Representations: YYZ in the 80s

Creator(s): YYZ Artists' Outlet

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.

The exhibit Representations: YYZ in the 80s is a chronological record of shows that took place at YYZ from 1979 to 1989 and dealt with issues of representation. It compiles photographs of exhibits taken from YYZ's archives, art writing, and art criticism, as well as recent interviews with major figures in the Toronto art community of the 80s to give a more complete history of YYZ and Toronto's art world at that time.

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