Marissa Largo

An Atlas of Scarborough (2010)

"An Atlas of Scarborough" is a photographic installation of nine images taken in public locations throughout Toronto’s east end. It is a collaboration among visual artist, Marissa Largo, and two geographers, Sean Bennell and Daniel Pierre.

Atlas, in our project, has a two-fold meaning. From Greek mythology, Atlas was condemned to separate the sky from the earth by bearing the world upon his shoulders. Atlas, in our series, is not the idealized Titan, but a long-time female resident of Scarborough, who upholds the public realm through a performative act, which mimics Atlas’ traditional stance, but turns it upon its head - literally.

In geographical terms, an atlas is a collection of maps in a book form. Our atlas contains idiosyncratic photo-illustrations capturing the artists’ lived experiences of the space, showing an intimate connection between memory and the public realm.