O'Born Contemporary


beautifully broken

Rafael Goldchain, Solo Exhibition

March 18 – April 23, 2011


about the exhibition

In his previous body of work, I Am My Family, Rafael Goldchain set the camera upon himself to build a family history: aunts, uncles and distant cousins are imagined and constructed in his likeness. Costume, performance and ultimately, self-portraiture guided Rafael toward his familial past. So when his study continued inward, he searched for a reflection in his environment, choosing natural and man-made elements as metaphors for the self.

Images of crumbling and cracked columns; and trees, knotted and grown into their surroundings evince the body of a person who has already filed many memories. The mood is somber yet there is an underlying strength and optimism in these images: The columns have tirelessly born the weight of their load - The trees, traditional symbols of age and wisdom grow ever stronger.

The photographs comprising Beautifully Broken are far from hopeless: They express the elegant balance between vulnerability and resilience.

- Natalie MacNamara, 2011

about the artist

Rafael Goldchain's photographs have been exhibited across Canada, Mexico, Chile, the United States, Cuba, Germany, France, Italy, and the Czech Republic. His work is in private and public collections including France's Biblioteque Nationale, the Canadian Museum for Contemporary Photography, New York's Museum of Modern Art, Houston's Museum of Fine Arts, the Portland Art Museum, and San Diego's Museum of Photographic Arts. A second-generation Latin American Jewish artist, Goldchain was born in Santiago de Chile, lived in Jerusalem in the early 1970s, and moved to Canada in the late 1970s. Goldchain received a Master of Fine Arts from York University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, both in Toronto. Goldchain received the 1989 Duke and Duchess of York Prize in Photography from The Canada Council for the Arts, and accompanied Canada's Governor General Adrienne Clarkson on official visits to Chile and Argentina in 2001. He is currently Professor and Program Coordinator of the Applied Photography Program at Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.