Xin He: Better City, Better Life

Xin He, Better Life, 2010, inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist.

January 25–February 25, 2023
The Image Centre Student Gallery, Toronto Metropolitan University

Xin He’s exhibition Better City, Better Life presents the transformation, from 2005 to 2009, of land along the Huangpu River in Shanghai to accommodate the 2010 World Expo. This 523-hectare site remains the largest in the Expo’s history. His images of the changes in land use reflect the past and present of Chinese development and offer insights into a future in which China’s power is increasingly tied to the fluxes and pressures of the international economy.

Xin He, Interior of buildings to be demolished (detail), 2007, inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist.

Xin He, Shanghai No. 3 Steel Farm, 2008, inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist.

Also on view:

Mary Ellen Mark: Ward 81
January 25–April 1, 2023
Main Gallery
Curators: Gaëlle Morel and Kaitlin Booher

In 1976, American photographer Mary Ellen Mark spent thirty-six days living in the Oregon State Hospital with licensed therapist and writer Karen Folger Jacobs, Ph.D., to photograph the patients of Ward 81—a high security, locked psychiatric facility for women. Mark’s unique access led to a nuanced and compelling portrayal of female mental health patients. This exhibition brings together the resulting photographs, audio recordings and archival materials to offer an in-depth view of the artist’s experimental and groundbreaking approach to documentary-style photography.

Organized by The Image Centre, Toronto in collaboration with Falkland Road Inc./The Mary Ellen Mark Foundation, New York.

Mind’s Eye: The Psychic Photographs of Ted Serios
January 25–April 1, 2023
University Gallery
Guest Curator: Emily Hauver, Curator of Exhibitions, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Between 1964 and 1967, American psychiatrist Dr. Jule Eisenbud conducted experiments with Ted Serios, a man from Chicago with the purported ability to psychically transfer his thoughts onto Polaroid film in a process he named “thoughtography.” Questioning the limits of the human psyche, the supposed objectivity of photography, and notions of scientific neutrality, Mind’s Eye presents a selection of Serios’ mysterious photographs, along with ephemera and experimental data from the Jule Eisenbud Collection on Ted Serios and Thoughtographic Photography, a highlight of the Special Collections at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Organized in collaboration with the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), United States.

Xie Rong: Cut Piece
January 25–April 1, 2023
Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall
Guest Curator: Simone Estrin

In 1964, Japanese-American artist Yoko Ono first performed and filmed Cut Piece at Yamaichi Concert Hall in Kyoto, Japan. To mark the opening of Ono’s 2019 exhibition Peace is Power at the Museum of Fine Arts in Leipzig, Germany, Chinese-born artist Xie Rong performed Ono’s Cut Piece. Now regarded as a pioneering work of performance art and conceptual art, Cut Piece has also become an iconic feminist artwork. Unlike the single-channel perspective of Ono’s original film, Xie’s two-channel video offers both an overview of the performance as well as close-ups of Xie. In her performance, Xie, like Ono, makes herself vulnerable as she puts the onus on the audience to dictate how the experience will unfold, ultimately revealing how easily people become complicit in perpetrating acts of violence. This is performance as protest.

Public Programs

Curators in Conversation: Emily Hauver and Paul Roth
The “Thoughtography” of Ted Serios
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
7 pm
Online via Zoom – Zoom registration

Film Screening and Q&A: Ward 81 Voices
Sunday, March 5, 2023
1:30 pm
Hot Docs Cinema

Book Launch: Ward 81 Voices
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
6–8 pm
Eventbrite registration

Reception: Durga Raja: I am not the Artist, I am the Photographer…
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
6–8 pm
Registration required (check website for details)

Curators in Conversation: Kaitlin Booher and Gaëlle Morel
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
7 pm
Online via Zoom (check website for details)

All events take place at The Image Centre (33 Gould St., Toronto) unless otherwise noted.

The Image Centre
33 Gould Street
Toronto, Ontario M5B 1W1

Tuesday: Tours by appointment
Wednesday–Saturday: 12–6 pm
Sunday–Monday: Closed

Admission is always free
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Media Contact
Kristen Dobbin, The Image Centre,

Toronto Metropolitan University & The Image Centre logos