Sylvia Matas, There Was a City, 2021, 03:00 minutes, colour, silent. Courtesy of the artist.

About the exhibition

Sylvia Matas’ silent three-minute video, There Was a City was created from satellite photographs taken from Google Earth.  Drawing from a vast archive, the artist selected images where nature and the built environment ambiguously converge, where it’s often difficult to tell if we are looking at a construction site, or a site that has been abandoned. The overlaid text describes a group of people living in similar circumstances, adjusting to cycles of order and entropy, plenitude and lack, certainty and unknowing. This spare and disquieting science fiction film was created in 2021; spending so much time inside prompted the artist’s consideration of time, the built environment, decay and regeneration.

Sylvia Matas is a Winnipeg-based artist working in video, bookworks, text, and drawing. She received her MFA from the Chelsea College of Art in London, England. Her work has been exhibited at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Gallery 44, YYZ Artist's Outlet, Mercer Union (Toronto), the Maclaren Art Centre (Barrie, ON), The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Plug In ICA (Winnipeg), Truck Contemporary Art (Calgary), and Útúrdúr (Reykjavik). Her videos have been screened at Smart Projects Space (Amsterdam), Harvestworks DMAC (New York), Helen Pitt Gallery (Vancouver), Gallery Homeland (Portland, OR), Eyelevel Gallery (Halifax).

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School of Art Gallery
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University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
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