Capturing the Fluidity of Personal Identity in North America

RIT professors are part of group exhibit at Toronto’s Koffler Centre

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Susan Lakin

“Lakin's series of photographs feature residents reflected off the glass of their television sets.”

The vision and artistry of two Rochester Institute of Technology professors fostered the creation of a new exhibit at Toronto’s Koffler Centre, How Good are Your Dwelling Places. The exhibit, which runs through March 14, reflects on the fluidity of personal identity captured in the Jewish home, its furnishings and its neighborhoods.

RIT associate professor of photography Susan Lakin is one of the featured artists invited by exhibit curator Cyril Reade. Reade, an associate professor of art history at RIT, combined masters of photography, sculpture, digitally rendered images, and film to create the exhibit.

Lakin’s work captures the inhabitants themselves through the reflection on a television screen, focusing on the importance of a central appliance in most living spaces. While the television remains a constant, the items around the television act as puzzle pieces signaling the individual interests of the viewers. Following Reade’s invitation to participate, Lakin created two new works specifically for this exhibit.

“This series examines the ubiquitous television and its authority in our homes,” says Lakin.

Notes Reade: “It is my hope the Koffler exhibit will enhance our understanding of how important our living spaces are as an expression of our identity as well as how they reflect our personal and community values.”

Reade has collaborated with the Koffler Centre on a number of projects for more than a decade as a sculptor, lecturer and curator. Lakin has spent close to two decades as an educator and artist. Her artwork has received many awards and is part of the permanent collections of a number of institutions including the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Oakland Museum of California. She is currently participating in a group show at the Photography Museum of Lishui, China.

Additional artists featured in the project include Berlin-based, Hungarian filmmaker Rita Bakacs, sculptor Allen C. Topolski, who is currently chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Rochester, and New York based digital draughtsman Ross Racine.