Skip to content

“It Don’t Exist” – Imagining the City Within and Beyond the Archive

November 14, 2023 - June 25, 2024

Third Floor

Christopher McNamara. It Don’t Exist, 2023. Diorama. Courtesy of the artist.


In this exhibition, Christopher McNamara selects works from the AWE collection to ruminate on the ways we consider the city in our dreams and in our daily lives. Evidence of past lives linger within the frames and outer edges of the works selected. McNamara’s own city dioramas and multi media works add to these reflections on urban life and the stories we use to both remember and understand our places on the map.

List of Artists:
John Abrams, Caven Atkins, Eleanor, Bond, Christine Burchnall, Franklin Carmichael, Ghitta Caiserma Roth, Lynne Cohen, Yosef Drenters, Gary Drouin, John Collins, Scott Conarroe, Rafael Goldchain, Lawren Stewart Harris, Geoffrey James, Yousuf Karsh, Robert Keziere, Wanda Koop, Jean-Paul Lemieux, James Louchner, David Milne, Ernst Neumann, Thomas Roach, Kenneth Saltmarche, John Scott, John Sloan, Michael Snow, Louis Sullivan, Philip Surrey, Larry Towell, Douglas Walker and Ian Wallace.

Meet the Artist/Curator: Christopher McNamara

Christopher McNamara is a video, sound and photo-based artist who lives in Ann Arbor Michigan and Windsor, Ontario. He has exhibited and performed his work extensively in Canada, the United States, and Europe. In the fall of 2004 his work was included in Shrinking Cities at Kunst Werke in Berlin and most recently he presented a solo exhibition at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, ON and at the Thames Art Gallery in Chatham, ON. He is the recipient of numerous grants, awards and fellowships including the OAC Media Arts Grant (2008, 2010, 2012) and the Joan Chalmers Fellowship (2015). His video, Establishing Shots premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2007 and screened at numerous other festivals. His film, Immaterial Los Angeles, premiered at The Ann Arbor Film Festival in 2020 and was then presented as a performance/multi-media piece at Sonorities Festival in Belgium (With Megumi Masaki and Brent Lee). His most recent film, A Miscellany of Places That Will Not Appear premiered at Experiments in Cinema, in Albuquerque, New Mexico in April, 2023. His festival appearances as a musician and multi-media artist include Mutek in Montreal, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, and Spark Festival of New Electronic Music at the University of Minnesota. Last year he released an LP entitled Shorelights on Barcelona label Subwax. McNamara teaches video, animation, sound design and digital media in the Department of Film, Television and Media at the University of Michigan.


Lawren Stewart Harris. A Side Street, 1919/1920. Oil on canvas, 91 x 112 cm. Gift of the Detroit Institute of Arts, 1956. 1956.005

Other Exhibitions + Displays on now

See all exhibitions

Waawiiatanong Forever

Location: South Project Gallery, 2nd floor

The Once and Future City

Location: Third Floor

Nii Ndahlohke / I Work

Location: Third Floor

Last Look

Location: Second Floor