Winner of the 2019 Gattuso Prize of $5,000

Concepts of home circulate widely and often predictably. Sophie Sabet’s immersive installation takes a more personal and honest approach to understanding how it is that we might contend with “home” as both place and feeling. Her autobiographical work intimately traces the complexities of her Iranian-Canadian home, a space that bears witness to the weight of displacement and cultural frictions. This solo exhibition brings together Sabet’s videos, still images, and sculptural works. Through these quiet and subtle portraits, Sabet traces the contradictory, difficult and sometimes painful ways that her family navigates their identity and diasporic realities.

Exhibited within Mississauga’s Bradley House, Sabet’s works aim to disrupt the staged historic site. Layering a contemporary and difficult image of home onto that of a simulated, 1830s domestic space encourages a different reading of the house museum. This alternative viewpoint suggests that we look more deeply at the mechanisms of display employed by museums and how these strategies can advertently or inadvertently de-politicize what is inherently political.