Lyla Rye

2 March 2000 - 8 April 2000
Opening Reception 2 March 2000 8pm



Mercer Union is excited to introduce Platform, a new programming series, whose mandate is to encourage artistic and curatorial experimentation. Lyla Rye’s most recent work, Siren; launches the series with a small scale installation in The Hole.

The forlorn cry of a baby draws us to a hole in a wall through which we see the video of an infant’s head. Our inaccessible proximity to the child emphasizes her isolation and her Buddha-like appearance evokes an innocence and otherworldly wisdom.

During one continuous take, she slowly focuses on, contemplates, and becomes disturbed by the sound of another baby crying in the distance. In turn, her cry intensifies until it drowns out the other baby. It then recedes into the background and shot loops to begin the cycle again. As we stand helpless watching the baby and listening to her cries, we realize life’s potential for misery and compassion, but are forced by circumstance to simply tolerate her distress.

Lyla Rye received her B.F.A. from York University in 1989 and her M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1994. She was a founding member of the Toronto collective Nether Mind which exhibited from 1991 – 1995. Solo exhibitions include the Women’s Art Resource Centre, the Robert Birch Gallery, the Glendon Gallery and the Koffler Loggia Gallery in Toronto and the Southern Exposure Gallery in San Francisco.   She has participated in group exhibitions across Canada and in the U.S. including Threshold at The Power Plant and Duke-u-menta above the Duke of Connaught Tavern in Toronto; and Temporalite in an unused women’s prison for La Chambre Blanche in Quebec City.

Download the exhibition brochure