Tu–Sa: 11 am–5 pm: Su&M: closed
In 1966, Vancouver-based artist Jim Breukelman photographed patrons at a diner in Pawtuket, Rhode Island, over an extended period of time. The diner, located in an industrial area, was frequented by factory workers and truckers. At the time, Breukelman was completing his degree at the Rhode Island School of Design, and he noted that his generation leaned toward the counterculture end of the spectrum, while the people who ate at the diner did not. Breukelman observed that different groups would gather throughout the day depending on their place in the hierarchy at the nearby plants—labourers in the morning, followed by managers, and so on. In 1999, Breukelman revisited this series, transforming it into an artist book in which he printed images onto pages using a T-shirt transfer technique. The pages in the book are contained in a case that resembles the Formica counter at the diner.
In this exhibition, Breukelman revisits the diner series once again, installed alongside three, more recent series of photographs, called After Life, Mesocosm, and Planted Life. While to some people these works and those of the diner series may seem politically charged, Breukelman asserts that they are instead born out of curiosity and are apolitical: “Each begins with the unexpected discovery of evidence showing how humankind’s ideas about nature eventually manifest themselves physically in the world.”