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From cave art to TikTok, new AGO exhibition celebrates how we document everyday life

See Super 8 films alongside art works by David Hockney, Arthur Jafa, Claes Oldenburg, Annie Pootoogook and Patti Smith, when I AM HERE: Home Movies and Everyday Masterpieces opens April 13, 2022.


Paintings, photo albums, home movies, mixtapes, Instagram posts and TikTok reels – all unique mediums, but each, in their way, capable of capturing life as it happens. Celebrating that desire, with more than 100 artworks and artifacts, including found home movies from the Prelinger Archives, comes I Am Here: Home Movies and Everyday Masterpieces, a new exhibition from the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). AGO Members see it first when it opens on April 13, 2022

Co-curated by Jim Shedden, the AGO’s Manager of Publishing, and Alexa Greist, AGO Associate Curator and R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Prints & Drawings, in collaboration with archivist and writer Rick Prelinger, I AM HERE is a joyous medley of familiar sights and sounds, organized by theme. Artworks from the Renaissance to the present, by some of the biggest names in art history, punctuate a journey through our obsessions – with food, with pets, with celebrity, protest and with music.

Admission to I AM HERE is free for all visitors 25 and under, AGO Members and holders of the $35 Annual Pass. Single tickets, which include access to the AGO Collection, are $25 per person. Timed-entry tickets must be booked in advance and will be available as of Feb. 28. The exhibition opens to AGO Members on April 13 and to AGO Annual Pass holders and individuals purchasing single admission tickets on April 16. For more details on how to book your tickets or to become a Member or Annual Pass holder, visit

The AGO re-opened safely on Feb. 1, 2022, and rigorous health and safety measures remain in effect. Visitors are encouraged to review the visitor guidelines web page for up-to-date information and helpful FAQs and to self-assess before visiting the Gallery.

Drawing heavily from the AGO Collection, in addition to paintings, works on paper, sculptures, photographs, videos and found home movies sourced from the Prelinger Archives, the exhibition also features a digital tribute to the 2021 Portraits of Resilience Project.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • 49 photo albums from around the world, courtesy the AGO Collection and the Archive of Modern Conflict;
  • Love is the Message, The Message is Death (2016) by Arthur Jafa, a 7 minute 25 second film of found footage documenting aspects of the Black experience;
  • A selection of 595 items from Andy Warhol’s personal time capsule;
  • Artist Claes Oldenburg’s Miniature Soft Drum Set (1969), a shrunken, soft cloth sculpture of a drum set fashioned from canvas; 
  • We Buy White Albums (2013-ongoing) by Rutherford Chang, an installation of 210 copies of The Beatle’s White Album accompanied by a listening station;
  • David Hockney’s 20-foot long painting Santa Monica Boulevard from 1978-80, never-before-seen in North America;
  • Toronto-based artist Fiona Smyth’s illustrative timeline From Cave Paintings to TikTok (2020);
  • PANORAMA (2020), a 26-minute compilation of home movies, curated by archivist and writer Rick Prelinger. Accompanying the installation is a soundscape designed by Toronto-based composer David Wall featuring Canadian musicians. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated hardcover catalogue, co-published by AGO and D.A.P. Books. The catalogue will available at shopAGO later this Spring. Exhibition-related programming will be announced in the near future. Stay tuned for details.  

@AGOToronto | #AGOToronto

I AM HERE: Home Movies and Everyday Masterpieces is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Supporting Sponsor: Power Corporation of Canada

Generous Support: The Schulich Foundation

Contemporary programming at the AGO generously supported by the Canada Council of the Arts. 


Located in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the largest art museums in North America, attracting approximately one million visitors annually. The AGO Collection of more than 120,000 works of art ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art to significant works by Indigenous and Canadian artists and European masterpieces. The AGO presents wide-ranging exhibitions and programs, including solo exhibitions and acquisitions by diverse and underrepresented artists from around the world. In 2019, the AGO launched a bold new initiative designed to make the museum even more welcoming and accessible with the introduction of free admission for anyone 25 years and under and a $35 annual pass. Visit to learn more.

The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO Members, donors and private-sector partners.

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