Friday, December 19, 2008

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Honest Threads with the Koffler Gallery (deadline: January 20, 2009, show opens January 22, 2009)


Honest Threads
Share your story and the shirt off your back in this art project by Iris Häussler

The Project

This January the Koffler Gallery hits the road with exhibitions in unexpected places all around the city of Toronto. The first of these opens on January 22 at Honest Ed's store on Bloor Street:
Honest Threads by Iris Häussler.

Exploring the intersection of visual art, literature, and theatre, Toronto artist Iris Häussler creates immersive environments that reveal personal histories, real or fictional. Responding to the Koffler Gallery's invitation to develop the first off-site project, Häussler chose Toronto's famous landmark, Honest Ed's, to host an installation that engages the GTA public in sharing real life stories.

We need
you and your stories to bring Honest Threads to life!
Honest Threads will display garments and the memories they carry. Lent by Torontonians, each item holds a personal story revealing a glimpse of the many threads that weave our identity over time. Visitors will be able to borrow the garments for a few days and wear them, experiencing both literally and psychologically what it is like to "walk in someone else's shoes." At the same time, they will add new layers to the clothes' history. Trading experiences on multiple levels will enrich our shared view of the place we call home. As pieces of a vast puzzle, these individual stories will render a fragmentary portrait of the city, attesting to its complex history.

The Place

With its overload of celebrity photographs and eccentric sales items, Honest Ed's is no ordinary store but a museum in itself. It blurs the lines between commercial, public and exhibition spaces. The place equally attests to the inspiring story of its founder, Ed Mirvish. The son of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Austria, Mirvish had an invaluable impact on Toronto's cultural scene and on the community through philanthropic gestures. Spotlighting Honest Ed's significance as a haven for newcomers to Canada, Honest Threads positions the store as the meeting point of individual Toronto stories of immigration, survival and childhood dreams, entwined with the city's cultural history. Among the participants you will also recognize local celebrities.

And You

This is your opportunity to bring out the cherished jacket your father wore on his clandestine journey across the ocean, the sari you inherited from your grandmother, or the shirt that made you look cool in your high-school band. Also included in the display will be a photograph of you or the original owner wearing the garment.
Share your stories and lend your unique voice to a project that brings together the many faces of Toronto's identity.

Deadline for contributions: Janaury 10, 2009

To contribute your garment, story and photograph, please call Mona Filip at 416 636 1880 x270 or email

For more information on this project and artist Iris Häussler go to


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