Practice: Photography and Film
Date of Lecture: 2004-11-12
Toronto-based photographer and filmmaker Janieta Eyre has quickly gained notoriety in the contemporary art world with her surreal portraits of herself as twins. Starkly graphic, her carefully composed photos explore notions of the uncanny and the double in a playful yet disquieting fashion. With the 2000 Lady Lazarus series, Eyre used 19th century spirit photography as a reference point for her explorations of death, resurrection, and genetic engineering. Drawing inspiration from a dream and the series title from a poem by Sylvia Plath, the colour and selenium-toned black and white images of the series “seemed to exist in a place at once the past and the future.” What I Haven’t Told You, Eyre’s current body of work, continues her exploration of the theatrically staged photograph and the affinity of photography for phantom presences which can be sensed but not seen. Eyre has also recently made the jump from photography to filmmaking with her first short film, entitled So Now We Understand Each Other. Based on a short story she wrote about a woman who believes her two dolls are her children, the film continues Eyre’s exploration of motherhood as a complex and strange human relationship.
Janieta Eyre was born in London, England and was educated in Toronto where she received a philosophy degree from the University of Toronto. She also studied journalism part-time at Ryerson University and photography at the Ontario College of Art and Design. She lives and works in Toronto and is represented by the Christopher Cutts Gallery (Toronto) and Diane Farris Gallery (Vancouver). Eyre has exhibited widely in Italy, Germany, Iceland, the United States and across Canada and was recently invited to participate in the Kwanju Biennale in South Korea. Eyre has been featured in several recent publications including Hive Magazine, Collezione Edge, and Faking Death and recently won a “Shine” award for Best Digital Imagery from Horizon Zero. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (Ottawa), Microsoft (New York), and the National Gallery of Iceland (Reykjavik).
Additional Links: http://www.janietaeyre.com/index2.htm
Ryecast Link: https://ryecast.ryerson.ca/6/watch/494.aspx