Vladimir Antaki


The Guardians

May 2–June 2, 2019

Artist talk: Thursday, May 2, 5:00 PM

For his series The Guardians, Vladimir Antaki traveled across Europe, the Middle East, and America, photographing and interviewing shopkeepers or “Guardians.” These Guardians are keepers of what Antaki terms “urban temples,” or unique spaces which, in an age of cookie-cutter, corporate shops, hearken back to an earlier mode of urban life. Antaki creates portraits of the Guardians that invite the viewer connect to the beauty of these often forgotten spaces. Antaki believes that these temples are the heart and soul of every city; they are what give the urban center its uniqueness in time and place. As so many of them are closing, Antaki seeks to preserve their memory and pay them tribute.

Vladimir Antaki was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1980. He grew up in Paris and studied art history and film studies at La Sorbonne. In 2003, Antaki moved to Montreal, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in visual and media arts from L'Université du Québec à Montréal in 2007. The Guardians has been exhibited in public spaces and galleries in more than a hundred cities across France and North America, as well as throughout Lebanon. The series won an Infopresse Lux prize in 2013, and was selected to represent Canada in The Other Hundred, a photo-book curated by the Global Institute For Tomorrow. Most recently, Antaki has published a monograph of The Guardians through Kehrer Verlag.