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30 Nov 2010

Prefix Photo 22: The Biennial Phenomenon. Available now!

Prefix Photo 22: The Biennial Phenomenon
Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art


Prefix Photo 22: The Biennial Phenomenon. Available now! Subscribe at

Jayne Wilkinson
001 416 591-0357
001 416 591-0358

Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art
124 - 401 Richmond Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8

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Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the release of the twenty-second issue of Prefix Photo magazine. On the subject of the international art biennial, editor Scott McLeod writes: 'Its champions and detractors alike have recognized the powerful effect of the biennial phenomenon on the creation, dissemination and reception of contemporary art and have begun to analyze the problems and potentialities of this increasingly pervasive format in a more systematic and comprehensive way.' The biennial and its related issues of mobility, globalization, nationhood, exhibition and spectatorship resonate strongly with the art and texts represented within the magazine, as follows:

Curator Barbara Fischer undertakes a consideration of the biennial format. She situates the frantic proliferation of art biennials that occurred in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries in terms of shifts and crises in the global economy and changing social and political realities in the post-colonial world. In this context, the biennial casts the question of the role and function of art in a new light.

Writer Laurie Davis, as a self-styled 'art-tourist,' visits Santa Fe, New Mexico, to see The Dissolve, Site Santa Fe's eighth international biennial. She discovers that Santa Fe, though very tourist-oriented, retains a unique charm and continues to reflect the essentially creative community that founded it.

Curator Jennifer Rudder writes on Toronto artist Stan Denniston, as he continues his investigation of the frontier between the still and moving image. With the mindset of a photographer but armed with a video camera, he captured the real-time slumbers of dogs in Havana, Cuba. The resulting installation presents videos of the dogs on a collection of mismatched, outmoded television sets from the 1970s.

Artist collective Common Culture presents an excerpt of the script for The New El Dorado, their new video commissioned and produced by Manifesta 8 and currently on exhibit in Murica, Spain. As with their previous work, the video engineers strategic collisions between the elitist assumptions attached to art and the perceived commonplace and vulgar aspects of popular culture.

Other contributors include Bill Burns, Ian Carr-Harris, Paul Chan, Peggy Gale, April Hickox, Vid Ingelevics, Jesús Jiménez, Bill T. Jones and OpenEnded Group, Chris MacKenzie, Sarah Munro, Mary Reid Kelley, Clifford Ross, and Clare Samuel.

Prefix Photo is published by Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, a registered charitable organization that fosters the appreciation and understanding of contemporary photography, media and digital arts. Prefix Photo is available by subscription and in fine bookstores and newsstands in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Singapore and China.

For their assistance with the release party held for issue 22 in Toronto, Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art gratefully acknowledges its Supporting Sponsor Steam Whistle Brewing, its Official Catering Sponsor à la Carte Kitchen and its official Hotel Sponsor the Sutton Place Hotel.

Prefix Photo is published with the assistance of its staff, volunteers and patrons, as well as the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Media Development Corporation and the Canada Council for the Arts. Prefix Photo also acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund toward its editorial and production costs. The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario.

For more information, please contact:
Jayne Wilkinson