Simon Vickers researches intersections of public and urban history, focusing on activism across particular neighbourhoods in Toronto and Montreal since the 1960s. For this presentation, Vickers engages with Luis Jacob’s two-part installation The View from Here to initiate dialogues on historical social movements and how the city has been impacted by gentrification, affordability and the role of printed matter in tracing those processes.
Adopting maps, printed street-views, books, and the city’s landscape, artist Luis Jacob’s installation explores many of Toronto’s conflicting narratives. As a central dynamic of the project, situated at Union Station and 259 Lake Shore Blvd E, Jacob has invited a series of guest artists, researchers, and thinkers who, from their own research and practices, extend the context of his presented materials. From mapping forms of social storytelling, to understanding cultural belongings as repositories of relations, and working with printed matter as sites of neighbourhood organizing—each offering reveals another View from Here.
Image credit: The View from Here with Simon Vickers, 2019. Photo: Sue Holland.
Luis Jacob is a Peruvian-born, Toronto-based artist, whose work destabilizes viewing conventions and invites collisions of meaning. He studied semiotics and philosophy at the University of Toronto. Since participating in documenta 12 in 2007, he has achieved an international reputation with exhibitions at the Corner at Whitman-Walker, Washington, D.C. (2021); Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Württembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart, and Toronto Biennial of Art (2019); La Biennale de Montréal (2016); Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York (2015); Taipei Biennial (2012); Generali Foundation, Vienna (2011); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); Kunstverein in Hamburg and Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery (2008). In 2015, he co-curated the conference This is Paradise: Art and Artists in Toronto with Barbara Fischer, in collaboration with Kitty Scott. In 2016, he curated the exhibition Form Follows Fiction: Art and Artists at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, with a catalogue co-published with Black Dog Press in 2020.
Simon Vickers (born in Flatrock, NFLD, Canada; lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) research interests include public history, urban history, and the history of social movements. He has previously written about social and co-operative housing movements in Montreal, and is currently writing about neighbourhood activist movements in Toronto and Montreal since the 1960s. Simon is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Toronto.