Image: video still from Twin Twin Peaks (2009), Helen Reed.

Former student Helen Reed has work included in To Be Real, an exhibition at the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art in Toronto, Ontario.


(Toronto) – Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art is pleased to present the group exhibition To Be Real, an investigation of identity through pseudo-ethnographic image-making, curated by emerging artist and curator Rose Bouthillier. The exhibition features recent work by three artists who are emerging on the international scene: Lars Laumann, Helen Reed and Althea Thauberger. It also represents the first time that Lars Laumann’s work has been shown in a public art gallery in Canada. All of the works are Toronto premieres.

Norwegian artist Lars Laumann often draws inspiration from the outskirts of popular culture, particularly from phenomena that exist on the margins of contemporary society. Berlinmuren (2008) focuses on the unusual life of Eija-Ritta Berliner-Mauer, an objectophile who has fallen in love with the Berlin Wall. In this video installation, the artist investigates object relations and the human bond with the material world, provoking a complicated mixture of curiosity and empathy.

Canadian artist Helen Reed has created a video that proposes a continuation of the David Lynch television series Twin Peaks in the form of a new episode. Collaborating with an array of dedicated fans, many of whom participated via online fan communities, Reed wrote and produced it in the series’ original locations. In addition to the video, the installation includes a selection of ephemera – postcards, scripts, production notes, fan interviews – from the production of the video. Twin Twin Peaks (2009) is both an homage to the early nineties cult television program and an exploration of fan practices of engagement.

For Canadian artist Althea Thauberger, issues of self-definition, alienation and coercion within social and political structures are important considerations in the representation of specific communities. Often collaborating with isolated or under-represented groups, her past works have featured teenage girls, military spouses and social-housing inhabitants. Most recently, Thauberger researched the folk tales of the Ladini, an ethnic community in northern Italy. The culmination of her research is La mort e la miseria (2008), a haunting video, accompanied by a massive mural, that depicts the personified relationship between Death and Poverty.

An opening reception, with the curator in attendance, will be held on Thursday, September 23rd from 7 to10 PM at Prefix, located at 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 124, Toronto. As part of the nation-wide initiative Culture Days, Prefix will be holding an informal curator’s talk with Rose Bouthillier on Saturday, September 24th at 2 PM. The gallery will also be open on Saturday, October 2nd from 7 PM to sunrise to celebrate Nuit Blanche. The exhibition continues until November 27th. Admission to the exhibition and all related events is free.

About the Artists

Lars Laumann is a video artist whose work explores ideas of fandom, obsession, objectophilia, conspiracies and love, both romantic and divine. Laumann has received significant international recognition, including exhibitions at White Columns, Marian Goodman Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art (New York), at the Kunsthalle Winterthur and Kunsthalle Basel (Switzerland), and at the 5th Berlin Biennial (Germany). Laumann recently completed an artist residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York.

Helen Reed’s artistic practice is primarily concerned with collaborative ways of engaging specific invested communities. Most recently, she has exhibited her work at Apexart (New York), the Kitchen (New York), Portland Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum and La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse (Montréal). She holds a BFA from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design (Vancouver), an MFA in Art and SocialPractice from Portland State University and has recently participated in residencies at the University of British Columbia, the Klondike Institute for Art and Culture (Dawson City) and Portland State University.

Althea Thauberger is a Vancouver-based artist who works in photography, film, video and performance. She holds a BFA from Concordia University (Montréal) and an MFA from the University of Victoria. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions at John Connelly Presents (New York), BAK (Utrecht), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), White Columns (New York) and Artspeak (Vancouver), among others. Selected group exhibitions include the 17th Biennale of Sydney, Manifesta 7, the Guangzhou Triennial and inSite 2005 (San Diego/Tijuana). Thauberger was shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award in 2004.

About the Curator

Rose Bouthillier is an emerging curator, artist and arts administrator. She holds a BFA in Photography from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design and a diploma in Art History from the University of British Columbia. She is currently an MFA candidate in Criticism and Curatorial Practice at OCAD University. She has co-curated several exhibitions, including The Matter of Loss at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto). A selection of her photographic work was recently published in Prefix Photo.

About Prefix

Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art is a public art gallery and arts publishing house based in Toronto. A registered charitable organization, Prefix fosters the appreciation and understanding of contemporary photography, media and digital art. Recently, Prefix launched a new division, Prefix Press, and released its first book, Milk and Melancholy by Kenneth Hayes.


For their support of To Be Real, Prefix gratefully acknowledges its Official Catering Sponsor à la Carte Kitchen and its Official Hotel Sponsor the Sutton Place Hotel, as well as the assistance of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ottawa and the Toronto Arts Council. Rose Bouthillier gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Ontario College of Art and Design.

For more information, print-ready images or to schedule an interview with the artists or curator, please contact:

Jayne Wilkinson Operations Manager T 416-591-0357 F 416-591-0358 E