Introduction to “Ruling Fictions” by Vera Frenkel.

A slideshow of 34 images. Transcripts of audio recordings voiced by the artist appear over 18 of the images in small black text, letter by letter in time with the audio. The text appears near the top to the left, centre or right, or sometimes on a wall in a building.

The first image is in grainy black and white. There is a large textured gray square over the centre of what appears to be a photo captured in an art gallery or a museum. Black text on the square reads: “Ruling Fictions (The Small & Large Betrayals that Haunt Us Once Again)”

Thirty colour images are captured from inside a vacant, modern commercial building, possibly an art gallery as one image shows what appears to be a makeshift storage room with many tall, white platforms or plinths. Despite natural light that shines through large windows and artificial light from tube shaped wall lights, many parts of the building are dark and shadowy. Most show public areas with white walls, polished concrete floors, light wood doors, exposed ceiling pipes and ventilation ducts. Some show non-public areas with concrete walls and control panels. A few of the images show a hand holding a camera, or a sliver of a person standing behind a corner. Seven look down hallways. Another shows a public washroom. Another looks out through a grid window onto an urban area with low rise buildings, greenery and a courtyard. Signs that appear in some images say “32 Lisgar”, “Meeting Room” and “Mezzanine”. Eight feature lit “Exit” signs.

After these images the text appears in white on a black background, followed up by a colour image of a large dark red velvet curtain.

The last image is in grainy black and white. In it, a person views an exhibit in what appears to be a gallery or museum. Behind them is a doorway. A sign above it says “Ruling Fictions”. It appears to be the same as the photo that appears in the first image, but without the textured gray square in the centre as there is very similar content. It seems to be from a book as there is a centre crease and fingers along it’s left edge.

Slide 1

Black text on a textured gray square: “Ruling Fictions, (The Small & Large Betrayals that Haunt Us Once Again)." The next two images appear as follows: 1. A shovel and a “32 Lisgar” sign rest against a large window to an area with a concrete floor, garbage bin and broom. 2. A white wall with a fire alarm pull down switch and an automatic door activation button.


Ruling Fictions (The Small and Large Betrayals that Haunt Us Once Again) a series of texts written and spoken by the artist across a series of spaces photographed by the curator

Interactions / Access

  • 17 excerpts across 34 images (i.e., not all images speak)
  • Use arrows or slider to advance slides
  • Interiors depict Toronto Media Arts Centre pre-eviction
  • Desktop or laptop only please; not compatible with mobile
  • For screen reader users, due to some technical differences with how Safari allows tabbing it is better to use a different browser for this work.