Project Members: Aurora Cacioppo & Meagan Fillmore
Stakeholders: Broadbent Sisters
Venues: Stephen Bulger Gallery – May 3, 2018; Black Cat Art Space – May 5 – 15, 2018
A Telepathic Book translates the Broadbent Sisters’ performative experiment into an exhibition that illustrates the effects of connectedness. While in separate cities, the artists used meditation and photography to telepathically send and receive images to each other. With Joy in Toronto, Canada, and Rose in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, the Broadbent Sisters practiced nonverbal communication for 17 days. When they returned to one another, their images were revealed and a collection of uncanny connections was uncovered. As a featured exhibition in CONTACT Photography Festival, this show encourages visitors to explore the depths of intuition and create their own connections to the world around them.
A Telepathic Book is intended to appeal to a variety of audiences. The exhibition is featured in the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival and will therefore be of interest to the festival’s visitors. However, it will also appeal to those interested in mindfulness and meditation, post-conceptual art, or connectivity in today’s fast-paced world.
The exhibition’s opening reception will take place at Stephen Bulger Gallery, a prestigious photography gallery in Toronto. The duration of the exhibition will take place at Black Cat Art Space, where the winners of the Burtynsky Grant typically exhibit their artwork.
In 2017, the Broadbent Sisters won the Burtynsky Grant (an annual $5,000 grant to support a Canadian artist in the creation of a photobook) and used the funds to produce ten copies of A Telepathic Book. The winners of this grant typically exhibit their work at Black Cat Art Space and are provided discounted rates to support the artists and promote their featured exhibitions in CONTACT Festival. Marianne Katzman connected us with Stephen Bulger Gallery, which allowed us to host our opening reception in the space. The 2018 Museum Studies Exhibition Class from the University of Toronto contributed funding that paid for a portion of the gallery costs. SLM Solutions offered a discounted price for aluminum composite prints.
The planning stages of A Telepathic Book began in early October of 2017. The organization of the exhibition took seven months. Weekly meetings were organized to keep continued production on task. In March and April, print orders were made and picked up for the sculptural photobooks, prints, vinyl, and installation materials. Installation and deinstallation at Stephen Bulger Gallery will occur on May 3. Relocating the exhibition to Black Cat Art Space and reinstalling it in the new space will happen over 2 days on May 4 and 5. The exhibition will be de-installed on May 16, 2018.
A Telepathic Book is a heavily aestheticized exhibition that compliments the brand of the Broadbent Sisters, which has been built over years of artistic practice. The main focus of the exhibition calls attention to the structure of the sculptural photobook by raising and featuring it at the centre of the space. Excerpts from A Telepathic Book are featured on the walls of the gallery in different photographic forms. On bookshelves and enlarged vinyl layered with aluminum composite, the artists’ connected images are carefully placed throughout the exhibition. Design elements from the book are incorporated as vinyl on the walls of the exhibition to fully immerse visitors within the context of the artwork. A film of the Broadbent Sisters flipping through A Telepathic Book mimics the meditative process of the initial experiment, and allows visitors to practice mindfulness. An interactive component furthers the visitors’ invitation to be open to the potential of nonverbal communication.
The exhibition is marketed mostly by CONTACT Photography Festival. As a major arts festival in Toronto, the reach of their advertising is spread quite wide. The Festival’s website includes all programming and is launched on April 1, one month before the exhibition opens. Additionally, a catalogue with exhibition information, reception details, and programming is distributed throughout the city on Thursday, April 19. CONTACT places advertisements advertising the Festival as a whole in a number of publications, such as: Canadian Art, ArtForum, Aperture, C magazine, Prefix, and FOAM. The Broadbent Sisters produce promotional material that is circulated on social media and shared by their arts administration contacts. The Museum Studies Exhibition Class from the University of Toronto also promotes the exhibition through printed brochures and online.
We anticipate a well-received exhibition for the Broadbent Sisters introduction to the photography sector through CONTACT Photography Festival and as winners of the Burtynsky Grant. We expect high attendance at the opening reception, especially because it will be hosted at Stephen Bulger Gallery. The artists have recently collaborated with Google in designing 12 Pixel Live Cases that are available for purchase on the Google Store. It is likely that the Broadbent Sisters’ artwork will continue to grow and gain recognition after the launch of their international product launch with a major company, and we hope this will show at the opening reception on May 3, 2018.
We’d like to thank the Broadbent Sisters for inviting us to collaborate with them for this exhibition. We’d also like to thank CONTACT Photography Festival for featuring A Telepathic Book. Finally, we are grateful to Professor Matthew Brower, Camille-Mary Sharp, and Rebecca Noone for their guidance and assistance during the planning and execution of the exhibition.