MCA Gallery is pleased to present Photographing The Royal, 1881- , an exhibition by Greg Pacek and Ginger Sorbara at the MCA Gallery pop-up location at The Royal Hotel.
The exhibition features a series of photographs taken inside The Royal Hotel before the Sorbara family began the five year transformation of the site, turning it into one of the country’s best boutique hotels. In 2017, before demolition took place, Ginger entered the facility with hard hard and steel toe boots, to record a time capsule of how the building stood before the renovation. For me, the images tell two stories: one of the former glory of the hotel, the other of what a building looks like when it “returns to nature.”
In her own words, Ginger writes: “The Royal Hotel at 247 Main Street Picton, has a long, and recently revived history of being a place of comfort and reprieve. We happened upon the hotel in a state of disuse and ruination, comfort only to the wildlife, both flora and fauna, that found residence there. Our fascination with ruins does not reside in the curious human appetite for schadenfreude, but in an attempt to be close to a past that is impossibly out of reach. Ruins and relics have the illusory effect of bringing us into contact with our history, offering up the faintest outline of a foothold in our struggle against the most immovable of human conditions: loss and the continuous march of time. With these images, we hold onto, interrogate, memorialize, and invent a history that was never really ours. ”
About the artists
Ginger Sorbara is an architect and architectural photographer based in Toronto. Her photography practice consists of documenting the interior spaces of historic buildings prior to major renovations. In doing this, Ginger is honoring the past uses of the building, and using the lens as a storytelling device to share private or hidden spaces with a broader audience.
Greg Pacek is a portrait, commercial and fine art photographer based in Toronto, specializing in environmental and studio portraiture. He previously collaborated with Ginger on the their photography exhibit “53 Indian Grove.”