The photo-based paintings of Joel Rhein are literal snap shots of a city disappearing before us. "Gallery", "Theatre" and "School", all generic signifiers that contribute to the quality of any city, are here magnified, stripped down to its basic facade, a facade that we as Edmontonians may be able to recall, but as it goes, these buildings are already turning into memories rather than locations.
But it is Rhein's abstract lithographs that are far more interesting and sustaining. Large square outlines of blocks, resembling an aerial view of a contained city, loose grid streets tangling into corners and alleys, point towards navigation and exploration, rather than the mourning of a city that is still so young and for many, so unexplored.
Photo credit: Jessica Tse, 2007