CURRENT ISSUE | SUMMER 2016
Current Issue Cover

Your page could not be found.Let us help you search for it:

SEARCH
Page Not Found - Canadian Art
CURRENT ISSUE | SUMMER 2016
Current Issue Cover

Your page could not be found.Let us help you search for it:

SEARCH

Canadian Art

Feature

Contact 2010: Photography, Reframed

Various venues, Toronto May 1 to 31 2010
Christopher Wahl  <I>Jennifer Lopez</I>  2009  © Christopher Wahl Christopher Wahl Jennifer Lopez 2009 © Christopher Wahl

Christopher Wahl <I>Jennifer Lopez</I> 2009 © Christopher Wahl

The 14th annual Contact festival kicks off in Toronto this week sporting a program that is both rigorous and risqué. With its festival theme, “Pervasive Influence,” inspired by famed Canadian theorist Marshall McLuhan, Contact’s three keynote exhibitions use McLuhan’s intellectually revered media analyses as a jumping-off point. At the same time, the festival takes McLuhan’s insights into the “photo-as-brothel” to heart, incorporating a number of works addressing the online sex trade and the commercialization of the human body. Of the 200 shows on view, here’s the top 10 to see.


1. The Mechanical Bride at MOCCA

This keynote Contact exhibition is titled after one of McLuhan’s landmark works on advertising and branding, and includes a number of artists who draw on ad codes. These include Jacqueline Hassink, who has spent five years photographing “car girls” at auto shows, Matt Siber, who creates mashups of magazine covers, and David Lachapelle, whose glossy, lurid celebrity portraits are half adulation tool, half art-historical commentary.


2. The Brothel Without Walls at UTAC

“The Brothel Without Walls” is another Contact keynote exhibition, this one drawn from McLuhan’s writings that compared photographs to “public prostitutes,” describing them as “dreams that money can buy.” Artworks include Evan Baden’s images of people videotaping, photographing and webcamming themselves during sex acts, Joachim Schmid’s images of online sex worker workspaces, Jessica Dimmock and Christopher Wahl’s photos of paparazzi and media at work, and more.


3. Always Moving Forward at Gallery 44

Each year, Contact offers the opportunity to learn about often-overlooked areas of photography. This tradition continues with “Always Moving Forward,” an exhibition of contemporary African photography at Gallery 44. Curated by Kenneth Montague of Wedge Curatorial Projects, the show includes Zwelethu Mthethwa’s images of residents in post-apartheid South Africa, Mohammed Bourouissa’s staged tableaux and Antony Kaminju’s refashioned logos.


4. Through the Vanishing Point at U of T

The most direct McLuhan tribute in Contact this year has to be Through the Vanishing Point, a project by Lewis Kaye and David Rokeby that recreates McLuhan’s presence in the classrooms where he used to teach at the University of Toronto. The installation will also be complemented by a May 15 panel, “Freeze Frame on Marshall McLuhan,” which will look at the ways McLuhan understood the impact of new technology on photography, creativity and knowledge.


5. Hank Willis Thomas on Front and Spadina billboards

Last year during Contact, Hank Willis Thomas’ show at Georgia Scherman Projects got many people talking. Thomas’ award-winning work directly addresses and pulls apart the way race, gender and class are coded in media and advertising. This year, the artist presents on these themes to a wider, public-sphere audience, inserting older photographs onto downtown Toronto billboards to look at issues of black identity and its commercialization.


6. Barbara Kruger on the AGO façade

Contemporary art heavyweight Barbara Kruger is well known for incisive combinations of image and text that have been exhibited at scales large and small worldwide. Now, in her largest public Canadian installation ever, Kruger takes over the block-long façade of the AGO with Untitled (It), a typically graphic work that riffs on the power of words and images in determining “who we are and who we aren’t.”


7. Olaf Breuning on the Power Plant façade

McLuhan’s ideas of media immersion—and contemporary, RSS-feed experiences thereof—get a semi-humorous spin in Olaf Breuning’s Good News Bad News, which will be installed on the side of the Power Plant during Contact. In this image, the Swiss artist presents a crowd of people who are literally wrapped in newspaper, whose bodies are completely obscured by media. Though the image was originally shot in Italy, its themes are sure to resound with Torontonians and tourists alike.


8. Zineb Sedira at Prefix

For Contact, Prefix hosts the North American premiere of Middlesea, an acclaimed work by French-born, London-based artist Zineb Sedira that comes accompanied by an interview with curator Hans Ulrich Obrist. In the past, Sedira’s work has addressed phenomena of cultural displacement, and Middlesea is consistent with those themes, set on a ship enroute from Algiers to Marseille, tracing a migratory narrative that can be transposed to many other sites and experiences.


9. Barbara Probst at Jessica Bradley Art & Projects

New York–based, German-born artist Barbara Probst has become known for savvy montages that juxtapose photographs of the same moment and scene snapped from different perspectives (and often realized with different print treatments). This Contact-featured show focuses on a major 12-part work that continues Probst’s eloquent expositions of photography’s limits and largesse.


10. Carlos & Jason Sanchez at Nicholas Metivier Gallery

The dark, often eerie work of Montreal’s Sanchez brothers provides one of contemporary Canadian photography’s biggest international success stories. Past works have looked at gas chambers, dust clouds and murder scenes; this exhibition of new work promises to continue a look at challenging subjects such as the A-bomb dome in Hiroshima and the artist duo’s increasing fascination with death.

This article was first published online on April 29, 2010.

RELATED STORIES

  • Sammy Baloji: The Light Continent

    Nearly 1 billion people live in Africa, yet we get relatively few reports from it. Now, Congolese artist Sammy Baloji creates a compelling portrait of time and place there in “Vues de Likasi,” an installation at the Contact Festival’s new gallery in Toronto.

  • CONTACT 2009: Still Revolutionizing Photography

    The theme of this year’s CONTACT photography festival, “Still Revolution,” functions as a double entendre: not only does it conjure photography’s capacity to arrest a revolutionary moment on paper, but it also points to the medium’s ongoing technical evolution.

  • CONTACT Wrap-up: Rebounding, and Taking it to the Streets

    As Toronto's CONTACT Photography Festival wraps up, Canadian Art Weekly takes a step back to examine the fest’s overall highlights.

Page Not Found - Canadian Art
CURRENT ISSUE | SUMMER 2016
Current Issue Cover

Your page could not be found.Let us help you search for it:

SEARCH
Page Not Found - Canadian Art
CURRENT ISSUE | SUMMER 2016
Current Issue Cover

Your page could not be found.Let us help you search for it:

SEARCH
 

FOUNDATION NEWS

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

ONLINE

  • Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: Black Birds

    New York critic Joseph R. Wolin heads to the Park Avenue Armory where Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are creating a buzz (and other sounds) at the US premiere of a dark, nightmarish installation originally created for the 2008 Biennale of Sydney.

  • Grange Prize 2012: Hot Shots

    One of Canada’s largest cash-value art prizes—$65,000 in total with $50,000 going to the winner, $5,000 to three runners-up—announced its finalists this week. Take in their wide-ranging works in this slideshow.

  • Wanda Koop: Into the Woods

    A visit to Wanda Koop’s cabin near Riding Mountain National Park in southern Manitoba proves intriguing for Vancouver critic Robin Laurence. There, Laurence writes, Koop bridges old Grey Owl myths with a new series of paintings on our increasingly digital culture.

  • Brad Tinmouth: Survival Strategies

    The basement of an art gallery may seem an unlikely place to create an emergency shelter. However, Xpace's lower gallery is an ideal setting for Brad Tinmouth's “If Times Get Tough or Even If They Don't,” which evokes a cold-war bunker.

  • Wim Delvoye: Blame it on Paris

    Silk-covered pigs, lattice-cut car tires and a tattooed man are just a few of the works that Belgian artist Wim Delvoye has shuttled into the old, Gothic wing of the Louvre this summer. Jill Glessing reviews, finding a terrific amalgam of high and low.

More Online

Page Not Found - Canadian Art
CURRENT ISSUE | SUMMER 2016
Current Issue Cover

Your page could not be found.Let us help you search for it:

SEARCH
Page Not Found - Canadian Art
CURRENT ISSUE | SUMMER 2016
Current Issue Cover

Your page could not be found.Let us help you search for it:

SEARCH
Page Not Found - Canadian Art
CURRENT ISSUE | SUMMER 2016
Current Issue Cover

Your page could not be found.Let us help you search for it:

SEARCH
Report a problem