Private Commute

Erin Brubacher, John Haney


This exhibition brings together two artists, Erin Brubacher and John Haney, who have observed one another’s creative processes for over ten years. In Private Commute, they come together to work across the borders that define their work. Haney’s photography is formal and documentary, most often concerned with notions of place. Brubacher has developed an invitational practice through photography and performance, and creating situations to interact with participants is key to her process.

For this collaboration, Brubacher and Haney gave 20 people they encountered on their daily commutes in Toronto and Hamilton the same two photographic diptychs for display in their homes. A month later, the artists returned and documented the diptychs in situ. Happening in real time leading up to the festival, Private Commute’s participants become co-conspirators in the artists’ experiment and early audience members for the exhibition.

The resulting photographs provide audiences with a glimpse into the private experience of living with artworks, and how that differs from the public presentation of works viewed in an art gallery. Fully visible through Communication Gallery’s large street-level window, the works provide a view of the private from a public position while disrupting conventional notions of exhibition strategy in the white cube.