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Must-Sees This Week: April 12 to 18, 2018

The largest festival in North America for experimental and independent film, video and other time-based media—kicks off this week in Toronto

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 more listings of worthwhile shows that are already open.


The 31st edition of the Images Festival officially launches on April 12. Packed with projects onscreen, offscreen as well as on billboards, the festival will take place across the city in various locations. Offscreen exhibition highlights opening this week include: Sophia Al-Maria’s “Black Friday” on April 12 at Mercer Union; “Public Intimacies” by Jon Wang, Dani Restack and Sheilah Restack on April 14 at the Super 8 Hotel; and “Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca” on April 18 at the Art Gallery of York University, among others. As part of the on screen programming, Canadian Art co-presents “Communing with Others” with the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival where works by Sara Magenheimer, Patrick Staff, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Christine Sun Kim and Thomas Mader will be screened on April 13 at 5 p.m. at Innis Town Hall. A discussion between Patrick Staff and Canadian Art’s Yaniya Lee will follow.

This year’s Images Canadian Artist Spotlight is Steve Reinke. A collection of Reinke’s key films will be screened in an evening Spotlight program on April 16 at Innis Town Hall at 9 p.m. If you can’t make that screening, not to fret: a presentation of Rienke and James Richards’s collaborative film What Weakens the Flesh is the Flesh Itself will show on April 15 at 7 p.m. at Innis Town Hall, in addition to an exhibition of Reinke’s collaboration with Jessie Mott titled “Rib Gets in the Way” at Vtape, opening on April 13. The opening screening and reception at Vtape will take place from 4:30 to 7 p.m., followed by a discussion between Reinke and Ottawa-based writer and curator Adam Barbu.

West of the city proper, the Art Gallery of Mississauga hosts the community event “On the Queer Stage” on April 13 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. This event will engage theatre, stage and film LGBTQ artists Bilal Baig, kumari giles and Aldrin Bundoc in a discussion moderated by Anu Radha Verma about their respective practices and how they are affected by the suburbs. And eastward, Oshawa’s Robert McLaughlin Gallery launches “Jenn E. Norton: Slipstream” on April 14. Norton presents an installation work inspired from Art Nouveau design where the reflected image of a dancer moves across the gallery space, implicating the viewer in their choreographed dance.

In closings, “The Sunshine Eaters” at Onsite Gallery wraps on April 15.


The festival Identify: A Celebration of Indigenous Arts & Culture, presented by Eastern Edge Gallery, continues until April 22. Inaugurated to celebrate Indigeneity in Newfoundland and Labrador, the festival brings together numerous artists through workshops, performances and panel discussions to foster dialogue around Indigenous cultures, histories and futures in these regions. Participating artists include Meagan Musseau, Jordan Bennett, Shannon Webb-Campbell, Joanna Barker and Logan MacDonald, among many others.


The Canadian Photography Institute  of the National Gallery of Canada presents work by New Generation Photo Prize–winning artists Elisa Julia Gilmour, Meryl McMaster and Deanna Pizzitelli in “PhotoLab 4: New Generation Photography Award Exhibition.” The exhibition opens at the NGC on April 13.


PLATFORM Centre launches “like a conjuring” on April 13, a solo exhibition by Erika DeFreitas. In this show, DeFreitas continues her investigation of how histories and narratives are assembled and constructed in collective consciousness. This work was created during the artist’s residency at the historic Bradley House, built by Loyalist settlers in Mississauga, Ontario. Not to be missed while at the gallery is Omar Elhamy’s short film Paria, on view from April 13 until May 19.

In partnership with Reel Canada and the National Screen Institute – Canada, Urban Shaman Gallery presents a screening of the documentary The Road Forward by Marie Clements on April 18 at 7 p.m. over at Landmark Cinemas. Clements and the film’s lead Doreen Manuel will join in a Q&A following the screening.


The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba presents “Theatre from the Jungle” by Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens on April 12. This exhibition acts as a collaborative foray into theatre and installation, taking issues of immigration and labour in Brandon as its core focus. Ibghy and Lemmens worked with recent immigrants to the area to create the work, which takes Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel about immigrant labour in Chicago, The Jungle, as inspiration for the script of the filmed performances. The artists will lead a tour of the show on April 13 at noon.


Celia Perrin Sidarous showcases new work at Parisian Laundry in “Toujours la coquille de l’autre always the shell of another” on April 12 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. In this solo show, Sidarous presents her latest photographs, a film and some ceramic works.

Meanwhile at Galerie René Blouin, new work by Francine Savard, Serena Beaulieu and Daniel Langevin launches on April 14. The group exhibition “Outre-vie / Afterlife” opens at OPTICA Centre d’art contemporain on April 14 with a reception from 3 to 6 p.m. The 13 participating artists seek to develop a visual language of the afterlife through image-making.

Over at Galerie AVE “Bucolique et nucléaire” by Maude Thibault-Morin debuts on April 12. In this show, the artist presents new world-making drawings influenced by fantastical imaginings.  Antonietta Grassi’s solo exhibition “Contemplation for Obsolete Objects” launches at Patrick Mikhail Gallery on April 14. Influenced by geometric abstraction, Grassi’s latest paintings combine elements of architecture and textiles into their spatial compositions.


Gallery Jones presents the exhibition “Interspace” by Birthe Piontek and Fei Disbrow on April 12 as part of the Capture Photography Festival. Both artists use parallel techniques of collage in their photographic works, hinting to the spaces in-between. Meanwhile, Equinox Gallery hosts a reception on April 14 at 2 p.m. to mark the opening of two new exhibitions by Adad Hannah and Erin McSavaney. In “New Arrangements,” Hannah’s latest photographic works playfully explore how still images can convey movement. In “Counterpoint,” McSavaney presents a new series that straddles the realms of photorealism and abstraction, questioning the limits of the mediums of photography and painting.

VIVO Media Arts Centre presents the second edition of Bring Your Own Beamer (BYOB) on April 13 from 8 to 11 p.m. Artists are invited to simultaneously showcase their video or film work with their own projector within the centre’s studio space. Elsewhere, the Polygon Gallery presents the public discussion “Dislocating N. Vancouver” on April 15 at 3 p.m. with Clint Burnham, Tim Lee and Fabien Pinaroli, in link with the current exhibition “N. Vancouver.”

Artist Laiwan’s site-specific installation Mobile Barnacle City Live/Work Studio in collaboration with Leah Weinstein featuring barnacle sculptures by Emilie Grace Lavoie launches on April 15 at 2 p.m. The installation is housed within SiteSpecific’s bus, located at the intersection of Keefer and Columbia Streets, where workshops and seminars will be programmed over the next two weeks around themes of displacement and gentrification in the area.


The Assembly presents Andrea Carvalho’s exhibition “Light From Two Sides” with an opening reception on April 13 at 7 p.m. In this show, Carvalho presents architectural sculptures and photographs that explore constructions of space and its relation to the body. Over at Centre[3] For Print and Media Arts, Natalie Hunter and Neil Frederick Sharpe present their latest photographic works. A launch will also take place on April 13 at 7 p.m.


AKA artist-run hosts a discussion with Olga Leonova, Danahe Karina Palacios and Manuela Valle-Castro, related to Bambitchell’s current exhibition “Silent Citizen,” on April 14 at 1 p.m. Leonova, Palacios and Valle-Castro will share their respective experiences of immigrating to Canada.


A permanent exhibition entitled “Professional Native Indian Artists Inc.”—featuring the group of artists also known as the Indian Group of Seven, that is, Daphne Odjig, Alex Janvier, Jackson Beardy, Eddy Cobiness, Norval Morrisseau, Carl Ray and Joseph Sanchez—opens soon at the Portage College’s Museum of Aboriginal Peoples’ Art and Artifacts. The grand opening takes place on April 13.


The Dalhousie Art Gallery presents a screening titled “Black on Both Sides” at the Halifax Central Library on April 12 at 6 p.m. Curated by Cory Bowles, the featured short films are by emerging artists in Black cinema.


The Kamloops Art Gallery launches the group show “The Poetics of Space” on April 14. The artworks by over 30 artists span historical to contemporary pieces that deal with the challenge of representing space and conveying spatial perceptions. Featured artists include Annie Pootoogook, Lawren Harris, Scott McFarland and Dennis A. Oppenheim, among others.



The Art Gallery of Peterborough presents “These things I have seen: Carolyn Code, Megan Ellen MacDonald, Keita Morimoto” on April 14 from 2 to 4 p.m. The three artists’ works collectively probe the art historical canon and use elements of kitsch and current-day imagery to interfere with its idealism.

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