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Representations: YYZ in the 80s
YYZ Artists' Outlet
Toronto , Ontario

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   In order to exhibit their
art and be involved in art
discourse, several Toronto
artists established YYZ
Artists’ Outlet as an artist-
run centre in 1979. Artist
and founding member Elizabeth
MacKenzie noted in her
interview that YYZ was
interested in showing photo-

based, conceptually-founded,
and technologically-mediated
works dealing with issues of
representation and informed
by European critical theory,
which started to appear in
English translation at the
time, while not rejecting
traditional media. Similarly,
artist and YYZ board member

Andy Patton notes that this
commitment to showing works
across all media was unusual
at the time. It demonstrated
a democracy of form and a
focus on content.
   Hence, the period of
1980s has been described as a
return to content. YYZ
Artists’ Outlet was at the

forefront of this shift by
organizing exhibitions like
Joanne Tod’s Replications
(Dark-Haired Girls) (1981),
David Clarkson’s The
Fragments of an Incomplete
Reconaissance (1980), and
Janice Gurney’s Reparations
(1984). YYZ also organized
major shows that were shown

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