Mark Lewis: The End
Mark Lewis: The End
Dec 14, 2022 - Mar 4, 2023
Daniel Faria Gallery
Toronto, Canada

Daniel Faria Gallery is pleased to present The End, Mark Lewis’ fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. This exhibition will take place in two parts: from December 14 – February 4, 2023 From Casa do Povo to Art Palacio (2019) and On Bay Street (2022) will be on view, with Standing Ovation (2019) and Death (2022) on view for the remainder of the exhibition through March 4, 2023.

The four films included in this exhibition take place in what may best be described as the process or state of ending – a verb, rather than a noun.

On Bay Street features a lone white balloon drifting back and forth across a busy street in Toronto. Suspension builds as cars narrowly miss it and indifferent pedestrians pass by. Bits of dirt collect on its surface. The scene is both tender and melancholic, this abandoned relic of human activity out of place against the cold grey sidewalks and buildings of downtown.

In From Casa do Povo to Art Palacio thousands of still images are used to render a three dimensional space through which a camera can wander, tracing the route between two modernist landmarks in present-day downtown São Paulo. This transition from two-dimensional images to three dimensional world is full of glitches and gaps, the resulting scene resembling a hollow city. The facades of buildings and streets float in a black field of digital space, and orbs of indistinguishable visual information float past the camera like blimps in the sky. Termed “the city of the future” in the 1950s, São Paulo was one of the fastest growing cities in the world. In Lewis’ film, São Paulo is catapulted into the even-more-distant future of the digital age – a city at the end of the world – while its architecture remains rooted in the past, degenerated relics from that modernist era of progress and development.

The work culminates with the camera’s arrival at the Art Palacio, its exterior lights beckoning us, the viewer, into an abandoned interior. The once grand and bustling cinema has since undergone a transformation not uncommon for such cultural establishments: from multiplex to adult movie theatre to sex club; the empty building bears the marks of all these habitations on its graffitied walls. We move through what was originally the theatre, its bright orange and red walls a reminder of the missing plush seats and permeating scent of popcorn, and then in one swift movement, we pierce through the now absent cinema screen to the other side.