The Gardiner Expressway, Lakeshore Boulevard, and the Bentway, 2018 – Michael Awad
August 25, 2018 @ 8:00 am - February 18, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
The Gardiner Expressway, Lakeshore Boulevard, and the Bentway, 2018
Monumental, efficient, controversial – for the last sixty years the Gardiner Expressway has meant many things to Toronto, as a structure that both connects and divides. This contentious piece of concrete has been endlessly driven, debated, and deconstructed, yet never visualized as a whole until now.
The Gardiner Expressway, Lakeshore Boulevard, and The Bentway, 2018, is the latest addition to Michael Awad’s Entire City Project, an intensive photographic exploration of the city he calls home. For the last fifteen years Awad has taken an encyclopedic approach to documenting Toronto, revealing shared experiences unfolding over many city blocks and stitching the city together through unprecedented panoramic images. Awad’s work challenges the very medium he masters, capturing everything all at once by collapsing simultaneous views into a single frame.
Awad shot the Gardiner’s 18-km length multiple times, by foot, by bike, and by car. The resulting 250-foot photograph makes the scale and repetitive nature of the structure more tangible and less imposing. Through Awad’s lens the highway is revealed as a continuous datum running through both time and space – a register by which to measure an ever-changing Toronto.
Hosted by Fort York National Historic Site.
Part of The Bentway’s Fall Art Exhibition If, But, What If?
Photograph: Details from “The Gardiner Expressway, Lakeshore Boulevard, and The Bentway”, by Michael Awad. Images courtesy of The Nicholas Metivier Gallery.
Michael Awad is an artist, architect, and academic. He has taught at the UofT School of Architecture for almost 10 years, and is a faculty member in the School of Urban Planning at Ryerson University.
For his photography practice Awad builds his own camera equipment and creates his own image processing software. Awad has shown his photographic artwork at The PowerPlant Gallery (2001), the Art Gallery of Ontario (solo 2005), and the Royal Ontario Museum (solo 2014). His public photo commissions include the City of Toronto (currently on display in Mayor John Tory’s office), The Schulich School of Business at York University, Pearson Airport, Telus House, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and The Bentway. Awad was Canada’s official representative to the Venice Architectural Biennale of 2002, and shortly thereafter was commissioned to design the Canadian pavilion for the Visual Art Biennale of Brazil in San Paulo.
Since 2005 Awad, in partnership with artist David Rokeby, has created public art installations (all sculptural) at the Ontario Science Centre, Union Square, and the Ripley’s Aquarium of Toronto. In 2011 Awad was awarded a Toronto Urban Design Award for his public artwork, and has participated on selection juries for all three levels of government. For the past 10 years Awad has served the local art community as Chair of the Board of InterAccess, a centre dedicated to new media art in Toronto.
The ‘city’ is his principle, and only, subject. By operating in three streams of activity (visual art, architectural design, and urban policy) Awad lives in Toronto, and is represented across Canada by the Nicholas Metivier Gallery.