An Atlas of Scarborough is a photographic series shot in nine public locations throughout Toronto’s east end. In Greek mythology, Atlas was condemned to separate the sky from the Earth by bearing a huge weight upon his shoulders. In these photos, Atlas is not an idealized Titan, but a long-time Filipina Canadian resident of Scarborough. She sustains the world through a performative act which mimics Atlas’ traditional stance—but turns it on its head.
Displayed on the wayfinding monitors of Scarborough Town Centre, the photos of Atlas’ performance capture vexed sites where history, development, private lives and public uses collide and collapse. An Atlas of Scarborough activates the public sphere as a place to play and act out freedom, highlighting the spatial, temporal and embodied differences that centre personal and collective histories of Scarborough.
With photography, performance, installation and social practice, the GeoArt Collective upholds creative uses of public space and artistic expression.