The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of photographic works by John Massey, one of Canada’s foremost conceptual artists. Organized and circulated by the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography in Ottawa, this exhibition features Massey’s work over the past two decades, during which photography has become an increasingly important element in his art.
Since the late 1970s, Massey’s work has involved the transformation of material and perception, first through the articulation of scale models of rooms and more recently through his photographs of architectural interiors. Combining conventional photography with digital effects, he creates interiors that exist in a middle ground between the depicted and the created, touching on the metaphysical narratives that he has taken as his theme.
The exhibition, which takes its title from the popular nursery rhyme, features the installation, Room 202, A Model for Johnny, photographic works from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000, as well as a recent project, produced specifically for this touring exhibition, called Phantoms of the Modern. In this new work Massey confounds our view of the ideal modern house that is his subject. By introducing new perspectives and new elements into his depiction of architectural spaces, he reinvests and reconfigures representation in the eyes and mind of the viewer.
Jack in Situ, 1998-99. One of six gelatin silver prints, 37.5 x 47.0 cm. The Bailey Collection, Toronto.
Twilight, part of a diptych from Modern Waiting Area, 1997-1998. One of six gelatin silver prints in three diptychs, 37.5 x 47.0 cm.
The Bailey Collection, Toronto.
Once Upon a Time 2 (The Torch), 2000. One of three gelatin silver prints, 59.0 x 45.7 cm.
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.