Thursday, November 27, 2008

Iris Haussler- Honest Threads

A project by the amazing Iris. Check out the Koffler Centre website for more details and the project application form for contributors.


Share your story and the shirt off your back in this art project by Iris Häussler

Iris Häussler: Honest Threads

January 22 to March 8, 2009
Curated by Mona Filip
Presented at Honest Ed’s by the Koffler Gallery
581 Bloor Street W, Toronto

Deadline for contributions: December 19, 2008

The Project
In a crossover between visual art, literature, and theatre, Toronto artist Iris Häussler creates immersive environments that reveal personal histories, real or fictional. Responding to the Koffler Gallery’s invitation to develop the first project in a new off-site program, Häussler chose Toronto’s famous landmark, Honest Ed’s, to host an installation that engages the GTA public in sharing real life stories.

Honest Threads will display garments and the memories they carry. Lent by Torontonians, each item holds a personal story revealing a glimpse of the many threads that weave our identity over time. Visitors will be able to borrow the garments and wear them for a few days, experiencing both literally and psychologically what it is like to “walk in someone else’s shoes.” At the same time, they will add new layers to the clothes’ history. Trading experiences on both tactile and narrative levels will enrich our collective perception of the place we call home. As pieces of a vast puzzle, these individual stories will render a fragmentary portrait of the city, attesting to its complex history.

The Place
With its overload of celebrity photographs and eccentric sales items, Honest Ed’s is no ordinary store but a museum in itself, blurring the boundaries between commercial, public and exhibition spaces. The place equally attests to the inspiring story of its founder, Ed Mirvish, the son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe and Austria, as well as his impact on Toronto’s cultural scene and on the community through philanthropic gestures. Spotlighting Honest Ed’s significance as a haven for newcomers to Canada, Honest Threads positions the store as the meeting point of individual Toronto stories of immigration, survival and childhood dreams, entwined with the city’s cultural history. Among the participants you will also recognize local celebrities.

And You
This is your opportunity to bring out the cherished jacket your father wore on his clandestine journey across the ocean, the sari you inherited from your grandmother, or the shirt that made you look cool in your high-school band. We would also like to include in the display a photograph of you or the original owner wearing the garment. Share your stories and lend your unique voice to a project that brings together the many faces of Toronto’s identity.

To contribute your garment, story and photograph, please call Mona Filip at 416 636 1880 x270 or email

About the Artist
Iris Häussler was born in Friedrichshafen, Germany in 1962 and immigrated to Canada in 2001. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and has exhibited widely throughout Europe. Her exhibitions and site-specific installations include: Therese (2004) at the Triennial of Contemporary Art Oberschwaben, Weingarten; Time and over (2003) at Gallery Huber Goueffon, Munich; Monopati (2000) in residential apartments in Berlin and Munich; Paulina (2000) in a residential house in Bonn; and You do not return from the place that does not exist (1999) at Hotel Franziskaner, Zürich. The Legacy of Joseph Wagenbach (2006), curated by Rhonda Corvese and conceived for a residential house in downtown Toronto, is her most complex off-site narrative installation and marked her first major show in North America. Häussler currently lives in Toronto and teaches at the Toronto School of Art.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Zine Party at the Toronto Zine Library!

A note from the Toronto Zine Library:

To celebrate new Friday night zine library hours, we are having a Zine Party and Fundraiser! Come hang out, read zines, drink beer, listen to music, meet the collective and indulge in our yummy bake sale with vegan and non-vegan treats galore! Door prizes courtesy of This Ain't the Rosedale Library and the TZL Collective! Whoa! All proceeds go towards funding future events and TZL projects! Awesome!

Come join us on:
Friday, November 28th. 6-9pm
Toronto Zine Library at the TRANZAC Club
2nd Floor Rehersal Hall
292 Brunswick Avenue, south of Bloor Street

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Tara, Patrick, Suzanne, and Danielle.
The TZL Collective

Call for Submissions: DIwhy?

This will be a great show! I am so glad their call for submissions deadline was extended to December 1st!


A Juried exhibition presented by the OCC and Toronto Craft Alert

Show dates extended to January 20 – March 1, 2009
Deadline for Entry: 5 p.m. on Monday, December 1, 2008

One of the fastest growing and contested sites of contemporary culture is the DIY movement. Broadly speaking, DIY is a socio-political stance enacted through the processes of creating. In reaction to multi-national corporations and modern industrial society’s basis in mass-production, DIY stresses the importance of thinking globally and making locally. At the same time, each community practicing DIY has its own approach, and consuming less as a political statement is often found in tandem with aesthetic concerns.

There is no common definition for DIY, and as it becomes more mainstream, the act of distinguishing a particular mode of making according to “do it yourself”, is an issue that continues to be raised. Hosting a DIY exhibition in partnership between the OCC and Toronto Craft Alert is an attempt to bring so-called ‘fine craft’ into dialogue with DIY, and explore the ways in which they intersect and diverge.


  • 1 -2 press-quality digital images (see below requirements), with image information (title, medium, year, dimensions).
  • 1 copy of a current cv, artist statement and/or biography.
  • 1 minimum 300 word response to “What does DIY mean to you?”.
  • A $10 fee, payable by cash, cheque or credit card. Fees are non-refundable.

See the Call for entry for more details

JURORS 1) Jen Anisef 2) Michelle Rothstein 3) Allyson Mitchell

Thursday, November 06, 2008

City of Craft

So, my main project as of late has been preparing for both a vendor table and a big installation for this year's City of Craft. It is going to be an amazing event judging by last year's incredible vendors and turnout, so I'm kind of losing my mind trying to prepare goodies worthy of this stellar fair. The City of Craft website is now up, so check it out if you haven't already for vendor information, etc. I will be also be posting sneak previews of some of my wares as they're made here, so stay tuned...

City of Craft 2008
December 13th, 2008

The Theatre Centre
1087 Queen Street West
at Dovercourt Road

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Portable Library Project

The Portable Library Project Blog is now up and running! As they are returned to me, portable libraries will be documented and posted on the blog gradually for the next few months. Check it out!

The Portable Library Project is a multi-dimensional mail-art/book-making project involving the creation of small works exploring ideas surrounding archiving, journaling, libraries, ephemera, and incorporating an art practice into everyday life. The 27 participating artists span all artistic disciplines, from performance art to fibre-based art; from photo-based art to craft to sculpture and installation. Artists involved in the project are based across Canada, the US and are from as far away as Seoul, Korea.

Invited artists were sent/delivered an empty cigar box, roughly the size of a hardcover book. Over the course of a week, individuals were expected to create a 'book' a day reflective of each person's day-to-day activities and artistic process. Books were ideally made while on the go; boxes were intended to be carried with the participant, where books were to be added and collected each day for seven days.

In addition to an online archive, The Portable Library Project will take the form of a series of exhibitions (TBA), and components will be housed in a local alternative library for viewing and circulation. Keep an eye on the Portable Library Project blog for project updates, extensive photo-documentation of each portable library, and artist information.