2018

This year CONTACT expands its scope across Toronto and presents a broad spectrum of physically and conceptually engaging forms of photography.  In keeping with this commitment to multiplicity, the 2018 Festival catalogue cover has been produced as a series of four, with each one featuring a single work. The images by Richard Mosse, Felicity Hammond, Charlie Engman, and Shelley Niro represent highly distinctive approaches to the photographic medium, yet they can each be considered touchstones for areas of common ground that have come together through the process of developing the curated program.

Focusing on collaborations, new discoveries, commissions, and premiere presentations, CONTACT’s 2018 Primary Exhibitions and Public Installations present outstanding, timely works by artists from Canada and abroad. Many of today’s critical global issues are the consequence of war, and the societal complexities that arise from it are examined by numerous artists throughout the Festival. Richard Mosse uses a military-grade thermal video camera that registers bodily presence from great distances to create highly complex works based on documentation of refugee camps. Along a similar vein, Trevor Paglen uncovers the physical markers of covert military and intelligence surveillance activities. Looking at the contested lands of Palestine, Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme construct poetic narratives that speak to the ongoing conflict permeating the area. The monuments of war are investigated by Daniel Alexander, whose images of cemeteries and epitaphs consider the impulse to commemorate; and the AGO’s photographic archives reveal personal accounts of the First World War and images capturing the technologies of mass destruction.

The built environment is also a prevalent theme this year, and a number of artists were commissioned to produce new site-specific work at prominent locations around the city. Felicity Hammond’s project examines how depictions of past and future urban developments dramatically shift and complicate the way that architecture is experienced, and Marleen Sleeuwits’ photographs are based on her elaborate transformations of nondescript architectural spaces. As a platform for artistic experimentation, our Public Installations activate a visual dialogue within their urban surroundings, as seen in the fleeting moments captured in Wang Yishu’s images positioned in a bustling subway station, the digital landscapes Scott Benesiinaabandan derives from monument sites to acknowledge Indigenous histories, and the expansive view of the cosmos by Elizabeth Zvonar that illuminates the grey concrete cityscape. Several venues, some of which are new to the Festival this year,provide challenging contexts for artistic interventions. While Dana Claxton’s hyper-saturated images of canoes transform a new gathering place beneath the Gardiner Expressway, Max Dean’s multimedia installation occupies a former soap factory slated for demolition. Replacing the traditional display of pictures, Piero Martinello’s portraits of radical individuals infiltrate the former home of a magistrate.

Numerous projects this year aim to challenge cultural stereotypes. Charlie Engman’s expansive body of work, which is being exhibited for the first time, features boundary-pushing photographs of his mother; John Edmonds’ public installation confronts presumptions about race, class, and gender based on clothing choices; and Sofia Mesa’s collaborative project commemorates individuals often deemed invisible by society. Through active dialogue with diverse communities, Esther Shalev-Gerz considers the politics of representation by examining the origins of museum objects. The culture and collecting practice of the museum is also scrutinized by Nadia Myre, who reclaims Indigenous skills and crafts devalued by colonization; and by Awol Erizku, whose still life compositions address the practice of whitewashing in art historical representation.

The pervasive theme of reclamation and empowerment resonates in Shelley Niro’s work, which redefines contemporary Indigenous experience and identity, particularly for women. Gestures of cultural understanding are performed by a number of artists whose images reveal complex narratives: Kent Monkman’s alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle reclaims a controversial headdress; Aida Muluneh speaks to the struggles and achievements of the African diaspora across history; and Caroline Monnet’s scene of women in the film industry highlights an emerging sense of power and self-determination. Reframing social and cultural traditions, Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca’s work dynamically captures contemporary dance and music derived from various forms of colonial resistance in Brazil, and a vibrant group exhibition drawing from an archive of Canadian hip hop culture disrupts the status quo to provide high visibility for under-recognized photographers.

We invite you to experience all of the exceptional projects in CONTACT 2018’s curated program throughout the city. Revealing multilayered perspectives on the world, the works ultimately come together through interaction, dialogue, and celebration.

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2018 Primary Exhibition
2018 Primary Exhibition
2018 Primary Exhibition
2018 Public Installation
2018 Open Exhibition
2018 Open Exhibition
Fay Athari, Sasan Ghahrerman, Elsa Hashemi, Ludmila Schnaider and 6 more Anthony Schatzky, John Kosmopoulos, Sidra Syed, Steven Levinson, Jacquelyn Sloane Siklos, Alborz Malekpoor CLICK Arta Gallery
2018 Open Exhibition
Paul Brandejs, Donald Bray, Stephen Cooper, David Johns and 8 more Margit Koivisto, Jessica Lin, Lori Ryerson, Michael Sachter, Lorie Slater, Felicity Somerset, Donna Wells, Rita Wong Isolation Artists' Network Gallery
2018 Open Exhibition
Stephanie Avery, Jaene Castrillon, Katie Cooper, India d'Scarlett and 12 more Sylvia Frey, Genova, Amy Loucareas, Elaine Lum, Marta McKenzie, Sandy Middleton, Brad Necyk, Sean Patenaude, Annette Seip, Kat Singer, Brenda Spielmann, Jan Swinburne MINDSET 2018 : EXPOSURE Artscape Youngplace
2018 Open Exhibition
Marley Abdull, Raine Akiyama-Chen, Anna Arjoon, Alabama Bamford and 41 more Kira Bentley, Amanda Blake, Maximum Brauch, Aidan Breit-McNally, Noah Brown, Erica Bruno, Rachel Burns, Andrew Camilleri, Aya Danzig, Jaiden Dalbello, Carlin Elbourne, Ben Elhav, Isabella Ferrer, Hallie Ford, Camila Frater, Jelena Gajdel, Savva Gretzky, Grace Hancock, Joshua Holme, Spencer Julien, Olivia Kerr, Macy Kerrigan, Hayden Lawrence, Temple Marucci-Campbell, Curtis Matysek, Eliza McFarlane, Astrid Mohr, Brooklyn Morris, Liam O’Connor-Savaria, Anais Ordóñez Figueroa, Jamie Pattison, Eny Ross, Daniela Salinas, Maizy Shepherd, Sarah Shepperd, Romi Shraiter, Marina Sotiras, Taylor Storr, Quinn Tabbitt, Alexis Vo, Issie Watson Dismantle Artscape Youngplace - 1st, 2nd & 3rd Fl Hallway Galleries
2018 Open Exhibition
Chris Blanchenot, Linda Briskin, Mike Callaghan, Keith Davidson and 12 more Dennis Duncan, Margarita Macdonald, Jude Marion, Kye Marshall, Christian Martius, Zohreh Moeini, John Moran, Sara Pand, Atia Pokorny, James Sutherland, Annie Tong, Drew Williamson Spectra: Gallery 44 Members Show, Part 2 Gallery 1313
2018 Open Exhibition
David Brandy, Katherine Childs, Ulla Djelweh, Sylvia Galbraith and 12 more Tom Kane, Susan Kerr, Kelly Lamorie, Franklin Lau, Jack Martin, Eliza Moore, Huw Morgan, Joachim Oepkes, Nelly Akerman Singer, Janne Reuss, Ted Scott, Jennifer Young Spectra: Gallery 44 Members Show Gallery 1313
2018 Open Exhibition
2018 Open Exhibition
David Coulson, Danielle Da Silva, Jeff Dickie, Justine DiCesare and 7 more Brett Forsyth, Talley Garey, Natasha Hirt, Matt Jenkins, Vincent Luk, Mary Paquet, Samantha Stephens Environmental Visual Communication Patagonia Toronto
2018 Open Exhibition
Glenn Bloodworth, Freeman Keats, Bill McCloskey, Maureen Murphy and 3 more Richard Perron, Lise Presseault, Richard Robesco Dissonance Queen Gallery
2018 Open Exhibition
Quan Zhou, Jennie Wang, Jasmine Suo, Henry Zhao and 6 more Philip Chang, Yun Wang, Huanan Zhang, Zhiwen Li, Wei Tian, Ying Shi Artistic Growth Queen Gallery
2018 Open Exhibition
2018 Open Exhibition
2018 Open Exhibition
2018 Open Exhibition
Astara, Kalista, Moana, Arthur and 13 more Giovanni, Myles, Henry, Kaiya, Raz, Theo B., Theo P., Cassidy, Xavier, Roberto, Mathus, Monty, Jude Visionary Mammals UB Social Cafe & General Store
2018 Open Exhibition
Dan Berman, Vincent Luk, Sammy Tangir, Nicole Czorny and 19 more Erin Riley, Sarah Burtscher, Jade Lee Portelli, Diane Davis, Christine McLean, Jeff Dickie, Jason Ramsey-Brown, Ian Crysler, Andrew Wallace, Dave Coulson, Sarah Dinnick, Nancy Friedland, Anthony Smith, Shawn Micallef, Deb Perna, Frank Dionisi, Danielle Griscti, Samantha Stephens, Todd Irvine Accidental Parkland University of Toronto - New College
2018 Open Exhibition
2018 Open Exhibition
Alexis Aubin, Amber Bracken, Chris Donovan, Gavin John and 6 more Pat Kane, Isaac Paul, Renaud Philippe, Galit Rodan, Adrienne Surprenant, Kali Spitzer True North - X Withrow Common