Cheryl Pagurek

(Ontario, Canada)

Cheryl Pagurek

For her installation Reflection and Flow (2008), Cheryl Pagurek assembled two strata of images culled from her family’s archives and her own colour photographs. She uses juxtaposition to foil photography’s visual reference points. Optical distortions (including blurred images and off- centring), which photographers usually correct, are intensified in her work to produce a feeling of disorientation. Evoking bygone times and a familiar present, the work immerses viewers in a novel perception of time and space.


Cheryl Pagurek was born in 1967 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She lives and works in Ottawa.

Cheryl Pagurek questions the specificities of the photographic medium. From her very first installations, light, transparency, and flatness have been at the centre of various manipulations that take place within domestic interiors, on the very surface of household objects and living space. Pagurek’s site-specific interventions (Coverage, 1995), objects (A Day in the Life, 2000), and light boxes (Light, 2005) incorporate various projection surfaces and evoke present and past lives. Pagurek superimposes images — found photographs, pictures excavated from anonymous archives and her own family albums, close-ups — with results reminiscent of palimpsests (Passage, 2007). She appropri- ates the forms of such photographic mishaps as blurred images, distortion, and framing accidents and produces new optical structures with them. Her photographs evoke details of landscape and familiar or domestic spaces, attesting to the past at the same time as they deny their role in historical reconstruction. They deliberately dispense with all temporal and spatial reference points to create unstable images devoid of perspective and depth of field. Freely combining contemporary landscape and archival material, Pagurek has composed a diachronic narrative of places and characters.

Cheryl Pagurek has had work in group exhibitions in Canada (Heteropias, Ottawa Art Gallery, 2006) and solo shows (A Day in the Life, La Centrale, Galerie Powerhouse, Montreal, 2000; Flow, Ottawa City Hall Art Gallery, 2008). She has also participated in Toronto’s Contact Festival and in the X Ottawa Photography Festival (2007).


465, Mont-Royal Ave. East
514 872 2266

SEPT. 4–OCT. 4, 2009

Tuesday to Thursday, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
> Opening Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009 at 2 p.m., the artist will be present

Cheryl Pagurek, Reflection 2, 2008 (from the series Reflection, 2006–2008). Détail. Courtesy of the artist and Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Ottawa.