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Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival

Hot Art: Lynne Cohen Offers Open Viewing

Hall, by Lynne Cohen (photo courtesy of Olga Korper Gallery)

MAY 3 TO JUNE 30 Lynne Cohen has made a career out of finding and photographing domestic and institutional spaces. But the results are not exactly the stuff of home decor magazines. For four decades, the Montreal-based artist’s images of living rooms, lobbies, hallways, laboratories and more, free of the presence of actual people, have framed, according to Canadian Art, “an off-hours view of daily life loaded with sterile silences and subtle eccentricities.” Collected for her Scotiabank Photography Award showcase at the Design Exchange, these large-scale works shine oddly uncanny light on the environments in which we stage our public and private affairs.

Hot Art: The Contact Festival’s Primary Shows

An image from Philippe Chancel's Arirang series (photo courtesy of Erick Franck Fine Art)

APRIL 27 TO JUNE 3 The Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival returns to display the work of more than 1,000 image-makers. These days, nearly everyone can instantly shoot and disseminate photos; it’s fitting that this year’s event explores the concept of “public”—not only how images capture the places and spaces in which we act, but also how they expose issues of common interest and influence social perspective. Over 200 venues participate in the showcase, but its must-see primary exhibitions are at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art , where the festival theme is explored by the likes of Philippe Chancel, whose Arirang series, depicts a gathering in North Korea.

Weekend Roundup: April 27 to 29

Friday: the Red Hot Chili Peppers play the Air Canada Centre

Friday, April 27
Seemingly ageless rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers swing into Toronto for two shows as part of their I’m With You world tour. The multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-winning band famous for songs like “Scar Tissue,” “By the Way” and “Under the Bridge” play the Air Canada Centre tonight and tomorrow.

Sultry jazz-soul vocalist Kellylee Evans offers an intimate concert at Glenn Gould Studio. The Torontonian continues to promote her recent Juno Award-winning album Nina, a tribute to legendary singer Nina Simone.

Covering the walls of Gallery 44 tonight and through the weekend are incredible photographic works by local artists—the gallery’s Photopia 2012 event is a great opportunity to add some affordable art to your own collection.  (more…)

Weekend Roundup, May 13th to May 15th

Friday: See Diego Matamoros in The Aleph (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Friday, May 13
Get a glimpse into the mysteries of the underworld in The Aleph, Soulpepper Theatre Company’s version of Jorge Luis Borges’s 1945 short story. This thought-provoking adaptation is crafted by Canadian theatre artists Diego Matamoros, Daniel Brooks and Michael Levine.

The cycle of life—from Bar Mitzvah to death—is presented through Jewish musical-theatre songs in the world premiere of To Life, presented by the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Filled with love and humour, this unique musical references Broadway hits such as Fiddler on the Roof and the work of Eddie Cantor.

The Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival continues this weekend with the opening of another of its many exhibitions—Kaid Ashton’s Exploration, on display at artsy West Queen West café, The Mascot.

Saturday: Usher offers a powerhouse performance (photo by Marco from Houston)

Saturday, May 14
Are you ready to burn? Multi-platinum artist Usher turns up the temperature at the Air Canada Centre tonight with his signature R&B hits such as “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” and “Burn.” The night starts off on the right note with a special guest set by Akon.

The competition heats up at BMO Field when Toronto FC takes on the Chicago Fire. Be sure to offer some extra applause for TFC forward Joao Plata, just voted MLS Player of the Week.

Ornithology enthusiasts are encouraged to flock to the Toronto Zoo for International Migratory Bird Day. Bring your binoculars and participate in guided bird-watching tours of the Rouge Valley, then check out the displays set up by bird-related organizations in the Conservation Connection Centre.

Sunday: See "Vicky" the steam train, one of the stars of The Railway Children

Sunday, May 15
Catch the train as the newly built Roundhouse Theatre opens its doors this morning. Visitors to this 300,000-square-foot venue that houses The Railway Children can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the unique stage design, see the production’s vintage steam train up close, ride a miniature locomotive, and discover the heritage trains within Roundhouse Park.

In the thrilling conclusion to the National Lacrosse League’s season, the Toronto Rock challenge the Washington Stealth for the 2011 Champion’s Cup at the Air Canada Centre. Last season, Washington defeated Toronto to win their first cup in franchise history. This time around, the Rock and their fans are certain to be hungry for revenge!

Enjoy a spirited show by the Esprit Orchestra—featuring violinist Marie Bérard—this evening at Keorner Hall. The program includes a world premiere performance of composer Chris Harman’s latest work.

Contact Curated: Distillery Historic District

This year’s Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival features exhibitions at more than 200 venues across the city. Make the most of your festival experience by concentrating your gallery-hopping within specific Toronto neighbourhoods, such as the Distillery Historic District.

Shai Kremer's Turkish Railroad Station

Julie M. Gallery
Shai Kremer: Fallen Empires (May 5 to June 12)

Monumental ruins document the effect of imperial dominance on Israel’s architectural landscape in this series of images at Julie M. Gallery. Kremer explores the scarred terrain’s representation of cultural conflict, physical manifestations of power and resistance, and the normalization of violence.

Arta Gallery
Laura Carnie, Bob Carnie, Mark Freedman and Dennis Lalonde: Land Escapes (April 29 to May 15)

An examination of the power of perspective, and how the landscape can be viewed differently depending on varying attitudes and perceptions, which are constantly changing. This collection at Arta Gallery transitions from the natural beauty of the landscape to a haunting post-apocalyptic vision.

Ozant Kamaci, Salina Kassam, Marilyn Lightstone, Misha Masek, Mehraban Mehrabani, Atossa Nami, Kimia Rahgozar, Sue Russell, Reza Ta and Dave Todon: The Idea of Nature (May 18 to 31)

Ten artists come together to share perspective on the beautiful and tragic relationship between humanity and nature, by expressing his or her daily, personal interaction with our fragile planet.

An image from Sheila Jonah's La Cloche Mountains series

Proof Studio Gallery
John Drajewicz, Natalie Drajewicz, Sheila Jonah: F&G (April 30 to May 31)

Not just simple, objective representations, photographs can, in fact, destabilize one’s notion of reality. The images on display at Proof Studio Gallery tease the mind and engage thoughts with their ambiguous scale.

Pikto
Carlos Cazalis: Urban Shadows (May 1 to 31)

This pictorial journey through both the vastness of urban landscapes and the interiors of squatter shacks exposes the damaging effects of overpopulation on the environment. Osaka, Japan and Dhaka, Bangladesh are shown as examples of cities that reflect the growing disparity between economically underprivileged classes and the wealthy.

Monte Clark Gallery
Chris Gergley: Field Work (May 5 to June 12)

Large-scale colour photographs by Chris Gergley capture the contrast between man-made subjects and nature. Featured at Monte Clark Gallery, this exhibition investigates landscape and the subject’s relationship to its contemporary environment.


View Contact Photography Festival 2011: Distillery Historic District in a larger map

*All images courtesy of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival unless otherwise noted.

Contact Curated: Downtown

This year’s Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival features exhibitions at more than 200 venues across the city. Make the most of your festival experience by concentrating your gallery-hopping within specific Toronto neighbourhoods, such as the Downtown core.

At the Design Exchange: Guy Tillim's Apartment building, Avenue Bagamoyo, Beira, Mozambique (courtesy of Kuckei + Kuckei, Berlin and Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg)

Design Exchange
Guy Tillim: Avenue Patrice Lumumba (April 20 to June 14)

Another of Contact’s highly anticipated primary exhibitions, Tillim’s Avenue Patrice Lumumba series examines the effects of colonialism on modern history and architecture in African nations like Mozambique, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

University of Toronto Art Centre
Suzy Lake: Political Poetics (May 3 to June 25)

Over the past 40 years, artist Suzy Lake has captured and expressed the female identity within the political, social and media context. She was also one of the forerunners of body-based photography. Lake’s exhibit at the University of Toronto Art Centre touches themes like beauty, femininity and identity.

Art Gallery of Ontario
Abel Boulineau: “Where I was born…”: A Photograph, A Clue, and the Discovery of Abel Boulineau (March 5 to August 21)

This series of gelatin silver photo prints in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s collection was only recently discovered to be part of Boulineau’s portfolio. A painter by trade, the French artist’s photographs reveal the stillness of everyday rural from 1897 to 1916.

At the ROM: Edward Burtynsky's SOCAR Oil Fields #9, Baku, Azerbaijan (courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery)

Royal Ontario Museum
Edward Burtynsky: Oil (April 9 to July 3)

The Royal Ontario Museum’s Institute for Contemporary Culture presents internationally renowned Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky’s collection of 53 large-format photographs, which explore the ugly reality of the oil industry and oil dependence in contemporary society.

First Canadian Place
Dr. Roberta Bondar: Within the Landscape—Art Respecting Life (April 4 to May 20)

Using artistic elements like line, texture and colour, this exhibition offers a look at diversity of patterns in nature viewed at a distance—for example, a herd of buffalo moving across a plain, shot from above by the first Canadian woman ever to travel to outer space.

Nicholas Metivier Gallery
Edward Burtynsky: Monegros (May 5 to 28)

Depicting the complex and diverse landscape of Monegros, Spain, this collection of large-format Burtynsky photographs explores the effects of industrial farming in the region.

Toronto Imageworks Gallery
Dianne Davis: Impervious (May 5 to June 4)

Davis’s works utilize tableaus and subjects that tell the story of a specific place and time to examine notions of fragility, transience and the brevity of life.

At Bau-Xi Photo: Brett Gundlock's yntitled image from his Home series

Bau-Xi Photo
Rafal Gerszak, Brett Gundlock, Jonathan Taggart, Aaron Vincent Elkaim and Ian Willms: Boreal Collective (April 30 to May 13)

The Boreal Collective features the work of young photojournalists who document social, psychological and physical inequities through Canadian-based narratives.

Leo Kamen Gallery
Roberto Pellegrinuzzi: Constellations (April 30 to May 28)

What you see isn’t what you get with Pellegrinuzzi. In this exhibition, each layered, translucent photo offers an atypical way of viewing a landscape.

TIFF Bell Lightbox
Creative & Technical Team, Pearl Chen, Meagan Durlak, Matthew Fabb, Priam Givord, Brandon Hocura and Ana Serrano: Becoming What We Behold: A CFC Media Lab Project (May 7 to 29)

This interactive installation features a geometric web of tablet computers showcasing user-generated content. Viewers become artists as they upload images and share photos in the literal web of interconnectivity that’s meant to mimic social media.

Gallery 44
Surendra Lawoti: Don River (April 30 to June 4)

Chris Boyne: Stillwater (April 30 to June 4)
Susan Kordalewski: Space vs. Place (April 30 to June 4)

The three exhibitions at Gallery 44 study landscape and place in various contexts. The first, by Lawoti, focuses on locals and displaced residents living in and around the Don River Valley in the midst of urban Toronto. On the other hand, Boyne’s works depict unseemingly colourful landscapes with dark histories told through audio narratives. Lastly, Kordalewski’s photos play with one’s sense of perception by placing 2D representations within 3D spaces.

At Birch Libralato: Lee Goreas's The Happy Hooker (courtesy of Birch Libralato)

Birch Libralato
Lee Goreas: New Works 2011 (April 30 to June 4)
James Nizam: Memorandoms (April 30 to June 4)

Lee Goreas uses golf balls to create a series of large portraits that demonstrate the “character” of ordinary objects—form, colour, surface and age reveal each ball’s unique history. In Memorandoms, photographer James Nizam takes viewers inside the oldest public housing development in Vancouver, just before it was demolished. Using leftover objects like doors, drawers and shelves, he re-creates a sense of place with a fleeting identity.

KWT Contemporary
Caitlin Cronenberg, David Frankovich: RED / Plus de Deux (May 5 to 28)

Using images selected from the New York Times’ Canadian Photography Archive, Cronenberg’s series at KWT Contemporary reimagines and reinvents the photos as a commentary on how Americans have viewed Canadian culture in the past.

Textile Museum of Canada
Peter Wilkins: Loop (April 29 to June 12)

Concerned with “pattern languages” in urban settings, Wilkins’ exhibition transforms man-made objects and structures into abstract geometric patterns through repetition and reflection.


View Contact Photography Festival 2011: Downtown in a larger map

*All images courtesy of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival unless otherwise noted.

Contact Curated: Queen & Dundas West

This year’s Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival is now in full swing, with exhibitions at more than 200 venues across the city. Make the most of your festival experience by concentrating your gallery-hopping within specific Toronto neighbourhoods, such as the western sections of Queen and Dundas streets.

At the Drake Hotel: Alex Prager's Irene from the Long Weekend (courtesy of Yancey Richardson Gallery)

Gladstone Hotel
Martie Giefert: Reconstruction (Gladstone) (May 1 to 31)
Isabel M. Martinez: The Weekend
(May 1 to June 3)

The Gladstone Hotel hosts two Contact featured exhibitions. Inspired by the boutique hotel’s third floor, Martie Giefert deconstructs and recreates a hyperrealistic experience of the space through film and digital photography. Similarly, Isabel M. Martinez splices leisure and landscape photos, bringing them together in a single frame to create a shifting scene for the viewer.

Drake Hotel
Robyn Cumming, Sara Cwynar, Daniel Gordon, Alex Prager, Geoffrey Pugen: I’m Not Here (April 22 to June 20)

This featured exhibition at the Drake Hotel emphasizes a contemporary take on portraiture. In many of the photos, the subject’s face is obscured, masked or abstracted in order to draw attention away from the customary focus of portraits and, instead, toward other elements of the image.

Le Gallery
Scott Ramsay: Carril Bici (April 27 to May 22)

In his open exhibition at Le Gallery, photographer Scott Ramsay turns his lens toward Cuba—specifically, that country’s ability to adapt to modernity without industrialism via the relationship between the Cuban people and the bicycle.

Stephen Bulger Gallery
Robert Bourdeau: The Station Point (May 5 to June 11)

Bourdeau’s large-format photographs document four decades worth of old landscapes, historical architecture and inactive industrial sites throughout Europe and North America. The photos offer a sense of how old structures can lose their identity over time yet still contain feelings, ambiguities and  even emotion.

At Angell Gallery: Alex Kisilevich's Stick Figure (courtesy of Angell Gallery)

Angell Gallery
Geoffrey Pugen: Long Divisions
(May 5 to June 11)
Alex Kisilevich: Kallima (May 5 to June 11)

Angell Gallery offers exhibitions by two of its contemporary artists. With Long Divisions, Pugen uses video and photography to manipulate ordinary objects into fantastical ones. Kisilevich explores the idea of camouflage and identity in the natural world and in social contexts for humans.

Gallery TPW
Eric Gottesman: Paths That Cross Cross Again (May 12 to June 11)

True to its history of presenting documentary and political photography, Gallery TPW displays Paths That Cross Cross Again by Eric Gottesman. The exhibit features images that reflect Gottesman’s work with Sudden Flowers, a children’s art collection in Addis Ababa, showcasing the complexity of human relations across social contexts.

Paul Petro Contemporary Art
Suzy Lake: Extended Breath (May 6 to June 4)
Su Rynard: Seed Bank (May 6 to June 4)

For more than 30 years, Suzy Lake has explored themes of female identity and beauty. In her Paul Petro exhibition, Lake uses long exposures to express both stillness and movement. Also in the gallery, Su Rynard’s work takes viewers inside the London Seed Bank to explore the irony of preserving nature within a man-made fortress.

At MOCCA: Viviane Sassen's Parasomnia (courtesy of Motive Gallery, Amsterdam)

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
Olga Chagaoutdinova, Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Viviane Sassen, Dayanita Singh: Dynamic Landscape (April 30 to June 5)
Fred Herzog: Vancouver (April 30 to June 5)

The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art features two of Contact’s primary exhibitions. Dynamic Landscape, a group show, highlights the interplay between humans and nature from Africa to Canada’s frozen north. Fred Herzog: Vancouver tells the story of the German immigrant’s documentation and transformation of post-war Vancouver.

Elaine Fleck Gallery
S. Vote: The Aesthetic Choices of S. Vote (May 1 to 28)

S. Vote juxtaposes the media of traditional pen-and-ink geisha drawings and contemporary digital photography to create a single unified expression of beauty, elegance, contrast and fragility.


View Contact Photography Festival 2011: Queen & Dundas West in a larger map

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.