Vera Frenkel

"…what I look for when I’m working is a special kind of uncertainty. Where the comfort is withdrawn of knowing how it’s all going to work out, or of knowing what you’re supposed to feel… That kind of hovering between certainties in the structure connects with the issues themselves in the work; displacement, the immigrant experience, the journey of the refugee."

Vera Frenkel, 1993

Toronto-based artist Vera Frenkel is internationally acclaimed for her works in video, installation, new media and performance. She addresses themes of human migration, cultural memory, language, and bureaucracy.

Frenkel graduated in fine arts from McGill University in 1959 and did further studies in Montréal under Arthur Lismer and Albert Dumouchel. After concentrating early in her career on prints, drawings, collage and written text, she began working in video in the late 1970s. By the 1990s, she was experimenting with video-installation and Web art.

Frenkel’s works include The Secret Life of Cornelia Lumsden and …from the Transit Bar. She participated in the 1992 documenta IX in Kassel and the 1997 Venice Biennale and is Professor Emerita at York University. Frenkel is a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.



Photo: Martin Lipman