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Must-Sees This Week: April 13 to 19, 2017

Three new films by Mark Lewis have their world premiere in Toronto this week—and it’s just one of many Canadian shows exploring ideas of nationhood and memory

Lots of great art exhibitions and events are taking place across the country this week. Here are our recommendations for debuting shows and events, and a few reminders about shows that are closing. Visit our Exhibition Finder for even more worthwhile shows that are already open.


The Art Gallery of Ontario will host the world premiere of “Canada,” a series of three new films by acclaimed Hamilton-born artist Mark Lewis that explore Canada’s imagery and identity—part of a larger project by the England-based artist—and are on view in a simultaneous installation beginning April 13. Sur Gallery opens “Strike A Chord,” a group exhibition building on emotional responses and triggers, with performance, video and installation works by Claudia BernalCoco Guzmán, Julieta María and David Constantino Salazar, on April 13.

Pari Nadimi Gallery presents pioneering new-media artist David Rokeby’s “Between Motion and Stillness,” which looks at ideas of movement and stagnation in image-making, on April 13, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. At Hub 14, artists Maria Flawia Litwin and Jolyane Langlois present the results of their residency in the space, which mingled dance and sculpture, with the screening of a short film on April 16 at 4 p.m.

YYZ holds a reception for “The Flicker” by Aryen Hoekstra on April 14 from 5 to 8 p.m., with a related screening at Cinecycle on April 15 at 5 p.m. If ice huts (or architecture) are your thing, you won’t want to miss Richard Johnson’s 100 photographs of these structures from 10 provinces, starting April 19 at White Wall North Gallery.

This week is the last chance to see Michael Dumontier’s “It’s Still Life,” which closes at MKG127 on April 15. On the same day, the show “Does the oyster sleep?” also wraps up at Gallery TPW.


“Modern Piano Music,” a solo exhibition of computer-generated video by Ed Atkins, exploring bodily sensation and reaction through animation, opens at 5:30 p.m. on April 19 at DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art. The just-opened “Mnemosyne: When Contemporary Art and the Art of the Past Meet” puts works by contemporary artists and historical masters side by side, with uncanny results, at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal; artists include Mathieu Lefèvre, Kim Waldron, Dan Brault, Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Claude Monet, among others.

Elsewhere, Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain launches Dil Hildebrand’s latest solo show “E Unibus Pluram” on April 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.  Ellephant presents “Outside of Time,” an exhibition featuring works by Béchard Hudon, Elena Willis, Christopher Payne, Adam Basanta and Meredith Snider, from April 13.  Sparked by a Montreal initiative aimed at naming streets after the city’s most famous photographers, artist Velibor Bozovic launches an exhibition titled “Nothing Will Surprise You Here” at Dazibao at 7 p.m. on April 13.


Acclaimed American interdisciplinary artist Sondra Perry presents “Lineage for a Multiple-Monitor Workstation: Number One,” a video performance that blends real and fictive family histories, on April 13 at 7 p.m. at Western Front’s Grand Luxe Hall.


The Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art opens two solo exhibitions on April 13: Toronto-based Filipino-Canadian artist Patrick Cruz’s “Titig Kayumanggi (Brown Gaze),” a colourful, patterned installation of collage videos, painting and animated colour; as well as Ray Fenwick’s “A Greenhouse. Evening,” which offers an installation and an improvisational performance.

As part of National Canadian Film Day 150, Urban Shaman Contemporary hosts “Reel Canada,” a screening series of short animation films by Indigenous artists including Amanda Strong, Jackie Traverse and Lisa Jackson, on April 19 from 7 to 9 p.m.

In partnership with WNDX Festival of Moving Image, “Bugs,” the ongoing show by Life of a Craphead at Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts, will have an evening screening at the Cinematheque on April 18 at 7 p.m. And ace art opens Matthew Gardiner’s “You Can Never Go Home Again” on April 13.


It’s your last chance to visit “Crafting Ruin,” which presents Jude Griebel’s strange, fascinating sculptural resin figures, which seem to be comprised of small objects and pieces of ruins, as the show closes at dc3 Art Projects on April 15.


As part of Canada on Screen, a nation-wide, inter-organizational initiative marking Canada 150, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery screens Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg, the landmark “docufantasia” film commemorating the history and fictions surrounding the city, its mythology and winters, at the SAAG Cinema on April 19 at 7 p.m.


This week, Contemporary Calgary’s Late Night Thursday event features a screening of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, a 1927 cult film exploring urban dystopia and futurism, drawing on ideas of German Expressionism, at 6 p.m. on April 13.


As part of its residency program, Centre [3] for Print and Media Arts opens two exhibitions featuring print, video and installation works on April 14: Zana Kozomora’s “The Tourist,” which uses video and print installation to explore displacement and travelogue; and Olga Klosowski Schellenberg’s “Stained,” an installation that finds meaning and history in everyday objects. Elsewhere, Brian Kelly’s “Fridge Magnets” opens at the Assembly on April 14 from 7 to 10 p.m.


“Fabrications,” the ongoing exhibition of installation works by women artists Gisele Amantea, Yael Brotman, Libby Hague and Laura Vickerson, exploring the labour-intensive practices that they use for their art, is on for just a few more days at the Kelowna Art Gallery before it closes on April 16.

Our weekly must-sees, published each Thursday, are chosen from opening and event announcements sent to at least two days prior to publication. For listings of art openings, exhibitions and events, visit

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