O'Born Contemporary


The Accelerators

Public Studio, Solo Exhibition

May 1st – June 27th, 2015


about the exhibition

The Accelerators is an apophenia in which connections and patterns exist perceptually‐pull one thread and five more present themselves: In the same year as the French Revolution, gunflint, barrels of rum, mirrors, brass kettles, and lace hats were offered in exchange for a tract of land, known as The Toronto Purchase; Marie Antoinette's Bol Sein, produced by the Sèvres porcelain factory on the eve of the Storming of the Bastille, is shown for sale as a limited edition reproduction in the December 2014 New York Times Style Magazine; Georges Besse, CEO of Renault, is assassinated by leftist radical group Action Directe in 1986, the same year the Mississaugas of the New Credit submit their land claim against The Toronto Purchase; Italian filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo, after his critical success with The Battle of Algiers, fails to complete his next film on the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero, declaring himself "impotent;" After decades of postcolonial fallout, the Algerian Kouachi brothers murder eleven at Charlie Hebdo magazine for racist portrayals of the prophet Mohammed. Drawing on events spread across time and place, The Accelerators presents a deterritorialized axonometric view, an impossible but all-seeing position that examines the network of contemporary social space within a constellation of re-imagined images.

about the artists

ELLE FLANDERS completed her PhD at York University's newly created practice-based research visual arts program in 2014 and has mentored with some of the art world's most notable artists including Mary Kelly and Martha Rosler at the Whitney ISP and Rutgers University respectively. Flanders has a long history of community engagement and has created award-winning films and installations. Her longstanding interest in the personal, social, and political implications of landscape and place have led her, in collaboration with Sawatzky, to produce site-specific public art installations that are immersive and that re-examine the role of audience as participant/witness by way of an aestheticized experience.

TAMIRA SAWATZKY is an architect and artist working in Toronto. She worked for the award-winning firm MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects from 1998-2010. In 2010, she founded Public Studio Architecture and Public Studio with her collaborator, Elle Flanders. In addition to an ongoing architectural practice, her most recent art work includes: The Dialogues (2014), a series of short films displayed on outdoor LED advertising screens and on subway station monitors commissioned by the Toronto Urban Film Festival and Drone Wedding (2014), an eight-channel video work for the Ryerson Image Centre.

Flanders and Sawatzky are currently working two large-scale public art commissions in Toronto launching in 2015.