O'Born Contemporary


Mise En Scène

Group Exhibition

September 13 – October 11, 2008


Play is a state of mind, a place of imaginings. When we play we exist in a state of suspension between the real and the possible.

Mise en scène is a group exhibition representing O'Born Contemporary's homage both to the Toronto International Film Festival and to the multiple emotions and experiences that movies bring to our lives. It features a selection of photographic works by four artists: Alex Kisilevich, Vanina Feldsztein, Johnnie Eisen, and Peter Mettler.

Feldsztein and Kisilevich are emerging talents in the art world, Eisen has had a long and illustrious career as a photographer, and Mettler is an award-winning film director who has also had his photographs published and exhibited. The works chosen for the exhibition respond to the theatrical and film term mise-en-scène, which translates literally as "put into the scene."

In Alex Kisilevich's photographs we see the young artist taking a directorial position of auteur as he positions both himself and his peers as actors in scenes of compelling uncertainty. Vanina Feldsztein photographs film and commercial sets in states of disorder. The viewer becomes an observer of the stilled interior, witnessing the pauses in fictional worlds. In Johnnie Eisen's photographs we see behind the scenes: Eisen has worked as the film set photographer in the Canadian film community for decades. In this exhibition Eisen's camera takes us into Jeremy Podeswa's film "The Five Senses": we see the wide shot of the director and actors in the midst of negotiating varying scenes. Finally, in Director Peter Mettler's personal photographic work we see the director as artist making images that contain many possible narratives. Mettler's photographs date from the early days of digital imaging and are featured in the opening scenes of his epic film, Gambling, Gods, and LSD. The images weave together background, foreground, middle ground and subject in a chaotic visual feast.

- P Elaine Sharpe – June 2008