Five Minute Mirror Bernie Miller

May 1 - September 1, 2015

Bernie Miller, Five Minute Mirror (2000).

Five Minute Mirror by Bernie Miller is a site-specific work that presents a mirror image of what is behind the viewer as he or she approaches on the “Five Minute Walk,” the path that stretches across the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. Miller’s photograph is presented in a backlit billboard, a medium of the advertising industry. In the logic of advertising, we are offered an identity that can only be attained by consuming the marketed product. By contrast, Miller’s photograph simply mirrors our surroundings back to us without offering an image or lifestyle for us to identify with other than what we already have. The work is located in what is known as the “Smokers’ Corner” and Miller thinks that although smoking is a "somewhat dubious activity to be at the centre of a temporary social formation, smoke and mirrors do share some metaphorical territory."

Five Minute Mirror was commissioned by curator Barbara Fischer for the Blackwood Gallery exhibition logocity in the summer of 2000. This campus wide project brought together art that referenced urban sign structures such as banners, large-scale lettering, inflatable signs, and backlit billboards. Miller’s work was subsequently donated to the Gallery with the intent that the lightbox be used alternately to display Miller’s photograph and new commissions from other artists.

The Blackwood Gallery is pleased to present a recent re-print of Miller’s work during the summer of 2015.

Artist Biography

Bernie Miller was born in Toronto, Ontario. He graduated from the Ontario College of Art in, a recipient of the Ontario College of Art Medal. He has exhibited his work in Canada, USA, France, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Poland and Germany and has been commissioned to do major public artworks in Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton. He was a director at YYZ Artist’s Outlet in Toronto, for 16 years and served on the curatorial committee of the Toronto Sculpture Garden for 5 years. Bernie participated in residency programs at the Cité des Arts in Paris France as well as at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Banff Alberta. He was a peer advisor for the Technology Rhetoric and Utopia Residency also at the Banff Centre. Bernie has taught at the University of Guelph and lectured at the University of Alberta, Lethbridge, York University, Toronto and the College of Art and Design, also in Toronto, at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Vancouver, Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary, University of Regina, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg and at La Caixa, Barcelona, Spain. He has contributed articles to a number of publications including Money Value Art: State Funding, Free Markets, Big Pictures He alsoco-edited with Melony Ward, a collection of essays, Crime and Ornament: The Arts and Popular Culture in the Shadow of Adolf Loos. He has contributed texts to a number of catalogues and has reviewed exhibitions for noted art publications. Bernie Miller now lives and works in Winnipeg. He is represented in Toronto by Paul Petro Contemporary Art.

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