2010: Pervasive Influence

In this era of instant information, photographic imagery is stimulating unprecedented change in the way we communicate. As the boundaries between art and mainstream media continue to expand and blur, CONTACT 2010: Pervasive Influence gives us an opportunity to critically examine this phenomenon. The festival acknowledges the all-encompassing role photography plays in our lives, and challenges audiences to explore how it informs and transforms our experience of the world.

The writings of Marshall McLuhan, the renowned Canadian media theorist, provide a timely focus for CONTACT’s theme. As with so many of McLuhan’s groundbreaking ideas, his critical insights in relation to photography appear all the more relevant in the age of the Internet and Globalization. The transformation of the way images are created and consumed and the impact of their ubiquity intensifies the enormous influence images have on society.

We are pleased to present three primary exhibitions this year, each of them referencing texts by McLuhan as their framework and their title. The Mechanical Bride at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) looks at the social and cultural affect of images and their emotional and political implications. In a show that is seductive and critically provocative, photo-based works reveal vital connections between mass media, advertising, painting and photography. At the University of Toronto Art Centre, The Brothel Without Walls is an evocative reflection upon McLuhan’s description of photographs as “dreams that money can buy”. From a behindthe-scenes perspective, the exhibition highlights the construction of celebrity and fantasy. Thirty years after his death, McLuhan’s legacy is felt more directly in Through the Vanishing Point at UofT’s McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology. Archival materials are transformed to re-create the experience of McLuhan’s presence in the space, reanimating his spirit and the intensity of the seminars he led there.

A tremendous expansion of CONTACT’s public installations includes site-specific projects at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Brookfield Place, MOCCA, Pearson Airport, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, and on billboards and subway platforms. McLuhan's insights concerning the persuasive powers of mass media resonate throughout these works. Appropriating the codes of advertising, the language of consumerism and the force of propaganda, the installations subvert the mediated message in the urban landscape.

The emphasis of CONTACT this year has been guided by a reading of McLuhan and our 32 featured exhibitions at venues throughout Toronto provide a multi-faceted exploration of the festival theme. A wide range of practices reveal the affect of the medium of photography, and the change that it provokes. Whether presenting realist-based or conceptual approaches to image making, all of the artists, including many in our open exhibitions, reflect on the relationship between photography as an art form and its function in mainstream media.

Perhaps after engaging with a number of the exhibitions in CONTACT, the answers to some of the questions central to the festival theme will be exposed: Has the authority of the photograph been enhanced over time? Are the illusions images create now preferable to reality? CONTACT 2010: Pervasive Influence explores the personal and social consequences of photography, in a world devoted to the image.

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2010 Primary Exhibition
Jaqueline Hassink, Dana Claxton, Matt Siber, Kota Ezawa and 6 more Josephine Meckseper, Alec Soth, Britta Thie, Ryan McGinley, John Armstrong & Paul Collins, David LaChapelle The Mechanical Bride Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
2010 Primary Exhibition
Christopher Wahl, Clunie Reid, Douglas Coupland, Evan Baden and 5 more Jessica Dimmock, Joachim Schmid, Marina Gadonneix, Stefan Ruiz, Susan Anderson The Brothel Without Walls University of Toronto Art Centre
2010 Public Installation
Cecilia Berkovic, Toni Hafkenscheid, Chris Ironside, Suzy Lake and 5 more Lori Newdick, Holly Norris, Nancy Paiva, Geoffrey Pugen, Christos Tsirbas What's the Hype? TTC Subway Stations with Screens
2010 Open Exhibition
2010 Open Exhibition
2010 Open Exhibition
Peyman Soheili, Ryan Pyle, Salina Kassam, Anne Bayin and 3 more Christa Treadwell, Marilyn Lightstone, Geoff Fitzgerald The World is Not Flat Arta Gallery
2010 Open Exhibition
liz gesicki, Katia Gosselin, Sean Montgomery, Susan Lappin and 14 more Melissa Lam, Poornima Kadambari, Nika Jaksic, Cecile Gambin, Graeme Coxon, Jennifer Campos, Nika Belianina, Claudette Losier, Quin McColgan, Sandra Scarpelli, Mafalda Silva, Peter Vietgen, Vickie West, Mariana May Pervasive Influence Ben Navaee Gallery
2010 Open Exhibition
Hugh Jones, John Lundy, Marko Moudrak, Gustavo Morainslie and 4 more Ryan Raz, Andrew Smith, Jessica Wilson, Jill Le Clair Pervasive Influence Ben Navaee Gallery
2010 Open Exhibition
2010 Open Exhibition
2010 Open Exhibition
2010 Open Exhibition
Chris Blanchenot, Keith Davidson, Dennis Duncan, Douglas Ganton and 9 more Paula Grgurich Shewchuk, Tom Hlavacek, Wendy Jones, Jack Martin, Taimaz Moslemian, Timothy Neesam, Helena Raposo, Jeff Rozdeba, Roz Tepper Visible Vestiges Gallery 1313
2010 Open Exhibition
2010 Open Exhibition
Ferdinand Herrera, Sheryl Dudley, Steven Beckly, Shelley Wildeman and 25 more Sarah Febbraro, Derek Flack, Gil Reynolds, Ruth Gillson, Ben Ng, Courtney Kelsey, Genevieve Thauvette, Sophie Hogan, Barry Stoch, Aaron Vincent Elkaim, Brett Gundlock, Colin Carney, Lindsay Lauckner, Daniela Tersigni, Esmond Lee, Geneviève Caron, Genevieve Blais, Natalia Sokolovska, Joe Fleming, Nicole Koster, Miklos Legrady, Katia Houde, Tifffany Doldron, Walter Segers, William Suarez Exposed: Pervasive Infuence Gladstone Hotel - 2nd Floor
2010 Open Exhibition
Eikoh Hosoe, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Miho Akioka, Miyuki Ichikawa and 7 more Akiko Sugiyama, Chie Yasuda, Kazuo Katase, Hiroko Inoue, Tomoko Yoneda, Tomoaki Ishihara, Michihiro Shimabuku COUNTER-PHOTOGRAPHY Japan's Artists Today Japan Foundation, Toronto
2010 Open Exhibition
Yong Soo Kim, Ki-Sun Kim, David Cheun, Woon Young Kim and 3 more Sook Ja Shin, Sang Young Lee, Deokwoo Lee   Korea Times Daily
2010 Open Exhibition
Karina Kraenzle, Christopher Durocher, Steven Beckly, Linda Fitz and 8 more Shannon Baker, Guylaine Seguin, Sandra Hawkins, Benjamin Lenzner, Scott Massey, Andreas Rutkauskas, Mike Callaghan, Swapna Tamhane Before and After Launch Projects
2010 Open Exhibition
2010 Open Exhibition
2010 Open Exhibition
2010 Open Exhibition
Juscha Grunther, Scott Chalmers, David Nardi, Joel Black-Beatty and 6 more Soumen Karmaker, Joseph LeBlance, James Wiley, Sarah Tacoma, Helena Frei, Reza Story of Forgotten Places Norman Felix Art Gallery
2010 Open Exhibition
Kagame Murray, Andrew Tomkins, Renato Foti, Sean Carl Newman and 4 more Kathleen Finlay, Kevin Kelly, Stephanie Kretzschmer, William Porper Observer Effect Rouge Concept Gallery
2010 Open Exhibition
2010 Open Exhibition
2010 Open Exhibition
2010 Open Exhibition
2010 Screening
2010 Screening
2010 Screening
2010 Screening
2010 Workshop
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