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Three Cities: Prayer and Protest

Exhibition Title: Three Cities: Prayer and Protest

Artist: Mere Phantoms | Maya Ersan & Jaimie Robson

Opening: January 12, 2017, 7:00 - 10:00 pm

Exhibition Dates: January 13 – February 18, 2017

Three Cities: Prayer and Protest is a shadow-based installation that investigates sites of tension, controversy, and contact within three cosmopolitan environments. Inspired by recent cities the artists have lived and worked in (including Istanbul, Montreal and Vancouver), the exhibition explores notions of prayer and protest as communal expressions of personal hope, desire, demand and outrage.

Each ‘city’ becomes a palimpsest in which layers of social, cultural, economic, and political differences come into dialogue. Made from intricately cut paper sculptures, each city is presented as as “island”. These islands are explored by the viewer with the use of mobile lights created for the installation. As the viewer moves through the space, the miniature paper imagery comes alive. Large scale shadows fill the gallery walls and the viewer, who was initially towering over the fragile paper cities, is now surrounded by layers of giant shadow.

Audio composition by Chris Carrière.


ARTIST TALK: Saturday, January 14, 2:00 PM
grunt gallery, #116 – 350 E 2nd Ave


PERFORMANCE: Garden of Earthly Delights
co-presented by CSA Space, grunt gallery and PUSH Festival

January 19- 21, 7:00 – 9:30 PM
Performances take place every 20 minutes during event hours. Very limited capacity.

CSA Space, 2422 Main Street, Vancouver (Entrance through Pulpfiction Books)

Tickets: $10 –> SOLD OUT

Inspired by the Hieronymus Bosch painting of the same name, this is an experience of the city as rendered in darkness. In this immersive journey, viewers are guided by shadow projections and sound cues to bring a procession of dreamscapes to life. With specially designed light wands, spectators move from a lush tropical jungle to an urban one encountering characters, at times absurd and fantastical amidst fight, flight and displacement.

The cityscape appears as shadows on the wall, becoming an abstraction even as its physical essence is laid bare. Mere Phantoms takes 16th century notions of heaven and hell and welds them to a modern inquiry. Is this fantasy or nightmare? Decide for yourself as you experience the magic via light and paper. This is illusionism at its finest—refined down to a beautiful binary of black and white.

Audio composition by Chris Carrière.

This exhibition is graciously supported by the Conseil des artistes québécois.


Mere Phantoms is the Montreal-based duo Maya Ersan and Jaimie Robson, who are inspired by early cinema, papercutting and shadow theatre. Their work has appeared internationally.

Check out Mere Phantoms website


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