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Edward Burtynsky

Hot Art: Make Contact with Photography

Edward Burtynsky's Oil Refineries #3

May 1 TO 31 The world’s largest image event, the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, takes over Toronto with installations in public spaces like Brookfield Place and The Power Plant, as well as commercial galleries. Celebrating Marshall McLuhan’s monumental theory of “figure and ground,” this year’s showcase explores how all parts of an image—both the subject and the background—work together. Thousands of participating shutterbugs, including Fred Herzog and Alex McLeod, are on this year’s roster. Don’t miss Edward Burtynsky’s powerful series, Oil, including Oil Refineries #3, 1999, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, on display at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Weekend Roundup, September 17 to 19

Though fall is approaching, the fun doesn’t stop! Toronto still hosts plenty of events both indoors and out to ensure a memorable weekend!

Be amused and amazed by Banana Shpeel this weekend.

Friday, September 17
Step into the Art Gallery of Ontario to see the just-opened exhibition Shary Boyle: Flesh and Blood. Almost 30 of the award-winning artist’s playful yet unsettling works are on display.

Get an artist’s perspective on one of the worst environmental disasters of our time—Nicholas Metivier Gallery presents Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky’s latest series of images, this time of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Also on display are Polaroid photos taken by Burtynsky in the ship-breaking yards of Bangladesh.

Immerse yourself in South American culture at Harbourfront Centre as the Vibrant Colombia Dispora Festival kicks off a weekend of family fun. Activities tonight include exhibitions of Colombian art plus performances by marimba player Louis Bianco and the Ballet Raices de Colombia.

Saturday, September 18
Prog rock fans, take note: Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters takes to the Air Canada Centre stage tonight to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his band’s classic album, The Wall.

An even heavier rock experience awaits at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, thanks to ’90s grunge band Alice in Chains. The Grammy-nominated trio is sure to riff on its back catalogue and perform tracks from their latest album, Black Gives Way to Blue.

Step back in time at Black Creek Pioneer Village’s annual Pioneer Festival. This historic site celebrates the autumn harvest numerous old-timey events and activities, including horse-drawn wagon rides, cider-making demonstrations, a spelling bee, a popular quilt auction and international music and dance performances.

Sunday, September 19
Prepare to laugh, smile and gasp with Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel at the Canon Theatre! At this unique spectacle, death-defying acrobatic acts are paired with vaudeville-style slapstick comedy from quirky characters.

Help some talented local musicians bring the Summer Music in the Garden series of classical concerts to a close. Beneath the boughs of the Toronto Music Garden, Shauna and Friends perform a variety of chamber music compositions for strings.

Take in the ever-popular Queen West Art Crawl, featuring numerous local galleries and artists—more than 500 of whom will be displaying their colourful works at Trinity Bellwoods Park.

October Editor’s Picks: Art

A panel from Charles Pachter's <em>Hockey Knights in Canada</em> (photo by Carlton Parker).

A panel from Charles Pachter's Hockey Knights in Canada.

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.

<em>Laterns, Singapore</em> by Nicolas Ruel (courtesy of Thompson Landry Gallery).

Laterns, Singapore by Nicolas Ruel.

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.

Edward Burtynsky's <em>SOCAR Oil Fields #3, Baku, Azerbaijan</em>.

Edward Burtynsky's SOCAR Oil Fields #3, Baku, Azerbaijan.

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.