September 18 – October 25, 2014
Opening reception: Thursday, September 18, 6pm–8pm
Pari Nadimi Gallery is pleased to present Radiant City, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based Canadian artist Jesse Colin Jackson. Focused on Toronto’s tower apartment neighbourhoods, Radiant City invites us to consider these conflicted sites and their evolving presence and status in our collective consciousness. Titled after Le Corbusier’s “The Radiant City: Elements of a Doctrine of Urbanism to be Used as the Basis of Our Machine-Age Civilization,” first published in English in 1964 and the origin of many of the design principles that characterize these neighbourhoods, Radiant City both catalogues this urban form at a pivotal moment in its history, and engenders new conversations about their visibility and vitality.
Jackson has been generating representations of tower apartment neighbourhoods since 2006. Radiant City is his most ambitious extension of this body of work to-date. Through a combination of methods adapted from contemporary photographic practice—precisely composed large-format stills, composite montages of time and space, rigorously controlled typology studies, and the gallery installation of all of these products—Jackson evokes the designed and lived intensities of Toronto’s tower apartments, and their ubiquity and significance to the city. Frequently employed by policy makers and design professionals, Jackson’s images are integral to ongoing efforts to “revitalize” these buildings. Close examination of Jackson’s work, however, reveals ambivalence towards this progressive project in the face of the complexities these structures embody: arrival destinations for incoming immigrant populations, essential housing for one-quarter of the city’s population, the decaying location of much of Toronto’s urban poverty, products of modern ideologies gone awry, and locations of past glory, current dynamism, and future potential.
Jackson’s work centres on object- and image-making as discursive modes of architectural production. Educated as an architect and engineer, Jackson appropriates the images, forms, and conceptual apparatus found in the urban landscape. His work has been the subject of several solo and two-person exhibitions including Automatic/Revisited (Toronto Design Offsite Festival, 2013); Figure Ground (Gladstone Gallery, 2011); Usonia Road (Larry Wayne Richards Gallery, 2009); and West Lodge (Convenience Gallery, 2009). Jackson has received funding for his creative research from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Centre for Innovation in Information Visualization and Data Driven Design, and the Ontario Arts Council. In 2009, he was shortlisted for the Canada Council for the Arts Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners. He is a 2014 Hellman Fellow at the University of California, and, in partnership with collaborator Luke Stern, was the 2008—2010 Howarth-Wright Graduate Fellow at the University of Toronto. Jackson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art at the University of California, Irvine, and has previously taught at the University of Toronto and OCAD University. Radiant City is Jesse Colin Jackson’s first solo exhibition at Pari Nadimi Gallery.