Rachel Granofsky, beans, bed & the body, digital c-print, 2014

Alvin Luong, 36 Cyprigene Sum (After Carl Andre), thirty six digital c-prints, 2014 

Leila Syed-Fatemi, Amna II, from the series Clothbound, digital c-print mounted on plexi, 2014

Bijan Ramezani, Redaction no. 1, archival inkjet print, 2014.

Esmond Lee, Untitled, from the series Between Us, digital c-print, 2014

Sarah Sands Phillips, Untitled, from the series Photographs of Canada, manipulated found media, 2015.

Catherine Plaisance, still image from Désordre, 2014

Proof 22, installation view at G44, photo by Morris Lum

Proof 22, installation view at G44, photo by Morris Lum

Proof 22, installation view at G44, photo by Morris Lum


Friday, June 5, 2015 to Saturday, July 4, 2015
Opening Reception
June 5,
6:00PM to 8:00PM
Walkthrough with the artists
June 5,
5:00PM to 5:30PM
About the Exhibition: 

Proof is Gallery 44’s annual exhibition of photo-based work by Canadian emerging artists reflecting a range of current concerns and practices in contemporary photography from across the country. Proof is often one of the first exhibitions in a professional context for an emerging artist as was the case for artists such as Karin Bubas, Janieta Eyre, Isabelle Hayeur, Germaine Koh, Laurie Kang, Nicholas Pye, Althea Thauberger, and Andrew Wright. 

The artists featured in Proof 22 approach photography in compelling and nuanced ways, each engaging with the materiality of the medium and shaping it as a tool for connection and recognition. Alvin Luong explores photographic representation through a recreation of Carl Andre’s Cyprigene Sum, playfully taking on the monumentality of minimalism and extending the possibilities of image as object through a material reenactment. Similarly, Bijan Ramezani creates sculptural elements from two-dimensional images - torn fragments of appropriated and repurposed images extend off the wall and spread across the floor, interrogating both western perceptions of Middle Eastern identity and the malleability of visual representation. Leila Syed-Fatemi’s diptych portraits follow an analogous thread, taking up the western gaze and subvert it through the pictured women assertively returning the gaze. Disaster and foreboding haunt Catherine Plaisance’s video Desordre (honoraire), which captures a handcrafted miniature landscape, mired in smoke. While Sarah Sands Phillips’s found historical Canadian landscape images are meticulously sanded away, removing the recognizable imagery to reveal latent geometric forms in the gaps and absences. Esmond Lee’s series “Between Us” is also activated by absences in his imagery. Photographs of his sparse suburb home picture the gaps between his first-generation immigrant parents experience and his own. Finally, using the techniques of trompe-l’oeil painting, Rachel Granofsky paints directly onto surfaces creating a flatness that parallels and simultaneously distorts the final image. With tape seams and shaky lines revealing the work of the artists’ hand, each photograph references its own structure, parodying the inherent doubling of photography to expose the subtle deceptions that are intrinsic to the medium. It is this suspended process of recognition that ties the work together in this year’s Proof exhibition, inviting viewers to take time with each piece as a site for connection. 

Proof 22 Jury: Aidan Cowling, Caoimhe Morgan-Feir, Charlene Heath, Lindsay Fisher, Noa Bronstein


This exhibition is supported by:                          

 The McLean Foundation                        



Essay by Ricky Varghese

Artist Biography: 

Alvin Luong is a Toronto-based artist concerned with the documentation and presentation of artworks and art exhibitions. Luong works primarily with photography and video, employing appropriation, dry humour, and fiction. Luong frequently references widely circulated media originating from art institutions to produce work that at a glance appear to be a replica of a piece of referenced media. Self-doubt, second guessing, and confusion work to create a space for viewers to critically reevaluate what was previously thought of as authentic and inquire about how conditions can generate auras of authenticity and authority.

Bijan Ramezani is a Toronto-based artist whose work reflects his personal struggles of being a dual citizen and the loss of diasporatic culture in a western dominated society. Intrigued by his own Iranian Canadian identity and it’s role in media representation challenging how this reflects himself being a dual citizen growing up and living in a westernized society, Ramezani is interested in the use of re contextualizing and re purposing found images and the juxtaposition between personal and public archives. His use of mixed media installation gives a contemporary outlook on current events using video, photographs, found object and sculpture.

Catherine Plaisance’s practice is characterized by an inquiry dealing essentially with the esthetics of catastrophe. To explore this topic, she uses various media, such as photography, video, collage, and drawing. Her recent work uses the properties of miniature to create scenes in which the landscape is disrupted by an event that suddenly upsets the normal unfolding of the way things go. These events then become an image, being retranscribed by photography and video. The transdisciplinary spatial set-up of these various retranscriptions puts forward the existence of different levels of reality, ruled by different logics. Her work has been shown, among other venues, at Galerie Sans Nom (Moncton, 2004), at the Maison de la culture Mont-Royal (Montreal, 2008), at Galerie SAS (Montreal, 2009), at Galerie Simon Blais (Montreal, 2011), at the VU Photo Centre as well as at La Bande Vidéo (Quebec City, 2012). She lives and works in Montreal and St-Pierre-de-Broughton, Qc.

Esmond Lee is a documentary photographer, visual artist, and practicing intern architect in Toronto. Drawing on his training in spatial and graphic forms of representation, Lee's practice explores how the collision of diverse cultural desires and values are manifested in the built environment. Lee holds a Bachelor of Architectural Studies from Carleton University and a Master of Architecture from University of Toronto. He has been recognized by the Ontario Association of Architects. Lee lives in the suburbs of Toronto, in a house shared with his elderly parents.

As a visual artist living between cultures, Leila Syed-Fatemi is influenced by her own life experiences and understandings. Her work results from personal reflections as well as the attempt to create an appreciation and more informed understanding of Islamic culture and its foundations. Through the perspective of a practicing Muslim artist, she strives to create thought-provoking work that affords her viewers an alternative perspective on Islamic traditions and beliefs.

Rachel Granofsky (b. 1980, Montreal, Canada) graduated from California College of the Arts, San Francisco, with an MFA in 2013. She earned her BFA in Photography from Pratt Institute, New York in 2003. She has exhibited in numerous group shows in South Africa, Germany, Canada, the U.S.A. and Brazil, and has been awarded artist residencies at Greatmore Studios, South Africa (2011), CELLspace, San Francisco (2010) and James Baird, Newfoundland (2009). Currently based in Boston MA, her latest body of work is focused on motifs of trompe l'eoil painting in combination with sculptural interventions, arranged for the precise point of view of the camera's lens, to represent structure as liminal space.

Sarah Sands Phillips completed a BFAH at Queen's University, Kingston, majoring in studio art and art history. Working primarily in painting and printmaking, and peripherally in film, sculpture, and poetry, she investigates a variety of mediums and modes of image making as a deliberate strategy in understanding form. Sarah is the recipient of a Toronto Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant (2014). Recent exhibitions include Compositions at General Hardware Contemporary in Toronto.

Ricky Varghese received his PhD (2014) in Sociology in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. His research interests extend across the fields of psychoanalytic theory, aesthetics, art criticism and film theory. He serves as an advisory editor for Drain: A Journal of Contemporary Art and Culture and has most recently guest edited a special issue of the journal on the theme of the “ruin.” He is presently at work on a book project that addresses the temporalities of sex, specifically of the practice of barebacking and the time of the future anterior, and the role of AIDS in the history of sexuality as depicted in queer male pornography and in the video work of Canadian artist Vincent Chevalier. Professionally trained as a social worker, he works as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice in Toronto.