Gallery in 1967, the installation will represent the real and imagined faces of former residents of this building.

Creating dialogues is at the core of this exhibition–between artworks, the past and present, the mansion and its uses, and most importantly, between individuals as they engage with the artworks and string together narratives and ideas about faces and how the gaze is exchanged.

For more on MacKenzie please visit her blog “negotiating doubt” at: http://blogs.eciad.ca/elizabethmackenzie

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