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Must-Sees This Week: July 21 to 27, 2016

Lots of great art exhibitions open across the country this week. Here are our recommendations for debuting shows and events, and a few reminders about shows that are closing. (And remember to visit our Exhibition Finder, or download the Canadian Art Finder in the App Store or Google Play for even more worthwhile shows that are already open.)


Trinity Square Video partners with Mercer Union to screen recent video work by artists Bridget Moser and Jon Sasaki during Big on Bloor 2016 on Saturday July 23 at 9:30 p.m. An untitled group show at Diaz Contemporary features Toronto-based artists Derek Coulombe, Nestor Krüger, Kristie MacDonald, Janine Miedzik and Haley Uyeda, who all look at “methods of translation, whether language/image transitions, borrowed sign systems or the cross-pollination of technique across disciplines.” The show opens July 21 at 6 p.m. Coinciding with Gallery TPW’s current exhibition “Working Conditions,” curator Sam Cotter organizes a film program to examine labour, visibility and self-determination, which features Harun Farocki’s Workers Leaving the Factory and Andrew Norman Wilson’s Workers Leaving the GooglePlex on July 22 at 7 p.m.

In conjunction with Emily Mast’s exhibition “The Cage is a Stage,” the free day-long interdisciplinary forum “Why Look at Cages?” will examine human and animal captivity and questions of social control in human and animal contexts at the Jackman Humanities Institute and the University of Toronto Mississauga on July 22 from 10 to 5 p.m. This month’s instalment of Ontario Coalition Against Poverty’s monthly Social Justice Speaker Series will focus on the topic of colonialism on Thursday July 21 6 p.m. at CRC; at the talk, Sigrid Kneve and Ruth Koleszar-Green will “explore the history of colonialism in Canada, what it looks like here in our neighbourhood, and how we can move towards decolonization.” At Birch Contemporary, “TenderPixels.CorruptedFiles,” curated by Rebecca Travis, brings together works by David Hanes, Fabienne Hess, Lorna Mills and Louise Noguchi that “variously explore the pixel as a soft and ‘tender’ component,” opening on July 21 at 6 p.m. On July 23 Akin Projects and Xpace Cultural Centre present the summer edition of the Akin Gallery Crawl, which begins at Mercer Union at 12 p.m. and ends at Xpace at 5 p.m. with drinks, making stops at Daniel Faria Gallery, Gallery TPW and others along the way. Coldstream Fine Art opens Canadian painter Bill Batten’s “Eye Candy” on Thursday July 21 at 6 p.m.


Victoria-based artist Graham Macaulay’s exhibition “vessel / fold” closes at Untitled Contemporary Art with a reception on July 21 at 6 p.m. Macaulay assembles multi-media structures that speak to each other around domesticity and sentimentality. The following day on July 22, Alex Waber’s “Place In Time” opens at Untitled Contemporary Art at 8 p.m. In his new photo series, Waber explores “the representation of experience and memory through qualities of the physical photograph and their parallel changes over time.” The Esker Foundation hosts a screening of Harun Farocki’s 2012 work A New Product, which “transforms a mundane situation into theatre of the absurd, blessed with acerbic wit and a sharp critical sense” on July 28 at 7 p.m.


Spend all day July 21 at Plug In ICA: at 10 a.m., Michif writer and curator Cathy Mattes will speak about her curatorial practice as part of “Wood Land School: Thunderbird Woman,” this year’s iteration of Plug In ICA’s Summer Institute lead by artist Duane Linklater and curator Jaimie Isaac. Later at 7 p.m., the free rooftop summer party will open “The State,” featuring work by Vahap Avsar, Duane Linklater, Christian Jankowski and Maryam Jafri. In addition, Darryl Nepinak’s short film It’s the Norval Morrisseau will screen at dusk.


NSCAD alumna Elise Boudreau Graham’s first solo show “If It Makes You Happy (It Can’t Be That Bad)” explores “tensions of increasingly individualized brands of feminism and queries the ways in which the personal has become political” at Good Sport. The opening of “If It Makes You Happy (It Can’t Be That Bad)”on July 22 at 7 p.m. will also launch the first issue of feminist art publication Bad Sport featuring Shellie Zhang, Samra Habib and others.


Hamilton Artists Inc.’s inaugural Summer Screening Series presents outdoor screenings of BUGS by Life of a Craphead and DOORCUTS by Zak Tatham. Life of a Craphead will be in attendance and will participate in a short artist talk and Q&A session following the screening on July 21, beginning 9:30 p.m. Charles C. Hill, former curator of Canadian art at the National Gallery of Canada, leads a talk about collecting work by the Group of Seven at the Art Gallery of Hamilton on July 21 at 7 p.m.


grunt gallery presents Amanda Strong’s Four Faces of the Moon, a multi-media installation based on her new stop-motion animated short film, on July 21 at 7 p.m. Building from Strong’s personal story, the film uses elaborate sets and puppets to peel back the layers of Canada’s colonial history, and Strong connects the oral and written history of her family as well as the history of the Michif (Métis), Cree and Anishinaabe people and their cultural ties to the buffalo. Gallery 295 officially closes with a party on July 23, beginning at 5 p.m. Former CBC radio personality and photographer David Wisdom hosts an evening at the Vancouver Art Gallery where artists present image and music pairings, beginning at 7 p.m. on July 26. Irish artist Isabel Nolan, who currently has a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery, gives a talk at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design on July 26 at 7 p.m.


In conjunction with MSVU Art Gallery’s permanent collection exhibition, “The Department of Prints and Drawings,” featured artists (and NSCAD printmaking instructors) Ericka Walker and Dan O’Neill will offer illustrated presentations about their respective practices on July 21 at 7 p.m. A range of artists who use clay to figurative ends, including Teresa Bergen, Shary Boyle and Michael Flynn, are brought together in “Clay Bodies I,” which opens at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on July 23.


July 21 at 7 p.m., AKA Artist-Run reveals the outcome of Bridges Art Movement’s (BAM) July residency. The residency by the Saskatoon artist collective concludes with “BAM: Immersive Spaces,” and includes Cynthia Blanchette, Andie Palynchuk, Aralia Maxwell, Joanna Speed and David Stonhouse, who have collaborated to create an immersive environment within the gallery.

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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Bill Batten says:

Thank you for the mention in the Toronto “Must see” section, but my last name is Batten, not Patten. Is there any chance that could be corrected? Thank you, and I truly appreciate being included on your Toronto listing!

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