CONTACT Gallery
Past Programming

Ian Willms
The Road to Nowhere

Ian Willms, from the series The Road to Nowhere, 2012 - 2013

 

CONTACT 2013 Portfolio Reviews Award Exhibition
January 23 – March 7, 2014
Opening reception Thursday January 23, 6 – 9pm
Artist Talk Saturday February 15, 2pm

 

The CONTACT Gallery is pleased to present The Road to Nowhere, an exhibition by Toronto-based photographer Ian Willms. 

In 2012 and 2013, Ian Willms retraced the refugee migrations of his Mennonite ancestors to witness the places where they lived and died. He followed the route of their historical journey through the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Siberia, photographing the communities, farmland, execution sites and mass graves that had been left behind.

From their origins in the 16th and 17th centuries, Mennonites in the Netherlands were attacked by the Catholic Church because of their beliefs, prompting these communities to migrate to Poland. They remained for a century until the state began to force them into military service—against their commitment to nonresistance—inciting another migration, this time to Ukraine and Russia. Life was prosperous and peaceful until the Russian Revolution, which brought the Mennonites into an era in which they struggled to survive under the weight of the Soviet monolith. This history underscores Willms’ work, as he searches for places of significance and traces of Mennonite life in the present day.

Ian Willms’ photographic practice explores the narratives of disempowered peoples, wounded environments and dying cultures that are often the symptoms of “progress” and economic growth. Over the last four years, in addition to the The Road to Nowhere, Willms has explored the impact of Canada’s oil sands industry on Indigenous communities. His work has been exhibited in North America and Europe, including exhibitions at Gallery 44 Centre For Contemporary Photography, O’Born Contemporary and Bau-Xi Photo. His work has also been honoured and supported by the Magnum Expression Photography Award, the Pictures of the Year International competition, the Burn Emerging Photographer Fund, the National Magazine Awards and the Canada Council for the Arts. Willms is part of the Global Assignment by Getty Images roster and is a founding member of the Boreal Collective.

Ian Willms is the recipient of CONTACT’s 2013 Portfolio Reviews Exhibition Award. This award, chosen by a jury of international professionals in the field of photography, recognizes outstanding work presented at CONTACT’s annual Portfolio Reviews. The program was created to support and advance the careers of talented emerging artists. A special thank you to Vistek, The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto Image Works and Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.

Organized by Tara Smith. 

CONTACT Gallery 
310 - 80 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, M5V 2J4 
Tuesday – Friday 11am – 5pm, Saturday 12 – 5pm

Guillaume Simoneau
Love and War

  • Guillaume Simoneau, Wearing army uniform for me, Kennesaw, Georgia, 2008
    Guillaume Simoneau, Wearing army uniform for me, Kennesaw, Georgia, 2008

Wearing army uniform for me, Kennesaw, Georgia, 2008

 

CONTACT Gallery January 17 – March 2, 2013
Opening Thursday January 17, 6 - 8PM

Love and War is an intimate and unique investigation that reveals the complexity of a young U.S. Army sergeant's love life—before, during and after her deployment to Iraq. Following his subject Caroline Annandale between the ages of 16 and 25, Montreal-based photographer Guillaume Simoneau documents her transformation through the experience of war and military service as it plays out against her personal world.

The series of images is composed of enigmatic portraits, places and objects, in addition to documentation of personal correspondence through handwritten letters, emails, and text messages. Like a dream or recollection of memories, time collapses as the artist has sequenced the images in a non-chronological order, finding novel and nuanced ways to foreground the changes in Annandale's identity and sense of self. This personal story is a poetic comment on youth, one's coming of age, and the indelible effects of love and war.

Guillaume Simoneau is a Canadian photographer based in Montreal. He began his independent studies in art after completing a diploma in applied science. Today, his work centres mostly on transitional spaces within universal themes. His most recent body of work, Love and War was shortlisted for both First Book Award and European Publishers Award For Photography. Love and War is scheduled to be published in 2013 by Dewi Lewis UK. The series recently headlined the Daegu Photography Biennale in Korea and is heading to the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago in July 2013 for a three person exhibition entitled Backstory: Ron Jude, Guillaume Simoneau and LaToya Ruby Frazier. Simoneau is currently nominated for this year's PDN30.

www.simoneauguillaume.com

Simoneau is the recipient of CONTACT's 2012 Portfolio Reviews Exhibition Award. This award, chosen by a jury of international professionals in the field of photography, recognizes outstanding work presented at CONTACT's annual Portfolio Reviews. The program was created to support and advance the careers of talented emerging artists. A special thank you to Vistek, The Gladstone Hotel, and Toronto Image Works.

 

Luther Price
Number 9 and Number 9 II

  • Luther Price, Number 9 and Number 9 II, 2012
    Luther Price, Number 9 and Number 9 II, 2012, Courtesy of the artist and Callicoon Fine Arts, NY
  • Luther Price, Number 9 and Number 9 II, 2012
    Luther Price, Number 9 and Number 9 II, 2012, Courtesy of the artist and Callicoon Fine Arts, NY
  • Luther Price, Number 9 and Number 9 II, 2012
    Luther Price, Number 9 and Number 9 II, 2012, Courtesy of the artist and Callicoon Fine Arts, NY

 

September 6 - October 6, 2012
CONTACT Gallery

Presented in collaboration with the Toronto International Film Festival Future Projections Programme

American artist Luther Price is known primarily for his radical Super-8 experimental films and his recent handmade 16mm found-footage works. However, this year's Whitney Biennale revealed another extraordinary body of work from Price: his gorgeous glass slides.

While Price's focus on fleshy deterioration and decay has often been called "Boschian," his slides are buoyed by their fragility and projection through a near-obsolete analogue slide machine. In Number 9 and Number 9 II, individual collages of transformed found footage and other detritus are held within the slides, materiality giving way to abstraction as light passes through them. Transcending ideas of cinematic decasia, the mesmerizing mix of reclaimed photographic imagery, inks, paint, and other particles offer soulful expressions of the tactile and the fleeting.

This exhibition contains four rare, wax paper ink blots and two carousels of eighty handmade slides, on continuous view at the CONTACT gallery. Price's 16mm film Sorry--Horns (12) will be presented alongside older slides in the TIFF Wavelengths programme.
- Andréa Picard, Exhibition Curator

Luther Price studied sculpture and media/performing arts at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where he currently teaches. Known since the 1980s for his Super 8 films and performances, Price has recently turned to 16mm film. His work has been shown at a number of institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Light Industry, San Francisco Cinematheque, The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, and at the 2012 Whitney Biennale, New York.

 

Alex Kisilevich

  • Alex Kisilevich, Hair Rainbow, 2012
    Alex Kisilevich, Hair Rainbow, 2012, Digital Chromogenic Print
  • Alex Kisilevich, Flowered Vent, 2011
    Alex Kisilevich, Flowered Vent, 2011, Digital Chromogenic Print
  • Alex Kisilevich, Untitled, 2012
    Alex Kisilevich, Untitled, 2012

CONTACT 2010 Portfolio Reviews Award Exhibition
Toronto Image Works Gallery, February 23 – March 24, 2012
Opening reception Thursday February 23, 5 – 8pm


Alex Kisilevich's practice investigates the duality of photography, with its capability to imply truth while simultaneously subverting it. His new photographs employ aspects of sculpture, installation and performance to touch on ideas of distinction and assimilation. The images, full of pathos and absurdity, continue to explore human subjectivity as well as the relationships we form with the things around us.

Alex Kisilevich is a photo-based artist living and working in Toronto, Canada. He is a recent graduate of the MFA program in Visual Arts at York University and holds BFAs in Music and Photography from York University and OCAD University, respectively. Kisilevich's photographs have been featured in publications such as Magenta Foundation's Flash Forward and BlackFlash Magazine. His work has been exhibited internationally and was recently shown in a solo exhibition during the Lianzhou Photography Festival 2011 in China. Kisilevich is represented by Angell Gallery in Canada.

 

 

Jonathan Taggart
The Friction of Distance: The Lillooet River Valley

  • Jonathan Taggart, <em>In-SHUCK-ch Mountain & Road, Samahquam IR 1 </em>, 2010
    Jonathan Taggart, In-SHUCK-ch Mountain & Road, Samahquam IR 1 , 2010
  • Jonathan Taggart, <em>Cemetery, Douglas IR 8  </em>
    Jonathan Taggart, Cemetery, Douglas IR 8
  • Installation view of Jonathan Taggart, <em>The Friction of Distance: The Lillooet River Valley. </em>
    Installation view of Jonathan Taggart, The Friction of Distance: The Lillooet River Valley.
  • Installation view of Jonathan Taggart, <em>The Friction of Distance: The Lillooet River Valley</em>.
    Installation view of Jonathan Taggart, The Friction of Distance: The Lillooet River Valley.

CONTACT 2011 Portfolio Reviews Award Exhibition
The CONTACT Gallery January 19 – February 16, 2012
Opening Thursday January 19, 6- 9PM

The reserves of the In-SHUCK-ch Nation are scattered along both sides of British Columbia’s Lillooet River in an expanse of traditional territory stretching 100km north and south between the towns of Pemberton and Harrison Lake. Like many of Canada’s indigenous communities, these settlements exist in isolation; poverty is rampant and infrastructure dearly lacking, and with limited access to health and education resources, the communities of the Lillooet River Valley can be seen to represent a continuation of what has too often been referred to as the “Indian Problem.” This series illustrates Taggart’s ongoing commitment to document and raise awareness of the socio-economic challenges facing Canada’s First Nations communities.

Jonathan Taggart is a photographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and a founding member of the Boreal Collective of Canadian photojournalists. His photography has been exhibited internationally, has been featured in the New York Times Lens Blog and Applied Arts Magazine, among others. He was nominated for the National Magazine Award (Photojournalism, 2010) and PDN30 (2012), and is a three time Ontario Arts Council grant receipt. Taggart spends his volunteer time as a photography instructor at Vancouver’s Urban Native Youth Association.
 

 


 

Jesse Louttit
No Roads

  • Jesse Louttit, <em>Untitled</em>, from the series <em>No Roads</em>
    Jesse Louttit, Untitled, from the series No Roads
  • Jesse Louttit, <em>Untitled</em>, from the series<em> No Roads</em>
    Jesse Louttit, Untitled, from the series No Roads
  • Installation view of Jesse Louttit,<em> No Roads.</em>
    Installation view of Jesse Louttit, No Roads.,
  • Installation view of Jesse Louttit,<em> No Roads.</em>
    Installation view of Jesse Louttit, No Roads.,

CONTACT 2011 Portfolio Reviews Award Exhibition
Toronto Image Works Gallery January 19 – February 16, 2012
Opening Thursday January 19, 6- 9PM

Jesse Louttit’s new series documents Moosonee and Moose Factory, two northern Ontario towns unconnected to the road system and only accessible by train or plane. Located on the shores of the Moose River and James Bay, they are at the northernmost point of the Ontario Northlander train route. Originally settled as fur trading posts, the towns grew in prominence with the arrival of the rail line in 1932 operating as gateways to surrounding communities, many of them Cree settlements. Louttit’s return to Moosonee, the place where his father was born, was inspired by his fascination with isolation, connection and travel in remote places. Unable to locate the areas on Google Street View, these large format images are personal substitutes, responding to the global mapping project with an insightful approach. Taken at dusk and before dawn, Louttit’s use of light and composition evoke qualities of beauty, stillness, and contemplation, while depicting the infrastructural elements of these isolated towns.

Jesse Louttit is a photographer who lives and works in Toronto. His large format landscape images often reveal the traces of human existence in the environment. His work has been featured in PDN, Applied Arts and Report on Business and has been exhibited at Pikto and the Boiler House for CONTACT 2011. The Harbourfront Centre will be presenting a series of No Roads in the Photo Gallery from January 28 to April 15, 2012. 
Opening Friday January 27, 6 - 8pm.

 

Toronto Image Works Gallery
80 Spadina Avenue
Suite 207 Toronto
Ontario M5V 2J4
www.torontoimageworks.com

Exhibition Hours:
Monday - Friday 8:30am - 7pm
Saturday 11am - 3pm
 

Medium_Massage 2.0 :: an infinite inventory

  • Jeremy Bailey
    Jeremy Bailey

November 5 - December 3, 2011
Opening Reception Saturday November 5, 2 - 5pm
CONTACT Gallery


Kate Armstrong
Myfanwy Ashmore
Jeremy Bailey
David Jhave Johnston
Mouchette
Rafaël Rozendaal
Cheryl Sourkes
Donna Szoke
KD Thornton

"All media are extensions of some human faculty - psychic or physical"
- The Medium is the Massage, Marshall McLuhan, p 26

Medium_Massage 2.0 :: an infinite inventory is a net-based exhibition inspired by Marshall McLuhan and graphic designer Quentin Fiore's collaborative book The Medium is the Massage. Published in 1967 in an experimental format that fused Fiore's engaging graphic style and visual language with McLuhan's text, The Medium is the Massage introduced McLuhan's theories of media and communications technology to a mass audience. Within the context of Marshall McLuhan's centennial and 20 years after the development of the first webpage, the media artists in this exhibition reflect McLuhan's prophetic theories through their immersion in the networked medium and cultural shift that McLuhan predicted in the 60s.

The exhibition includes a new expanded version of The Medium is the Massage matched with compositionally similar images using google algorithms; a sorrybot that gives a unique apology to every citizen on earth; new web software that re-invents the way artists communicate with the media; an archeological examination of 8 bit-graphic images and obsolescent media through daily floppy disc mining; and more!

Curated by Michael Alstad. Presented by Year Zero One (YZO) in collaboration with the CONTACT Gallery for the McLuhan100 Festival.

YZO gratefully acknowledges the support of the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council for their generous support of Medium_Massage 2.0.

www.year01.com/mediummassage
www.mcluhan100.ca

 

Gregory Crewdson - Sanctuary

  • Gregory Crewdson, Untitled, 2009
    Gregory Crewdson, Untitled, 2009
  • Gregory Crewdson, Untitled, 2009
    Gregory Crewdson, Untitled, 2009
  • Installation view of Gregory Crewdson, <em>Sanctuary.</em>
    Installation view of Gregory Crewdson, Sanctuary.
  • Installation view of Gregory Crewdson, <em>Sanctuary.</em>
    Installation view of Gregory Crewdson, Sanctuary.

September 8 - October 22, 2011
CONTACT Gallery

Presented in collaboration with the Toronto International Film Festival Future Projections Programme

With La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini broke with the neorealist tradition of filming on location, and moved to Cinecittà Studios, where he built a near-exact replica of Rome's famed Via Veneto. Cinecittà, then known for hosting American epics like Ben Hur, would become inextricably linked with the great director.

In this series of photographs, artist Gregory Crewdson revisits Fellini's stomping grounds, documenting a cinematic ruin where narratives linger like ghosts. The traces of bygone productions are everywhere: a painted sign, perhaps from Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York; flooded alleyways that evoke HBO's Rome.

Crewdson—known for highly staged, fantastic photographs—chooses to dwell on the gaps in the fragile illusions of these film sets. Scaffolding can be seen supporting each structure. Modern high rises can be glimpsed behind an ancient cottage.

Mussolini once described Cinecittà as the place where "dreams become reality." For Crewdson—like Fellini before him—it is a place to revel in the dreamlike nature of reality itself. — Michael Connor, Exhibition Curator

Gregory Crewdson (b. 1962, lives and works in New York) is internationally renowned for his elaborately constructed, surreal scenes of small town America. His large-scale colour photographs psychologically reference the movies by iconic filmmakers such as David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock, and Stephen Spielberg. Museum and public collections include the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, and the V&A Museum, London. A retrospective of his work, spanning his career, from 1985 - 2005, was shown as a traveling exhibition from 2005 - 2008, at major museums in Europe. Another travelling exhibition of his work opened at the Kulturhuset Museum, Stockholm, in February 2011, followed by Sorte Diamant, Copenhagen and c/o Berlin, Berlin.

 

 

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