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Militant Nostalgia curated by Paco BarragánA Public Memorial, 2016

A Public Memorial (rendering), 2016
Photo: José Lerma

José Lerma - Chicago, USA

Statues in parks and public gardens generally lionize historical and political figures and events. Monuments to a significant period or individual commemorate a bygone era.
In A Public Memorial, a street level billboard covered in retro-reflective material hints at a ghostly image of a Toronto park. However when photographed with flash, the photo transposes for a split second from negative to positive in crisp black and white detail.
Here, anyone can strike a pose and be photographed, creating a silhouetted sculpture garden inside the image. Small wooden platforms in front of the billboard are pedestals for these impromptu statues.

Interspersed throughout the exhibition area, the audience will also find several traditional picture frames within which they can pose and create Victorian-style "selfies."

José Lerma's work creates the opportunity for anyone to become an icon. With each snapshot an idiosyncratic memorial to the anonymous individual is created. Temporary perhaps, but imbued with the aesthetics of history.

Sharing images on social media is highly encouraged: #APublicMemorial

Born in Spain, raised in Puerto Rico, José Lerma is best known for producing playful, intricately rendered portraits of long-lost historical figures.

Recently, he has expanded his painting practice to include repurposing non-traditional materials such as reflective fabric and industrial carpet. Lerma not only explores new uses of materials for his work, but also mulls over the medium's relationship to history. He currently lives in Chicago and is Professor of Drawing and Painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.



OBLIVION Militant Nostalgia And the Transformation Reveals Facing the Sky Independent Projects Major Institutions Event Centre Invictus 360°

Michael's Front Window

142 John Street (smaller versions of the retro-reflective posters located throughout the exhibition area.)

Suitable for all ages

Thank you to Craig Taylor and ICON Digital Media Inc.

This project is outdoors.