Evan Tapper: Grine Kuzine
November 23, 2016 – February 22, 2017
Opening Event: Thursday, December 1, 7 – 9 PM
Curator: Evelyn Tauben
In a new site-specific installation for the window gallery, FENTSTER, artist Evan Tapper recreates his late grandmother Sylvia's 1930s kitchen using recycled cardboard to reflect on past and present hardships of starting life anew as an immigrant. The installation’s title originates from a well-known 1920s Yiddish song, Di Grine Kuzine (The Greenhorn Cousin) about an expectant newcomer to America who has become disillusioned by the harsh realities of immigrant life. Like the young woman in the song, Sylvia toiled at part-time jobs, saving to bring her husband to Winnipeg from Poland before WWII, despite being swindled by a fraudulent immigration agent.
Hearing this song in his youth, Tapper mistook the unfamiliar Yiddish words to mean “The Green Kitchen.” In the cardboard kitchen filled with green Wandering Jew paper plants, a young Sylvia sits alone, waiting. As with many cultures, for Jewish immigrants the kitchen is often a locus of memory and sharing of enduring traditions through food. The installation raises questions about the responsibility of descendants of immigrants to support new arrivals to our country and prods us to consider what is handed down and what is lost in translation—between cultures, between places, between generations—through the immigrant experience.
Thursday, December 1, 2016 | 7 – 9 PM | FREE
Join us for snacks and other surprises inspired by Tapper’s “Green Kitchen”! At 7:30 PM, guest speakers, including the artist and curator, reflect on Jewish responses to immigration. Follow event updates here.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Originally from Winnipeg, Evan Tapper is an award-winning Toronto-based artist. He received an MFA from the School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University. Tapper was a resident artist at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Center for Contemporary Art Kitakyushu Japan, and the Jewish Museum New York. His animations, videos, performances and installations have been exhibited throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, South America, the Middle East, Australia, and Asia. Tapper’s work was featured at Nuit Blanche, Toronto, Melbourne International Animation Festival, Tate Modern, and has been broadcast on CBC. Tapper serves as Director of the Office of Continuing Studies at OCAD University and Lecturer at the University of Toronto. He is currently developing an experimental documentary animation, My Dybbuk, about Canadian theatre director, John Hirsch.
Presenting site-specific installations of contemporary art connected to the Jewish experience, FENTSTER (Yiddish for "window") is a new independent artist-run exhibition space located in the storefront window of Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism. Makom is a diverse, grassroots, downtown Toronto community fusing Jewish tradition and progressive values. FENTSTER projects are on view 24/7.
FENTSTER @ Makom, 402 College Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1S8