Intersections in Contemporary Art: Public Studio (Elle Flanders + Tamira Sawatzky)

March 3, 2016 / 5:00pm

Free + open to all

In collaboration with the Case Western Reserve University Department of Art History and Art and the Cleveland Institute of Art. 

This program is part of the Research, Engagement, and Politics in Contemporary Art series which explores issues that have become central to contemporary art and places emphasis on the productive intersections of art as research, art as engagement, and art as politics. Through video screenings and artist talks, this series creates a space for exchange and dialogue among academic communities, art audiences, and the general public.

This program will include a talk by Public Studio, the collective art practice of filmmaker Elle Flanders and architect Tamira Sawatzky. Public Studio's Flanders and Sawatzky will talk about their socially-engaged projects such as Visit Palestine: Change Your View and Zero Hour. Visit Palestine: Change Your View, is a travel agency launched by Public Studio in April 2014 during a residency at ARTPORT Tel Aviv in Jaffa, Israel. Zero Hour is a project where Public Studio invited renowned Lebanese artist and philosopher Etel Adnan to work collaboratively to create a commissioned poem set to a video projection on a dome, of current weather patterns and climactic disturbances taking place in the southern hemisphere.


Public Studio logo

 Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky

Public Studio is the collective art practice of filmmaker and artist Elle Flanders and architect and artist Tamira Sawatzky. Since 2009, Public Studio has employed a diverse range of media resulting in large-scale public art works, films, immersive installations, lens-based works and socially engaged projects. Public Studio was founded with the intent of exploring antagonisms that occur in and around public space and its disappearance; current instabilities; and the effects of globalization on our everyday landscapes. Their multidisciplinary practice has engaged topics such as war and militarization, globalization, ecology and urbanization and political dissent. With backgrounds in photography, film and architecture, the point of departure for Public Studio is an image that is often formed and informed spatially. Their photographs and immersive film installations consider the relationship between ethics and aesthetics through landscape.

Public Studio has recently completed projects at The Venice Biennale, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche (Toronto), Rotterdam International Film Festival, Ryerson Image Centre (Toronto), Berlin International Film Festival, and the PlugIn Centre for Contemporary Art (Winnipeg). They were awarded the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Award in 2013 and have recently been shortlisted for the Daniels Waterfront Public Art Commission in Toronto. Currently, Public Studio is working towards a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of York University (Toronto) for April 2016.