ON NOW To outsiders, the fanaticism with which Canadians embrace the game of hockey may be hard to understand; conversely, the sport is so ingrained in our collective identity that we rarely stop to question it. Attempting to find meaning in this fixation, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art presents ARENA: Road Game, a group show featuring Hockey Knights in Canada by Charles Pachter, plus related works by an artistic all-star team including Graeme Patterson and Tim Lee. No mere paean to a national pastime, the exhibition offers a deeper examination of hockey’s significance in contemporary culture, touching on everything from notions of hero worship to the controversial role of violence on the ice.
TO OCTOBER 18 Quebec artists continue to gain an audience in Ontario courtesy of the Distillery Historic District’s beautiful Thompson Landry Gallery. Yet, in a sense, the gallery’s latest exhibition has an international flavour, as Montreal-based photographer Nicolas Ruel presents 8 Secondes, a new series of images that depict the world’s great cities through multiple eight-second exposures. Evoking a dreamlike dynamism, these photos are all the more impressive for being printed on stainless steel—the medium’s light-reflecting surface lends further animation to the already vital works.
OCTOBER 8 TO 31 Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky has long been renowned for capturing the almost unimaginable scale of heavy industry’s impact on the natural environment. His sweeping images of manufactured landscapes—at once striking and repulisive—are widely collected and have been the subject of essays, books and even a documentary film. At Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Burtynsky’s vision is distilled in an exhibition focusing on his decade-long study of oil fields and refineries from Alberta to Azerbaijan. Through these meticulously composed images, he depicts the visual duality—and implies the moral one—arising from our continuing exploitation of a resource that is equally valued and maligned.