I Am Here: Home movies and everyday masterpieces

Fiona Smyth, I AM HERE, 2021. Ink on paper and digital drawing. Commissioned by the Art Gallery of Ontario. © Fiona Smyth.

From the earliest cave paintings to TikTok, humans have found creative ways to document their day-to-day lives. I AM HERE: Home Movies and Everyday Masterpieces, a major new AGO exhibition opening in April of 2022, is a revealing look at our universal need to capture, share and cherish the everyday. Featuring lost-and-found home movies from the Prelinger Archives, alongside celebrated artworks by the likes of David Hockney, Patti Smith, Claes Oldenburg, Annie Pootoogook, Arthur Jafa and Mary Pratt, as well as snapshots, photo albums, letters, television, grocery lists, and social media, I AM HERE brings together a broad range of personal records from different time periods and locales to explore the shared human impulse to document life as it happens.

Co-curated by Jim Shedden, the AGO’s Manager of Publishing, and Alexa Greist, AGO Associate Curator and R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Prints & Drawings, in collaboration with archivist, scholar and writer Rick Prelinger, the exhibition is a celebration of daily life and human creativity, replete with music and creative prompts. Among the artworks on display will be a digital collage of the more than 3000 submissions received from around the world as part of the AGO’s 2021 Portraits of Resilience exhibition. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue co-published by the AGO and DelMonico Books/D.A.P.

Dr. Prelinger will be giving a talk about his film background, love for "ephemeral films", home movies, the Internet Archive and his multimedia installation PANORAMA on Thursday, April 21. More information can be found here