Archive

Back/Fill

For more than 20 years, Guelph-based artist Susan Dobson has photographed urban landscapes and architecture. Her new site-specific project Back/Fill (2019) explores the detritus of Toronto through images of construction debris dumped at the Leslie Street Spit. Featuring a massive mural adhered to the north elevation of the new… Read More

A Nation Outside a Nation

Fuelled by an interest in socio-economic and political situations, Nadine Stijns’ long-term photographic projects focus on migration, diasporic communities, and national identity in post-colonial regions. For A Nation Outside a Nation (2012 – 14), the Netherlands-based artist draws attention to overseas Filipino workers and the evolution of their communities… Read More

Milky Way Smiling

Amid towering structures and light pollution emanating from the city, views of the night sky tend to be sparse and undramatic. Vancouver-based artist Elizabeth Zvonar brings a heightened view of the cosmos to the cityscape in her monumental image, Milky Way Smiling. Animating the conference centre, a grey, block-long… Read More

LTA 10: Palimpsest

Over the course of eight years, from 2008 to 2016, members of the international, Poland-based Sputnik Photos collective set out independently to explore the physical, political, and sociocultural terrain of post-Soviet regions. In the process, the collective built a composite documentary record comprised of several thousand photographs that geographically… Read More

XYZ-SOB-ABC

I’ve been saving photographs of women in protest for a decade, or, for as long as I’ve been collecting images at all. I look closely for written signs, for obvious and less-than-obvious reasons: I am moved by the ability of language to act as a device for externalizing rage,… Read More

42nd & Vanderbilt

Over a nine-year period, Berlin-based Danish photographer Peter Funch executed a photographic exercise in New York City at 42nd and Vanderbilt. Situated in Midtown Manhattan directly outside Grand Central Station, this intersection is an extremely active site for foot traffic. Between the hours of 8:30 and 9:30am, Funch photographed… Read More

The Universe Makers

Bianca Salvo explores the roles that photography, technology, and science fiction have played in producing evidence. Using collected documents and visual records, The Universe Makers (2016 – 18) addresses public beliefs and false perceptions of interstellar exploration. Positioned alongside an escalator and the northbound platform at Osgoode subway station,… Read More

Not Elsewhere

Exploring power structures and visual forms of state control, Sanaz Mazinani reimagines contemporary media imagery to activate critical reflection. At the Aga Khan Museum, a new site-specific installation by the multidisciplinary artist, who is based in San Francisco and Toronto, evokes past and present methods of recording and distributing… Read More

False Positives

“In my work, I investigate how power, politics, and control are exercised through urban planning and the use of public space. Within these themes of control and power, there are two different elements that fascinate me. On the one hand, my work deals with the ways in which control… Read More

If you end up with the story you started with, then you’re not listening along the way

Mario Pfeifer works primarily in video, making multi-screen installations that centre on narratives often forced out of our frames of vision. His practice considers the parameters of image-making as a perceptual tool, and reveals a profound commitment to the stories of individuals and communities. This photograph was taken during… Read More

Yours to Discover

Yours to Discover is a new site-specific installation outside the Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives (PAMA). Based in Toronto and Montreal, Zinnia Naqvi has created a large-scale photographic triptych for the façade of the building—a modernist structure linked to a former 19th-century courthouse. Each image features photographs of… Read More

Scenes & Take

Operating on multiple levels, Scenes & Take (2016) continues Carrie Mae Weems’ examination of society and its structures of power, using a fictionalized story to acknowledge Hollywood’s scandalous realities and broad-reaching effects. Weems reveals the systemic apparatuses of control, and points to the social and economic disparity between men and… Read More

Anointed

Cast in fiery red and inscribed “Anointed,” this powerful image portrays singer, songwriter, and actor Mary J. Blige in the moment of being crowned as royalty by artist Carrie Mae Weems. The monumental photograph’s setting, on a Victorian-era façade, offers a fitting context for “the queen of hip-hop soul,”… Read More

Slow Fade To Black

Placing the spotlight on Black women in popular culture, Slow Fade to Black (2010) recasts images of singers and performers captured at the height of their success in the 20th century. Presented at a crossroads in Toronto’s Entertainment District, Carrie Mae Weems’ installation of 13 larger-than-life portraits—bridging several generations—portrays Josephine… Read More

above and below and so on forever

In her work, Nadia Belerique complicates the way we look at images. She often alters conventional photographic perspectives or re-photographs prints in her studio to create multi-layered images that conflate places and moments. For above and below and so on forever, Belerique brought her studio outdoors in October 2018,… Read More

Three-Thirty

Investigating the way people exercise power through the construction, manipulation, and occupation of space Read More

Future Perfect

Images of an endangered tropical paradise expose the consequences of indifference and denial Read More

epoch, stage, shell

Appropriating large-scale structures normally used for advertising to challenge preconceptions of beauty Read More

Plastic Ocean

Addressing environmental waste through photographs of elaborate sculptures constructed from discarded plastic Read More

for at least one day, you should continue to breathe clearly

Restoring Indigenous presence to a historical paper mill Read More

Framework

Visit the 130 Commissioners Street microsite for additional online content related to this exhibition. In the summer of 2019, Toronto artists Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker began photographing one of the most ambitious civil works projects in North America. Tasked with documenting the five-year transformation of the Port… Read More

Post Production

Presented in conjunction with Felicity Hammond’s exhibition Arcades in the CONTACT Gallery. For Post Production (2018), Hammond has collaged architectural renderings and photographs she has taken of Toronto’s skyline. Her layers of images reference the methods that are used to imagine new buildings, and the tendency to build on top… Read More

Reflections of Hope

As a prominent photojournalist, Aida Muluneh often finds that the subject matter she explores for media outlets motivates her artistic work. Her portraits derive from a keen understanding of the way images play an essential role in how the world views people; as an Ethiopian woman, she is invested in… Read More

Guardians

For more than two years, Toronto-based emerging artist Sofia Mesa has been involved with the Allan Gardens Food and Clothing Share. Mesa’s engagement with this grassroots initiative to support the downtown east-end, low-income, and street community is the impetus behind the commissioned site-specific project, Guardians. Positioned on the exterior and… Read More

Mom

These four billboards feature photographs from Charlie Engman’s ongoing series Mom. In this quasi-collaborative, long-standing project, Engman’s mother has stepped into the role of muse and mannequin donning makeup, stylized hair, high-fashion and ubiquitous clothing for his camera. Throughout the series we observe a middle-aged, middle-American woman engaging with the… Read More

United in Love

On September 9, 2017, patrons of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts gathered around Kent Monkman’s 2006 beaded tipi installation, Théâtre de Cristal. The event was billed as a reception to honour the museum’s record-breaking retrospective Love Is Love: Wedding Bliss For All à la Jean Paul Gaultier. The exhibition… Read More

Say Less

Awol Erizku’s multimedia artistic practice draws attention to the lack of racial diversity and the profusion of cultural appropriation in Western art history. Born in Ethiopia and raised in New York City’s South Bronx neighbourhood, Erizku’s longstanding awareness of Black invisibility and observation of whitewashing in art have deeply motivated… Read More

Not The Actual Site

Marleen Sleeuwits is inspired by impersonal environments—places that could be anywhere and nowhere—such as vacant zones in airports, unoccupied corridors of hotels, and empty rooms in office buildings. The Netherlands-based artist is attracted to these non-spaces for the lack of impression they leave on people; her work focuses on finding… Read More

Still Moving

Open for viewing Fri–Sun 12–6pm We came about as a special project by the Province—Camille, Andy, The Boy, Doctor Gross, and the rest of the gang. It was the mid-1980s and Ontario Place wanted an exhibit showcasing northern Ontario life and industries. Something innovative and exciting: a thrill ride. Working with… Read More

Hoods

John Edmonds’ photographic series, Hoods, addresses the architecture of clothing and the way bodies in public space are seen and understood. The artist foregrounds how viewers associate apparel such as hooded sweatshirts with race, gender, and age. Edmonds’ subjects are people the artist meets while in transit, on the street,… Read More

Caught In-Between

Sculpture-like, dramatized, performing consciously or unconsciously, captured in fresh daylight or under an illuminated spotlight, always somewhat eccentric—these are characteristic and inimitable features of Chinese photographer Wang Yishu’s work. He captures the familiar yet absurd within ordinary scenes, stripping a part from the whole in the process of selecting and… Read More

newlandia: debaabaminaagwad

Monuments often function as a way of validating and reinforcing the stories we tell about a particular group or community. Montreal-based artist Scott Benesiinaabandan (Obishikokaang Anishinabe First Nation) explores the historical complexities that are often buried under the metaphorical weight of memorials, statuary and other structures that commemorate colonial stories. Read More

A Forest of Canoes

In this site-specific installation at The Bentway, Vancouver-based artist Dana Claxton (Lakota Sioux) considers the iconic role and symbolism of the canoe in Canadian, Metis, and Indigenous histories. Claxton works with photographs sourced from the Internet, and her images depict a range of canoe types, from traditional birchbark vessels to… Read More

WER HAT ANGST VOR SCHWARZ: Casino Baden-Baden series

Sufferhead Original is a craft beer inspired by the food tastes and experiences of Africans living in Europe, especially Germany, which communicates some of the received stereotypes, politics of difference, and integration through the brewing and branding of the beer. Sufferhead beer is developed through interactions with these African communities… Read More

History shall speak for itself

Caroline Monnet uses cinema, painting, sculpture, and installation to communicate complex ideas around Indigenous identity and bicultural living through the examination of cultural histories. The Montreal-based multidisciplinary artist is deeply engaged with experimentation and invention, and combines the vocabulary of popular and traditional visual cultures with the tropes of modernist… Read More

Milky Way Smiling

Amid towering structures and light pollution emanating from the city, views of the night sky tend to be sparse and undramatic. Vancouver-based artist Elizabeth Zvonar brings a heightened view of the cosmos to the cityscape in her monumental image, Milky Way Smiling. Animating the conference centre, a grey, block-long building… Read More

Jackie and Anna (rainbow tear)

Upon picking up a 35mm camera at the age of 15, Toronto-born Petra Collins rapidly developed her signature style of photographs depicting the complex world of teenage girls. She captured her sister Anna—a recurring muse for the artist—and their friends, as they navigated their sexuality, femininity, friendships, and social media. Today, at 24, the New York-based artist successfully creates work that often straddles the worlds… Read More

New Romantics

Two grappling arms merge in stillness. A bridge’s shadow zigzags across a concrete wall. A cluster of stars cloaks a nude body. Glowing light meets an open hand. These four images, placed at the intersection of Dovercourt Road and Dupont Street, comprise Toronto-based artist Steven Beckly’s public installation New Romantics. Read More

Nous ne somme pas des héros

Through the lens of sculpture, and both formal and material experimentation, Montreal-based artist Valérie Blass transforms the human body into choreographed, abstract compositions. Commissioned to create a site-specific installation in Allen Lambert Galleria at Brookfield Place, she deconstructs the photographic view to confront the limitations of figurative representation and the instability… Read More

Blueberry Hill

For Seth Fluker, Blueberry Hill is a private reckoning with the Canadian landscape. Comprised of photographs made between 2013 – 2017, this body of work is shaped by his personal impression of contemporary Canada. Each photograph contains the quiet discourse of time passed, a visual reflection on the vagaries of… Read More

Battlefields of my Ancestors

For more than 30 years, multi-disciplinary artist and filmmaker Shelley Niro (Mohawk, turtle clan) has chronicled the land of the Mohawks — part of the confederacy of Six Nations called the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois. While best known for figurative imagery that boldly challenges stereotypical interpretations of Indigenous women, identity, and… Read More

Coastal

Extending the exhibition Coastal to the grounds of Harbourfront Centre outside the gallery, three of the Hallberg Campbell’s photographs are presented as large murals, and resonate with the surroundings in view of Lake Ontario. The images of a cabin and of sleigh-dog houses both echo the form of the small… Read More

The Sum of All Parts

Hailing from south Scarborough and working at the intersection of art, industry, and community, Jalani Morgan has made a name for himself as a photographer committed to picturing the social and cultural landscape of Toronto as it changes. While his subjects range from individuals to mass public assemblies in city… Read More

OH CANADA!

Naomi Harris travels many roads in pursuit of her work as an environmental portrait photographer, seeking curious and thought-provoking cultural perspectives. Her ongoing project OH CANADA! began with a four-month-long journey in 2011, photographing Canadians from coast to coast. Harris grew up in North York, is currently based in Los… Read More

Great Lake/Small City

On August 16, 1894, it was reported that more than 20,000 citizens of Buffalo, New York, saw a highly detailed “mirage” of the city of Toronto floating in the air above Lake Ontario. While this atmospherically based illusion soon dissipated, never to be seen with such clarity again, faint echoes… Read More

Spotlight Canada: Faces That Shaped a Nation

On the occasion of Canada’s sesquicentennial, the Ryerson Image Centre honours Canadian culture with Spotlight Canada: Faces That Shaped a Nation, a photographic mural highlighting key personalities who have helped establish our national identity through their endeavours and resilience. These 14 portraits, arrayed across the RIC’s west façade, celebrate a… Read More

Battlefields of my Ancestors

For more than 30 years, multi-disciplinary artist and filmmaker Shelley Niro (Mohawk, turtle clan) has chronicled the land of the Mohawks — part of the confederacy of Six Nations called the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois. While best known for figurative imagery that boldly challenges stereotypical interpretations of Indigenous women, identity, and… Read More

Asiniy Iskwew

Through performance, film, and photography, Lori Blondeau interrogates the influence of popular media and culture, both contemporary and historical, on definitions of Indigenous identity. A Cree/Saulteaux/Métis artist from Saskatchewan currently based in Saskatoon, Blondeau’s constructed personas portray provocative, tough, and powerful women. Asiniy Iskwew (2016)—whose Cree words translate to “Rock… Read More

Canada in Kodachrome: Imaging Pleasure and Leisure

In the 1950s and 1960s, Canada experienced rapid modernization largely due to postwar reconstruction. The government, eager to increase tourism, promoted the country’s natural beauty to Canadians and international audiences. The National Film Board of Canada, Still Photography Division supported postwar optimism by amassing a vast archive of images, which… Read More

Two Half-Hitches Could Hold the Devil Himself – Photographs from Glencoe, Ontario, Canada

“Two half-hitches could hold the Devil himself” was an expression often used by Andrew Blake McGill’s great-grandfather when working on his family farm, and functions as the title of McGill’s ongoing photographic series. A versatile and powerful binding knot, the half-hitch has many useful applications. The phrase serves as a… Read More

Bound, Hupfield 2017

Objects contain meanings beyond their materiality, meanings that we bring to them or receive from them. Objects are the result of an action, entail a trace of a human gesture, and trigger reactions and memories. They have the potential to be read collectively or personally. In her artistic practice, Maria… Read More

On Location

Placed along the street-level windows of TIFF Bell Lightbox — Toronto’s hub for international film screenings and events — Sam Cotter’s On Location (2016) explores the relationship between the city and the motion picture industry. Cotter investigates the ways in which film crews reconfigure and temporarily transform the urban environment,… Read More

Best Beach

Winnipeg-based artist Sarah Anne Johnson uses photography to explore communal experiences, taking a playful yet considered approach to the pursuit of the utopian. This commissioned mural, first unveiled for the 2015 Festival, transforms a grey city block into an enchanted place. Nestled between towering buildings that hover near Lake Ontario,… Read More

Drape

Manipulating vintage pin-up photographs from the 1950s and 1960s, Eva Stenram subverts their original function to scrutinize the disembodiment and sexual objectification of women. In the ongoing series Drape (2011–), Stenram conceals overt nudity by physically or digitally altering her source material, creating a rupture within each scene… Read More

Alliance

Chloe Sells is one of a growing number of photo-based artists who are returning to the darkroom, where the original photograph shot on 35mm or large-format film is only the beginning. Sells—who is based in London, England, and Maun, Botswana— develops unrepeatable effects in her monoprint photographs that… Read More

What it Means to be Beautiful

Mickalene Thomas is a multimedia artist whose paintings, photographs, and collages diversify ideas of beauty, race, and femininity. Throughout her practice, Thomas explores and asserts the complex identity of black women and challenges issues of representation in Western visual culture. The Brooklyn-based artist depicts relatives, friends, and lovers—real… Read More

Further Clarities and Convolutions

Raymond Boisjoly’s practice is steeped in a dialogue that questions the representation, production, and dissemination of imagery. He often conflates image, text, and video, borrowing from or referencing the work of other artists and writers. Further Clarities and Convolutions is part of a larger body of work—an iteration… Read More

Paper Planes, Current Studies

The six-storey glass and steel “atrium of light” at Brookfield Place provides a soaring environment for Sjoerd Knibbeler’s photographic visualizations of aerodynamics, natural phenomena, and climatological conditions. Presenting two related projects, the Amsterdam-based Dutch artist confronts the limitations of photography through images capturing intangible or invisible concepts. Read More

Refugees in a State Apartment

As Canada resettles 25,000 people fleeing the conflict in Syria, the integration process and visibility of these refugees is primarily limited to television and the Internet. Throughout Europe, the conditions are vastly different, as more than a million migrants and refugees have crossed into its borders in the past year. Read More

SPOTLIGHT

SPOTLIGHT presents the viewer with three perspectives of a city in a state of flux. Despite being in the midst of a flood, the glowing lights and intact buildings of this metropolis give the impression that life continues unfazed. Alex McLeod proposes a modernist architectural fantasy, one… Read More

#Dysturb

#Dysturb is a collective of freelance photojournalists who take current, international news stories to the streets. Through an emphatic intervention into public space, this network of professionals exposes the general public to global issues by installing large-format photographs guerrilla-style on the walls of city hubs. Co-founded by Pierre… Read More

Patchwork Village

The site plan for The Esplanade neighbourhood (original St Lawrence boundaries) was approved in May 1976, when the vision for an inclusive, all-ages housing project welcoming a culturally diverse population of mixed income was supported by the City of Toronto. In celebration of the community’s 40th anniversary, Patchwork… Read More

Toilet Paper: Toronto Carousel

Well-known for his provocative, hyperreal sculptures, Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan draws from popular culture, historical events, and organized religion to expose contradictions in modern-day society and blur the lines between myth and reality. Alongside his sculptural practice, Cattelan has pursued his highly critical view of authority and the abuse of power through an… Read More

Aves

Leipzig-based artist Edgar Leciejewski depicts bird species he finds lying on city streets in his native Germany. His images can be read as photographic field notes documenting such anthropological excursions. The series title, Aves, references the ornithological class of vertebrates, pointing to the artist’s lyrical approach to scientific… Read More

Prada Marfa

Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, based in Berlin and London, explore the links between art, architecture, and design in their practice. Regularly engaging in institutional or social critique, their work often deals with important cultural issues, but is always tinged with subversive humour and wit. Erected in 2005… Read More

The Last Tattooed Women of Kalinga

For more than 5,000 years, the practice of tattooing has evolved through social and cultural exchange. Signifying tribal status, religious belief, or family lineage, tattoo traditions gradually expanded to commemorate voyages and wars, denote gangs, proclaim love, and express individuality. While the symbolic act of applying tattoos was… Read More

Casa Susanna

From the mid-1950s until 1969, Susanna Valenti and her wife, Marie, operated two resorts for masculine-to-feminine cross-dressers in upstate New York: the Chevalier d’Eon Bungalows and Casa Susanna. The resorts provided a safe haven for visitors to explore alternative forms of gender expression. Guests spent weekends revelling in… Read More

10 Blankets

Honing a practice based on respect and transparency, Toronto artist Jeff Bierk’s images are a direct response to his concerns surrounding issues of consent between photographer and subject. A former “street photographer” who documented homeless individuals sleeping on city streets, Bierk has since critiqued the genre as one that exploits… Read More

Stopping Point

This singular photograph has been selected from a picture library of 750,000 prints. The image has been transported here by multiple designated drivers; the photographer, picture editor, archivist, and curator. It represents not the end of the road, but one more stopping point on its onward journey from… Read More

Downtown Toronto (Twilight Time)

Aude Moreau creates site-specific interventions, installations, films, and photographs that address North American urban economic utopias. In Downtown Toronto (Twilight Time), 2016, Moreau continues her investigation into the metaphorical possibilities of architecture and the privatization of public space. Through a carefully orchestrated perspective, Moreau’s commanding view of Toronto’s… Read More

Coming Attractions

The Long Weekend is a collective of Winnipeg artists, filmmakers,and designers who, working under the aegis of Paul Butler’s enduring Collage Party practice, have produced movie posters that imagine an alternate history of cinema. The Collage Party, started by Butler in 1998, is an experimental studio where artists… Read More

#DrizzyDoesUTSG

UofTDrizzy is a popular Instagram account run by an anonymous student at the University of Toronto since early 2015. The images feature Toronto rapper Drake photoshopped into student-life scenarios at U of T Scarborough. Using cleverly parodied lyrics for captions, “Drake the campus boy”… Read More

Best Beach

Winnipeg-based artist Sarah Anne Johnson uses photography to explore communal experiences, taking a playful yet considered approach to the pursuit of the utopian. This commissioned mural, first unveiled for the 2015 Festival, transforms a grey city block into an enchanted place. Nestled between towering buildings that hover near… Read More

Edouard

In the early 2000s, the Archive of Modern Conflict Toronto acquired the photographs of amateur Canadian photographer Edouard LeBouthillier after his Polaroids were found discarded curbside in The Annex, a residential Toronto neighbourhood. Employing the medium of instant photography, LeBouthillier documented his life in Toronto throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Read More

Productive Displacement

Challenging how people perceive and interact with images in public space, this group exhibition on billboards and street-level kiosks in downtown Toronto extends to billboards in eight major cities across Canada. Each of the artists destabilizes the conventions of advertising and the cultural codes associated with consumer lifestyles. Suggestive of… Read More

Flat Death

Sara Cwynar uses dated commercial imagery and objects for her hybrid sculptural and photographic interventions. Her source material presents aesthetic ideals from the recent past that appear today as outmoded and kitsch. Adopting and manipulating the conventions of advertising, Cwynar transforms cultural detritus into visually seductive images. In her ongoing… Read More

Tree

Created through performative and transient interventions in the landscape, Myoung Ho Lee’s photographs transform the common tree into a highly theatrical and mysterious entity. Since 2004, the Seoul-based Korean artist has photographed solitary trees by framing them against massive white canvas backdrops in the middle of their natural environments. Working… Read More

Optimism as Cultural Rebellion

At the Drake, where people come together in revelry and abandon, Matthew Stone’s images of entangled nudes amplify these moments of physical enrapture. Tightly composed studies by this British photographer, sculptor, and performance artist are installed across the hotel’s façade windows in various sizes, revealing intertwined bodies that recall the… Read More

Figures & Models of Surfaces

Isabelle Wenzel’s striking images create an architecture of human form set against the towering buildings at Metro Hall. Situated at the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district, these female forms also highlight the powerful relationship between photography and performance. Playful, dynamic, and strange, each of these 13 photographs oscillate between surrealism… Read More

Demolition Site

Trespassing onto construction sites, Korean artist Jihyun Jung surreptitiously enters low-rise apartments slated for demolition and covers a room in red paint. He then documents the structure, using long exposures to make use of the available lighting. Upon return visits, he continues to track the state of his red room,… Read More

EMPIRE x 8

Phil Solomon is an acclaimed experimental filmmaker from the United States, known for his use of machinima—incorporating real-time computer graphics to create cinematic video works. His video installation EMPIRE x 8, which draws its visual framework from the open-world video game Grand Theft Auto IV, pays wry homage to Andy… Read More

The Death of a Journey V

Caught at a juncture where land meets sea along the North Atlantic coastline, a mammoth shipping vessel lies like a decaying monument. In 2003 the United Malika ran aground en route to a massive ship graveyard near Nouadhibou, Mauritania. One of the only places in the world where old vessels… Read More

Edouard

In the early 2000s, the Archive of Modern Conflict Toronto acquired the photographs of amateur Canadian photographer Edouard LeBouthillier after his Polaroids were found discarded curbside in The Annex, a residential Toronto neighbourhood. Employing the medium of instant photography, LeBouthillier documented his life in Toronto throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Read More

Union Station

This installation was cancelled due to unforeseeable circumstances on-site and we apologize for any inconvenience. — For more than 40 years, Canadian photojournalist, musician, and poet Larry Towell has documented states of transition around the globe. Long journeys to photograph conflict and contested regions are balanced by an expanding interest in… Read More

Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities

Through the photographs of Mexican artist Alejandro Cartagena and videos by Kingston, Ontario, art duo Julia Krolik & Owen Fernley, Toronto’s subway corridors are transformed with images addressing suburban transportation, development, and sustainability. Cartagena’s images are shown on posters throughout Warden station, the penultimate stop on the eastern edge of… Read More

Best Beach

Sarah Anne Johnson uses photography to explore communal experiences, taking a playful yet considered approach to the pursuit of the utopian. In this commissioned large-scale, site-specific mural, Johnson’s island scene—part imaginary and part real—transforms a grey city block into an enchanted place. Her evocative image, nestled between towering buildings that hover… Read More

A long, long time AGO

Aiming to make visible the broad range of people working at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Jason Evans collaborated with 12 groups of employees to create the series A long, long time AGO. Evans worked with each group to create their portrait, in an environment unrelated to their actual… Read More

To Photograph the Details of a Dark Horse in Low Light

Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s To Photograph the Details of a Dark Horse in Low Light presents a national billboard campaign that depicts glamorous Caucasian women in high-contrast dress posed in front of neutral grey backgrounds. Collectively known as “Shirleys,” the portraits are culled from an archive of Kodak “norm… Read More

Indian Candy

Dana Claxton, of Lakota (Sioux) descent, investigates the historical and continuing impact of colonialism on Aboriginal cultures in North America. Through her work, she questions notions of truth and identity by deconstructing the myths and exposing the realities and experiences of First Nations peoples. Claxton interrogates the presentation of Indigenous… Read More

Pictures in Our Minds

Michael Schirner’s series Pictures in Our Minds (1985 – 2011) connects our processes of reading and visual interpretation, reflecting on how language is intimately connected with the cultural codes through which we understand images. Schirner’s stark descriptions of iconic photographs evoke images that have been engraved in our collective consciousness by the… Read More

Pyramid

Fleeting, liminal, and ultimately existing only as a photographic document, James Nizam’s image of a luminescent pyramid activates the architecture of the galleria at Brookfield Place. Part photograph, part sculpture, this deceptively simple geometric form invites a deconstruction of how light and shape inform our perceptions of a space. The… Read More

Food

Martin Parr’s installation at Metro Hall repositions some of the photographs at Pearson International Airport, but with a tighter focus on the images of food he captured in Toronto. Vivid photographs of mass-produced items such as hot dogs and canned luncheon meat share space with mouth-watering ethnic dishes including tacos,… Read More

X

In X, the value of a symbol lies in its capacity to change meanings when relocated to a new context. The “X” on the back of workers’ safety gear becomes an exploration of anonymity in Rebecca Belmore’s installation of photographs on billboards. Belmore positions random workers before the camera in… Read More

Retail Compositions

Durational photography is a term coined by Los Angeles-based artist Owen Kydd to describe his works, which oscillate between still photography and video. Kydd’s tightly composed, fixed-shot video loops appear at first to be static images, but reveal subtle movement over time. In his studio, he creates window display compositions that… Read More

Tree, For, Too, One

Ilit Azoulay invites us into her eccentric archive, reminiscent of the exotic collections found in cabinets of curiosities, the precursors to the modern museum. What appears to be a logical grouping of real items displayed on a wall soon reveals itself to be a complex, photographic construction of seemingly unrelated… Read More

Touching Strangers

Over the course of six years, New York-based photographer Richard Renaldi wandered the streets of America, searching for strangers who were willing to be photographed together. He would bring two individuals together, some with divergent outward appearances and others that looked more like family. Then he carefully positioned them—asking them… Read More

Hereros

The Herero people of Namibia, Africa, preserve a style of dress introduced to them by foreign missionaries, traders, and labourers 130 years ago. Herero women assimilated the wearing of Victorian-era fashion as a symbol of pride and status, integrating the style into their everyday clothing, while making cultural adaptations through… Read More

Contacting Toronto: Under the Ground

Contacting Toronto: Under this Ground focuses on the unseen spaces that exist below the streets of Toronto: our buried waterways and sewers. Until the last decade, these spaces were utterly invisible to most. Here, the works of two artists, Michael Cook and Andrew Emond, make the scope of Toronto’s… Read More

Images From La Jetée

Chris Marker’s science-fiction classic La Jetée (1963) is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential experimental films of all time. Composed exclusively of photographs except for a brief motion-picture shot capturing a woman opening her eyes, this insightful meditation on time and memory highlights Marker’s groundbreaking approach to… Read More

Contacting Toronto 2014: Drowning World

London-based, South African photographer Gideon Mendel’s portraits of people whose lives have been devastated by floods bear witness to an experience that erases political, geographical, and cultural divides. The site of this project, Queen’s Park station—an often crowded subterranean space used by 47,000 people a day—offers an opportunity to ponder human… Read More

Food

British photographer Martin Parr chronicles the places he visits through the prolific documentation of everyday objects and scenes that expose cultural peculiarities and clichés. With a characteristic style that is deliberately garish and all-the-more arresting for it, his trademark images, “acquired” as pieces of his larger reflections on a theme,… Read More

The Same Problem 5

Acclaimed Canadian media artists Aleesa Cohene and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay premiere the latest installment of their ongoing collaborative project The Same Problem, initiated in 2009. The Same Problem 5 explores questions of the ego and memory within a reconstruction of deeply-felt media experiences. Both artists are interested in notions of… Read More

Gulu Real Art Studio, Passport

The process of having one’s identity photograph taken is usually considered a mundane yet necessary chore toward obtaining a passport, driver’s licence, or other photo documentation. It may represent the most creatively void of all forms of photography, each image requiring a close-up view of an expressionless face. But for… Read More

Pictures Become Objects, Objects Become Events

Throughout the month of May, Toronto-based artist Annie MacDonell is engaged in a self-directed residency at the Toronto Reference Library. Her focus is the  Picture Collection, a vast archive of images maintained by the library since the 1920s. Numbering over a million images sourced from a wide range of magazines,… Read More

Album

Max Dean: Album takes up one of the most ubiquitous forms of photography in the 20th century: the family photo album. During May, Toronto artist Max Dean will appear at various locations throughout the city in his specially configured 1966 Volkswagen Beetle—the Foto Bug— to showcase more than 500 such… Read More

Sleeping Soldiers

In remembrance of the British/American photojournalist and filmmaker, Tim Hetherington, who was killed in April 2011 while on assignment in the besieged city of Misrata, Libya, the Festival presents Sleeping Soldiers. His portraits of sleeping American soldiers are featured on billboards, at the intersection of College, Dundas and Lansdowne… Read More

Open See

Open See is Jim Goldberg’s ongoing project about displaced peoples from the regions of Eastern Europe, Africa, and India—the refugees, immigrants, and trafficked individuals—who hope to make a better life for themselves in Western Europe. Leaving behind war, disease, and economic devastation, they often struggle to find a place… Read More

The Continuous Still

Melanie Manchot uses photography, video, and film to explore performative situations, often portraying the individual in relation to public space. Situated on the threshold between documentary and the staged event, her work frequently involves the participation of strangers as a way to reflect on modes of individual and collective… Read More

Corner of the Courageous

Part of the series Repatriation, this large-scale photographic mural, Corner of the Courageous, Repatriation Ceremony for Sergeant Martin Goudreault, Grenville St., Toronto, Ontario, June 9th, 2010 (2012), in MOCCA’s courtyard considers notions of nationalism, public duty, community, the media, heroism and sacrifice as pictorial subjects. Photographed in the manner of large-format… Read More

Super Students #1

Living and working in Vancouver and Vienna, respectively, the artistic collaboration of Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber addresses urban geographies, architectural representation, and related issues of visual politics. Citing the ideas of Henri Lefebvre, the French Marxist and sociologist, as an influence, the artists state: “space is never given… Read More

More Turns (The Subway Turnstile Pictures) and Stop Down (The Elevator Pictures)

Over the course of two years, Bill Sullivan took more than 30,000 pictures of people in New York City, using a camera that was either hidden or was otherwise unobtrusively positioned. The artist made the images according to a method he calls “situational photography.” In place of the spontaneous… Read More

Contacting Toronto: We’re in this Together

Presented throughout the TTC, this two-part project opens up a dialogue about Toronto. We’re in this Together suggests a number of different themes: personal relationships, the city’s myriad and ever-shifting communities, current political and economic realities, geographical boundaries, or ecological uncertainties. The subway platform posters will feature a… Read More

Pattison Special Project: Public Spaces/Private Thoughts

Humans have complex identities, a combination of an outward self and a psyche. This existential reality creates within us a constant ebb and flow: between instinct and reason, action and consequence, aspiration and regret. The hidden realm of our desires and anxieties is a world unto itself inside our… Read More

Week-End

Alex Prager is a self-taught artist whose intriguing photographs feature women dressed as starlets and femme fatales, embroiled in cinematic melodramas. Growing up in LA, the artist was immersed in an environment that embraced ideas of glamour and celebrity culture. While each photograph in the series Week-End (2010) tells… Read More

Permanent Error

South African photographer Pieter Hugo documents an expansive wasteland in Ghana and the inhabitants who live there. Rife with outdated technologies, this destitute slum known as “Sodom and Gomorrah” is also home to a marginalized community. Despite the devastatingly harsh realities depicted in Permanent Error (2010), many of these images… Read More

over here over there

Alain Paiement’s over here over there (2009 – 2011) depicts real-life scenes volumetrically, presenting an improbable “bird’s-eye view” perspective. This project in Brookfield Place features a series of photographs covering the light wells located on the ground floor, creating a sensation of looking into the space below. In order… Read More

Battlefields 1848 – 1867

Giorgio Barrera’s Battlefields 1848-1867 (2007) traces the chronology of three great Italian wars. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, this site-specific installation transposes a field of battle within the garden of the Consulate General of Italy. Barrera, an Italian artist based in… Read More

Cross-Canada Billboards

Over the years, CONTACT has produced site-specific installations of photo-graphy on billboards throughout the city of Toronto. For the first time in our history, public installations will be presented in five Canadian cities, coast to coast—from Vancouver to Halifax. This new initiative features artists exhibiting prominently within the festival… Read More

Men in the Cities

In Men in the Cities (1979-1987), archetypical figures twist, jerk, convulse, and appear to fall in front of city skylines. These visually assaulting photographs of elegant men and women dressed in corporate attire by American artist Robert Longo were influenced by images in the media and iconic films. On the… Read More

What Isn’t There

What Isn’t There (1994 – ) is an ongoing collaboration between filmmaker and photographer Elle Flanders and architect Tamira Sawatzky, documenting the places where Palestinian villages once stood. The creation of the state of Israel in 1948 signalled the end of these villages, through force and exile, and since… Read More

Tomorrow is Yesterday

Tomorrow is Yesterday positions the landscape as an ominous fantastical space where “the figure” is implied, but never quite apparent. LCD screens on the TTC Onestop subway platforms become the forum for 30-second slideshows featuring four artists. As over a million commuters traverse through these spaces, they are confronted… Read More

A Sign in the Northwest Passage

Presented as a billboard on The Power Plant’s south facade, Kevin Schmidt’s A Sign in the Northwest Passage (2010) documents the artist’s recent project made near Tuktoyaktuk, in the Inuvik region of the Northwest Territories. Aided by local guides and workers, the artist erected a large handcrafted cedar sign… Read More

Sachliches and Formen

Josef Schulz photographs architectural structures that are often overlooked; mass-produced buildings such as factories, warehouses, and storage units. Working with large-format film and digital processing, this German-based artist transforms declining industrial buildings into sleek structures—untainted by the ravages of time. In Sachliches and Formen (2001 – 2008), surfaces are… Read More

Untitled (It)

Since the 1980s, the American conceptual artist Barbara Kruger has deftly dissected the visual and graphic codes of advertising, consumerism, marketing and propaganda. Her bold works – declarative texts juxtaposed with found images – question the assumptions embedded in advertising and the limits of individual agency in a consumer… Read More

Fair Warning/Rebranded/Remember Me

Hank Willis Thomas makes artworks that visually decode the “what goes without saying” generalizations of race, class and history as seen in advertising. Appropriating the language of mass media, his photographs are reinserted back into the world of images, but with the added dissonance of the artist’s critique. For… Read More

Le siècle des lumières

In Le siècle des lumières (2008 – 10) Doyon-Rivest make spectacular use of the cathedral-like qualities of the Allen Lambert Galleria at Brookfield Place. The artists transform the Bay Street entrance’s 18-meter-high window into a giant stained glass-like artwork, featuring portraits of people lit by the small screens of their… Read More

The Rape of Africa

Spectacular and outrageous, David LaChapelle’s images cross cultures and genres. His extravagant take on Sandro Botticelli’s Venus and Mars (c: 1484) is enlarged to massive proportions in MOCCA’s courtyard. The Rape of Africa (2009) simultaneously references the grand architectural paintings of the Renaissance and the supersized advertising billboards of… Read More

Good News Bad News

Olaf Breuning’s Good News Bad News (2008) looks at how the unrelenting flow of press coverage, news and gossip has an impact on personal and collective identity. His multifaceted tableau vivant depicts a crowd of people whose bodies and faces are completely covered by newspaper, as if their identities… Read More

Universal Sunsets (of 6,922,112 – 2/18/10)

What subject do people most like to photograph and share with others? Searching on sites such as Flickr, Penelope Umbrico found that “sunset” by far gets the most hits. As of February 2010, there were 6,922,112 images tagged “sunset” on Flickr. To the artist this seemed paradoxical: photographs of… Read More

What’s the Hype?

What’s the Hype? explores the tenuous relationship that exists between our everyday lives and the mirror of ‘reality’ that we see in mainstream media. The Toronto Transit Commission Onestop LCD screens, seen by over one million commuters daily, become the forum for 30-second slideshows by nine Toronto-based artists. Suzy… Read More

Don’t See Don’t Hear Don’t Speak

Presented in partnership with Harbourfront Centre. Shilpa Gupta’s work subversively probes religion, race, class, gender and local situational politics. She provokes questions about our core beliefs, about how we think and who we are. Aiming towards the possibility of social change… Read More

Le Grand Fatras

Presented in partnership with MOCCA. Gwenaël Bélanger characterizes his approach to image making to that of a bricoleur or handyman. His process begins with a vivid mental picture resulting from his close observation of the everyday world and its mundane objects. Like a… Read More

War Zone Graffiti

Guerrilla postering, like graffiti, randomly appears at the whim of anonymous scribes. In Louie Palu’s project, guerrilla postering also evokes the chaos of a war zone. Palu’s photographs of graffiti were taken in Afghanistan’s Southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand while he was… Read More

The Unaddressed

Presented in partnership with the Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the ROM. For the better part of a decade, Dan Bergeron, AKA fauxreel, has been creating subversive, photo-based street works in Canada, England and the United States. Many of his projects… Read More

Event in the Landscape

Presented in partnership with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. As Marshall McLuhan once commented, “nobody can commit photography alone.” Michael Flomen is a photographer who collaborates with nature. Using available light to produce large-scale photograms (camera-less photographs) he captures the motion and… Read More

What’s Your Revolution?

Curated by Sharon Switzer and co-produced by Onestop Media Group and Art for Commuters. Within a climate of massive social and political change, artists provoke, stimulate and motivate Toronto commuters with enlightened calls to action, and artistic responses to the idea of… Read More

Rhythm of a True Space, 2008

Toronto artist Suzy Lake has been exploring issues relating to the body, gender and identity since the 1970s. Throughout her prolific career working with video, performance and photography, she has consistently used herself as a model to transform into characters, like Miss Chatelaine, a Spice… Read More

SOUVENIR D’ITALIE

Venice, the Ponte degli Scalzi: an endless stream of visitors crosses the bridge at all hours of the night as they make their way through an epic city. Naples, in front of Maschio Angioino: a large truck selling porchetta competes for space with a sightseeing… Read More

Disapearance of Darkness

Robert Burley ignites the discourse surrounding photography and the demise of the photochemical process; the notion that the death of photography, as we have known it, is imminent. Burley’s ongoing project, Disappearance of Darkness (2005 – present), records a major shift in… Read More

Obelisk

Toronto-based emerging artist Anthony Koutras explores the distinctions between fact and fiction by manipulating photography’s ability to represent reality. He widens the parameters of the medium by constructing simulated images and mimicking everyday objects in their typical settings. Koutras’ latest public intervention… Read More

Tree Portraits

Since first creating a walk-in camera obscura installation in a remote forest near Abbotford BC in 1981, Vancouver artist Rodney Graham has revisited the relationship between perception, memory and the photographic image through numerous Tree Portraits created from the late 1980s to the present. These images – shot by the… Read More

Magnum In Motion

Memory is very important, the memory of each photo taken, flowing at the same speed as the event. During the work, you have to be sure that you haven’t left any holes, that you’ve captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late. –… Read More

ShangHigh

In ShangHigh, European fashion photographer Jonathan de Villiers plays the concept of “constructed couture” to its literal and conceptual limit, using Chinese labourers as high-fashion models for designer suits, shooting the resulting Vogues Hommes International spread in dusty concrete-and-I-beam work sites. De Villiers’ choice of site has been led by… Read More

Untitled Legacy, 2007

Stretching across the facade of the Drake Hotel during CONTACT 2007 is Untitled Legacy, Isabelle Hayeur’s monumental portrait of the West Queen West neighbourhood. The hurried passerby may assume this a conventional photograph, or perhaps even a reflection, of cityscape. However, upon closer examination the view begins to unravel, revealing… Read More

Between Life and Death, 2006

Carlos and Jason Sanchez are well known for creating noir-tinged images evoking distress, uncertainty and, occasionally, even horror. In Between Life and Death, they’ve created the scene of a bus accident in which a passenger’s near-death experience is projected within a crashed passenger transport bus as a hologram. The holographic… Read More

Outdoor Sculptures, 1998–2004

During CONTACT, St. Patrick Subway Station becomes a place where the everyday meets the fantastical world of constructed images. The works of Erwin Wurm and Philippe Ramette, installed on opposite sides of the subway platform, invite us to reconsider the ways we interact with objects, the world and each other. Read More

Selected Works, 1990–2006

The work of French artist Philippe Ramette, installed across from that of Erwin Wurm in the St. Patrick Subway Station, relates to Wurm’s in its preoccupations with sculptural construction, performance and the photograph as document. His Magrittean images of a man in a suit walking up a tree trunk,… Read More

Warflowers, 2007

Warflowers is a new site-specific series of images by Douglas Coupland touching on issues of home, family and military culture. Douglas Coupland was born on a Canadian Air Force base in Germany in 1961. In 1965 his family moved to Vancouver, where he still lives and works. Coupland studied art… Read More

Exactitudes

Photographer Ari Versluis and stylist Ellie Uyttenbroek have pursed their interest in the diversity of social groups and the commonality of dress codes for over twelve years. Their massive series Exactitudes, a contradiction of “exact” and “attitudes”, is the result of a careful… Read More

Work in Progress

The Toronto based artist duo Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge have collaborated with various trade unions and community organizations in the production of their staged photographic work for more than 30 years. They have exhibited across Canada and internationally in the trade union movement… Read More

site specific LAS VEGAS 05

Exploring the urban landscape and the architecture of cities around the world, Olivo Barberi’s ‘site specific’ series is a continuation of his investigation of selective focus, contrasting clarity and an ethereal sense of space. Based in Milan Italy, Barbieri began this series in 2004 with… Read More

THE ENTIRE CITY PROJECT, AIRPORT SERIES

Michael Awad was given unique access to the public spaces and secure areas at Pearson’s Terminal 1 to create a site-specific work which examines the airport as a convergence of local conditions and international identities. Located in the gateway thresholds between the great hall… Read More

Lost

London based British photographer Stephen Gill practices a conceptual approach to documentary photography: the insistent development of an idea without altering or intervening in the action. In the series Lost, bewildered people search through maps of the dense and tangled streets of London. Read More

Pedestrian

Stephen Waddell’s photographs of street scenes and solitary figures reflect his interest in the figure of the flâneur and his search for the mythical in the everyday. His images of people in the stairwells of the Berlin subway resemble the hundreds of people we may… Read More

disCONNEXION

Xing Danwen was born in Xi’an, China, and currently lives and works in Beijing. Her photographs document the massive piles of discarded computer and electronic trash in China’s Guangdong province, where Chinese migrant workers recycle outmoded objects from industrialized countries, which, ironically, were… Read More

I am who I am

Gu Xiong is a Chinese multimedia artist, currently living in Vancouver. His work explores the cultural and individual identity shifts that have become prevalent in contemporary life and his photographs of Chinese Canadians encompass the dynamics of globalization. “My installation deals with people’s… Read More

Shelter

John Oswald is a multi-disciplinary media/sound artist, composer, musician, dancer and photographer. Since 1999, he has amassed a diverse and extensive image database of friends, acquaintances and strangers. Oswald’s work is about metamorphosis, and his images, captured individually and later brought together digitally,… Read More

Extended Spaces

Toronto based artist Tania Kitchell documents the passing of time and seasons in a world created through technological invention. Images of distant highways, captured on the Internet, are displayed in four transit shelters on Queen Street West from Ossington Avenue to Gladstone Avenue. Each… Read More

souterrain

Walter Willems’s series of four backlit photographs, souterrain, installed at sidewalk level in the windows of 461 King Street West, examines the interface between people and the built environment. The pictures were taken in Arnhem, the Netherlands, while the artist was employed by a demolition company to document their methods… Read More

PARTY! in the Netherlands

In the courtyard on King Street West, and at various construction hoardings around downtown Toronto, Morad Bouchakour presents photographs from an extensive series depicting social gatherings, previously published in his book PARTY! in the Netherlands. He pictures parties of various types in a… Read More

Victims Lost in War

Photojournalist Roger Lemoyne travels to the world’s trouble spots to document moments in history. Since 1995, LeMoyne has spent at least six months of every year photographing abroad in places such as the Congo, Kabul and Kosovo. He has followed Hutu refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and… Read More

Women of Afghanistan

Lana Slezic is currently living in Herat, Afghanistan where women in rural areas still continue to struggle for basic freedoms. In her work Slezic hopes to “highlight a significant global issue that will bring attention back to the women of Afghanistan and contribute to the restoration of the country.” The… Read More

Suspects: Seven Sinners and Seven Righteous

AES+F is a collective made up of four Russian artists who have been working together since 1995. The group takes its name from the initials of its members: Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, Evgeny Svyatsky and Vladimir Fridkes. AES+F focus primarily on conceptual art in the form of photography installations that… Read More

James and Other Apes

Over four years, British photographer James Mollison documented 50 great apes, primarily in sanctuaries in Africa and Indonesia. Most of his subjects are orphans whose parents were illegally killed for trade as “bushmeat.” Their portraits are a powerful argument for their protection, representing species whose survival is under threat. In… Read More

The New Sins

David Byrne’s The New Sins was originally created for the Valencia Biennale in 2001 as a pocket-size volume with the appearance of a Bible and placed anonymously in hotel rooms. The project was later adapted as a series of illuminated billboards for the Sydney Festival in 2002. For CONTACT 2005,… Read More

Still—Your Bubble

A fully automated portrait studio captures COVID social bubbles for posterity Read More

Gods Among Us

Documenting the unconventional places where newcomers gather to build spiritual, social, and economic connections Read More

Botanica Colossi

Large-scale images highlight the embedded complexities of everyday plant life Read More

Land/s

Collapsing sensations of belonging and uprootedness through layers of landscapes from near and far Read More

Woman with book / Hawk em

Collage-based murals that confront and dismantle historically destructive forces against Black women Read More

Play Public

An interactive playscape brings archival images of an iconic fairground into a contemporary context Read More

The Brotherhood FUBU (For Us, By Us)

A large-scale installation empowers representations of intimacy and vulnerability in Black male relationships Read More

Calico & Camouflage: Assemble!

Activating a populous urban centre with Indigenous signs of protest Read More

Figure as Index

Deepening community ties through a participatory approach to group photography Read More

For Jimmy

A declaration of love from Jeff Bierk and his collaborator, Jimmy James Evans Read More

YOU NAME IT

Challenging the imprint of colonial history on the land by demounting contested figures Read More

Force Field

Reimagining a colonial military site as a place of peaceful inclusivity Read More

A Mobile Landscape

Documenting the fluctuating landscape of an extensive revitalization project Read More