Conversation with Freda Guttman, artist & activist in support of Palestine: May 23, 2021 @ 16:00 EDT
The old Embassy Hotel was located at 732 Dundas Street East at the heart of the Old East Village. The Embassy Cultural House was established in 1983, as a community-driven gallery and hosted interdisciplinary programs. It closed its physical doors in 1990. In 2020 the Embassy Cultural House was re-envisioned as a virtual artist-run space and community website.
Artist Statement for the work by Susanna Heller "Eyes in a Bleak World" for the ECH's inaugural online exhibit Hiding in Plain Sight launched on October 30, 2020: “Eyes in a Bleak World “ is a recent painting completed in 2020. The sky and earth in this oil painting are dominated by the intensity of two eyeballs wrenched from some creature and which soar comet-like through a scorched and haunted landscape. The power of sight in this painting is menacing and speaks to the destructive state of the world which we are witnessing.
For the 2021 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, The Embassy Cultural House (ECH) is proud to highlight the digital, photo-based, and photo-related artworks from this exhibition in an immersive 3-D format, produced by contributing editor Andreas Buchwaldt. The virtual tour can be viewed below, or at the Hiding in Plain Sight exhibition page.
The virtual tour re-imagines the Embassy Cultural House in the present, where it was originally located at the Embassy Hotel on 723 Dundas Street. Andreas Buchwaldt visualizes an alternate future for the ECH by inserting an archival image of the building’s facade into its original location with an online panoramic mapping tool. In actuality, the Embassy Hotel was destroyed in 2009 following a large fire. In addition to the sympathetic treatment of the facade, the inside of the building has been mapped to match the original interior of the Embassy Cultural House. The expresso bar and booths remain fixed in their same orientation, surrounded by works of art.
In October 2020, the Embassy Cultural House presented its inaugural virtual exhibition Hiding in Plain Sight, organized by Ron Benner, inspired by the 2020 book of the same name by St. Louis-based journalist Sarah Kendzior. In her book, Kendzior describes the former US President Donald Trump’s administration as “a transnational crime syndicate masquerading as a government.”
View the ECH's Scotiabank Contact page here.
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