March 31, 2009 - Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Mark Lewis
March 31, 2009

Mark Lewis

Mark Lewis
Untitled (2009)
Location photograph, TD Centre, 54th Floor
Courtesy the artist

Mark Lewis
“Cold Morning”
Canada Pavilion

53rd International Art Exhibition –
La Biennale di Venezia

7 June – 22 November 2009

Commissioner : Barbara Fischer
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery,
University of Toronto

Mark Lewis will represent Canada at the 53rd International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2009. The exhibition is curated by Barbara Fischer, Director/Curator of Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto.

Lewis has received international recognition for his short, visually evocative, silent films that parse the techniques of cinema while focusing on incidental places encountered in everyday life. Highlighting the mechanical vision of the camera, his work consistently draws attention to the spatial and temporal incongruities associated with past visions of the future embedded in present urban modernity. In many of his nuanced depictions of the contemporary city, subtle allusions relating to the complex social and visual forces at play within certain types of architectural spaces gradually take hold as seemingly quotidian activities are transformed into profound observations. Further exploring the relationship between place, time, and representation, the installation developed by Wasiuta Leung Design for Canada Pavilion will involve reconfiguring the space for cinematic presentation.

Lewis’s exhibition on view at the Canada Pavilion, titled “Cold Morning”, features several new films, including works that examine and foreground the legacy of rear projection. Pioneered in the early 1920s, Lewis considers rear projection to be one of Hollywood’s most stunning visual inventions. Playing between illusion and visible montage, it is a part of a larger fascination with the history and techniques of film that have conceptually informed the artist’s work throughout his 15-year career.

By presenting rear-projection’s potential of containing two or more distinct places and durations within a given filmic image from the vantage point of digital cinema, Lewis’ project for the Canada Pavilion aptly reflects on the current critical juncture within contemporary filmmaking involving advancing technologies simultaneously eclipsing this modernist form of montage while re-inventing the archive of analog cinema.

“Cold Morning” is accompanied by a catalogue, co-published with the Vancouver Art Gallery, with essays by Grant Arnold, David Campany, Barbara Fischer, Laura Mulvey, and an interview between Mark Lewis and Klaus Biesenbach.

Mark Lewis lives and works in London, England. He was born in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1958, and began making films in the mid 1990s. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Hamburger Kunstverein, Musée d’art Moderne (Luxembourg), BFI Southbank (London), the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Bucharest, Romania), P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (New York), MAMCO (Geneva), Le Grand-Café (Saint-Nazaire, France), and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Group exhibitions include The American Effect, Whitney Museum of American Art (New York) and the 3rd Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art among many others. His work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, and the Centre Pompidou (Paris).

Mark Lewis is co-founder, with Charles Esche, of Afterall – a research and publishing organization based at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, where he is also a Research Professor. For more information, please visit,,

Mark Lewis is represented by Monte Clark Gallery (Vancouver), Clark & Faria (Toronto), and Galerie Serge Le Borgne (Paris).

The official Canadian participation at the Venice Biennale is made possible through the financial and administrative support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and the Canadian Embassy in Rome. Mark Lewis’s new work is produced in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada. The exhibition is supported by Aeroplan, Christie, DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Ontario Arts Council, Fondation Hermès, BMO Financial Group, Rogers, Prime Focus London, Hal Jackman Foundation, Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, University of the Arts London, and many others.

Press Events:

London, 6 April, 9:30–11:00
Canada House, in cooperation with FACT Liverpool

Berlin, 7 April, 19:00–21:00
Kunst-Werke ICA, in cooperation with the Canadian Embassy in Berlin

Paris, 8 April, 18:30–20:00
Centre Culturel Canadien

Media Contact (Europe and U.S.A.):
Cecilia Bonn
Cecilia Bonn Marketing and Communications
Tel: +1 212-734-9754

Natalie De Vito
Deputy Commissioner, Canada Pavilion
Tel: +1 416-978-3647

c/o Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
University of Toronto
7 Hart House Circle
Toronto, ON Canada M5S 3H3

Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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