Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Clive Holden talks about his ongoing project Utopia Suite discussing his attraction to disco; disco music’s hidden politics and Ken Dryden in this interesting interview for The Memorandist blog. Read more at http://www.whitneylight.net/blog/
Saturday, June 27, 2009
A provocative exhibition by Winnipeg artist, Sarah Anne Johnson, winner of the 2008 Grange Prize.
In the 1950s, Sarah Anne Johnson’s maternal grandmother was an unsuspecting participant in a CIA research program. Seeking treatment for post-partum depression, she was subjected to a series of mind control experiments at the Allen Memorial Institute at McGill University, Montreal. In House on Fire, Johnson uses her artistic practice to explore this difficult history and begin to understand its effects on her family.
For more information visit the Art Gallery of Ontario at
Friday, June 19, 2009
Woodpile 33, 2006
Curated by Joan Stebbins.
Exhibition Dates: June 20 - September 6, 2009
Opening Reception: Friday, June 19, 2009, 7:30pm
Location: Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square
In hunter/gatherer, Toronto-based artist Vid Ingelevics brings together photographs from two of his most recent bodies of work; one of hunting platforms, the second of woodpiles. While both structures are ubiquitous throughout Canada, Ingelevics focuses his lens on those found in the countryside of Grey County, northwest of Toronto.
Such vernacular objects as woodpiles and hunting platforms, called tree stands by hunters, are embedded in the rural landscape in such a way as to become almost invisible. Ingelevics’ large-scale photographs capture these provisional and temporary landmarks in a project that draws into tension the paradox of documenting without historicizing, of recording sites of collective memory without disturbing them.
The subjects of Ingelevics’ project lie outside official, recorded history, residing instead in the oral traditions and stories that pass within families and communities of people. With no authoritative map documenting the locations of tree stands, and the methodologies of stacking wood bandied about not in the pages of how-to books but in woodlots, yards and kitchens, the photographs take on the presence of a pseudo-record, an unofficial archive and natural history of their own.
In the Ontario of Vid Ingelevics’ pictures, the tree stands are used by both urban and rural dwellers for whom hunting is a fundamental part of their identity, way of life, and understanding of the natural world. For many contemporary hunters, the pleasures of the hunt are to be found in the landscape, in wilderness adventure, in the skills needed to scout and stalk, and finally, in the kill itself. To many non-hunters, hunting is viewed as a macho, savage activity best shelved along with other primitive notions of survival. Ingelevics’ photographs bring us within range of this contested territory.
While wood heating is no longer necessary for survival in most industrialized countries, many people outside of urban areas have chosen not to abandon their woodpiles in favour of non-renewable resources. Wood burning for many rural people is an integral part of a contained and conserving way of life and the gathering of wood, splitting, stacking and burning of it is an annual, ongoing endeavour. Symbolic of heating and cooking, and the domestic realm of the gatherers, woodpiles unite us with nature in the preparation for winter. Building a woodpile is seen as a time-honoured art. Rituals are invoked, order is made out of disorder. In Ingelevics’ photographs, we see them take shape, much like the tree stands, out of specific needs and complex desires as highly individualistic but determinedly utilitarian structures.
The project of hunter/gatherer is a social history, a re-reading of the natural environment, the cultural impositions on it and their meanings. By photographing human activity in the rural environment, Vid Ingelevics contributes in a fundamental way to the still crucial dialogue about representations of nature and the landscape. For an artist who has focused his attention on such quotidian matter, Ingelevics reaches beyond the record into the lyrical space of the oral and informal exchange of knowledge. In doing so, he highlights the vital human experience of survival through social interchange.
Written by Kim Fullerton
Circulated by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery. For more information visit www.oakvillegalleries.com/current-centennial.htm
Saturday, June 13, 2009
You are invited to join us today for an intimate ARTIST TALK with SUNIL GUPTA. The lecture will be held in CAMERA and will be followed by a Q & A segment. After a short break we will be screening of GUPTA's documentary: I WANT TO LIVE, Dir. Sunil Gupta (India, 2009), 39 mins
Thursday, June 11, 2009
May 24 - August 30, 2009
Curated by David Harris
To mark Gabor Szilasi's 81st birthday, the Musée d'art de Joilette, in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, presents the Eloquence of the Everyday, an important retrospective of the work of the Hungarian-born Quebec artist. Structured around three themes - Hungary, Rural Quebec and Montreal - the exhibit brings together 130 photographs culled from diverse private and public collections both. These emblematic snapshots - some of which have never before been shown - form urban landscapes, architectural views and ambiance portraits testifying to Szilasi's indefatigable faith in the innately humanistic and documentary qualities of photography.
With his remarkable images of Quebec and Europe, Gabor Szilasi has produced, over the last fifty years, one of the most significant bodies of photographic work in Canada. Thanks to a European point of view rooted in the "savoir-faire" of Budapest's pictorial school, Szilasi has highlighted the specificities of the communities he photographed, creating touching documents that act as witness to the singular character of Hungarian and Quebecois societies of the latter half of the 20th century.
For more information visit:
Musée d'art de Joilette
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography
Mexican and Caribbean migrant farm workers in Canada
Lecture begins at 7pm
From among Vincenzo Pietropaolo's many long-term photographic projects, including his photography of the Italian-Canadian immigrant community in the 1970s, the processions of the faithful and the beautiful trees we live amongst, Harvest Pilgrims is a photographic project about the lives and experiences of migrant farm workers. Pietropaolo's images provide passage into a complex narrative involving commodity goods, families left behind, workers' rights, the realities of economic exchange, and the apples in Ontario fridges.
As the project description details, "Harvest Pilgrims is a series of photographs that chronicles the phenomenon of migrant farm workers in Canada, who come annually from Mexico, Jamaica, and smaller countries of the Caribbean, but who must return home every year at the end of the season. About 20,000 off shore workers, as they are referred to locally, are permitted to come every year, and Pietropaolo has been photographing them and recording the stories since 1984. He has visited in dozens of farms, and has followed some them to their homes in Mexico and Jamaica. Although they arrive as temporary workers, by coming every year they have become entrenched in the Canadian labour force, and are now the main stay of many traditional family farms in Canada, and increasingly, the larger corporate type farms. In fact, much of the harvest has become completely dependent on this transient yet permanently available work forcea vivid example of the globalized food economy. Harvest Pilgrims will be published as a monograph in September 2009, by BTL Publishers of Toronto."
Additionally, Pietropaolo has another forthcoming book, Invisible No More: A photographic chronicle of the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, due out in 2010 from Rutgers University Press.
Dylan Ellis Gallery @ Elevator Digital
42 Industrial Street
M4G 1 Y9
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Y.O.U. (Your Own Utopia) on-line questionnaire, the Manitoba Version
What Would Manitoba Look Like Today if Louis Riel Had Succeeded?
He's many Canadians' favourite political hero/folk hero. What if Louis Riel had joined forces with Sitting Bull and the Dakota Sioux? Would the country still stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific? Was the Métis leader's vision of a homeland across Western Canada a utopian dream, in other words something desirable and also impossible? Would we have a different system of government today? Whose head would be on our money? Whose God in our constitution? The "Father of Manitoba" did speak of his divine direction, that God chose him as a prophet for his people. How many of our best leaders have this belief? Does it matter, if they lead us well? Louis Riel was executed for high treason. How many of our most visionary utopians have we lost in this way?
To complete the questionaire visit: you.utopiasuite.com
Who you'd include in your own Utopia Hall of Fame , and what are your own lost utopian dreams, hope-reviving epiphanies, shelved epic-heroic novel manuscripts, or dusty drawer brilliant blueprints. Y.O.U. (Your Own Utopia) is part of Clive Holden's on-going, multi-year Utopia Suite project. The questionnaire results from the web + currently at several Winnipeg libraries will read and organized by Holden, and in response he will merge them with a variety of moving image media, to be presented throughout the Utopia Suite project. This will include a Manitoba segment in Holden's new Leader Series (watch for it in summer, 2009).
Y.O.U. (Your Own Utopia) and the Utopia Hall of Fame originated as parts of Utopia Suite Disco , which encourages you to move as part of a renewed, process-oriented utopianism (think cinema, dancing, running like a kid, or nomadic cultures). Instead of static buildings and old notions of nation-building, the focus is shifting to organic and dynamic forms, modeled on the structures found in nature.
Utopia Suite Disco's dynamic media tile utopian portrait gallery and Feverish movement studies surround a wooden 'light hut' that has its own dance floor. This crude cubic room pulsates to a looping 60 minute disco + world music + soundscape magnum opus by Rotterdam composer Oscar van Dillen. You're invited to come visit, to walk inside the art, and then to move to break free of the chains of passive, politically inert despair.
This exhibition at the PLATFORM Centre for Photographic + Digital Arts, presented by the WNDX Festival of Film & Video Art and circulated by the Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop's University, will include the following Utopia Suite segments: Utopia Suite Disco and Ken Dryden, as well as the on-going community outreach and utopian conversation: Y.O.U. (Your Own Utopia).
THE CELLULOID CLOSET
Dir. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (USA, 1996) 102 mins
ARTIST TALK with SUNIL GUPTA
followed by the screening of GUPTA's documentary:
I WANT TO LIVE
Dir. Sunil Gupta (India, 2009), 39 mins
Dir. Nigel Finch (UK, 1995) 99 mins
THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK
Dir. Rob Epstein (USA, 1984) 90 mins
A JIHAD FOR LOVE
Dir. Parvez Sharma (USA, 2007) 81 mins
Dir. Jonathan Demme (USA, 1993) 125 mins
THE BOYS IN THE BAND
Dir. William Friedkin (USA, 1970) 118 mins
Monday, June 8, 2009
We are excited to announce that gallery artist Gerald Pisarzowski has won the Power of a Smile Competition at CONTACT: Toronto Photography Festival 2009.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
THE CELLULOID CLOSET
Dir. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (USA, 1996) 102 mins
Based on the book of the same title written by Vito Russo, co-founder of GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), this documentary explores the portrayal of LGBT characters in Hollywood movies. Narrated by Lily Tomlin, The Celluloid Closet includes interviews with men and women within the Hollywood industry and explores both the portrayal of LGBT characters on film and the treatment of LGBT community members off-screen. The Celluloid Closet delves into issues of censorship and stereotyping and examines the role of popular culture in shaping perceptions of the LGBT community.
Friday, June 5, 2009
June 6 – July 18, 2009
RECEPTION for the Artist:
Thursday, June 11th, 5-8pm
ARTIST TALK and SCREENING:
Saturday, June 13th, 3 pm
The gallery is pleased to present “Mr Malhotra’s Party”, a series of photographic portraits by Sunil Gupta that address contemporary issues of gender and sexuality in Delhi, India.
Gupta’s (b. New Delhi, India, 1953) photographs, known for being political yet intimate, have chronicled the experiences of Delhi’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community since the 1980s. Gupta’s series entitled “Exiles” presented constructed documentary images of gay men in architectural spaces in Delhi. The faces of these men were shielded or cropped in order to conceal the individual’s identity. Gupta explains, “At a very basic level, gay men in India do not have an image. Literally,” He believes that “photography has a big role to play in providing us with an image of ourselves. And as a maker of photographs I see it as my role to make pictures that people can relate to.”
Now, almost thirty years later, people are meeting less in parks and secluded areas and more on the internet, and in “private” parties. Gay nights at local clubs in Delhi are always sign-posted as private parties in a fictitious person’s name to get around Section 377, a British colonial law, which criminalizes homosexuality in India. In “Mr Malhotra’s Party”, Gupta visualizes this latest queer space with a series of portraits of ‘real’ people who identify their sexuality as ‘queer’ in some way. These individuals confront the camera as they are now willing to identify themselves. They are situated in Delhi’s crowded urban landscape, where people live and work. They are part of the vernacular, the everyday, and proudly embrace their queer identity.
Gutpa was born in New Delhi, India, and moved to Montreal with his family in the late 1960s, where his interest in photography began to develop. In the late 1970s, he lived in New York, where he studied photography at the New School for Social Research under Lisette Model. Gutpa then moved to London, England, to continue his studies at the Royal College of Art. He now works as a photographer, writer and curator out of London and Delhi. Gupta works to promote a greater understanding of questions regarding representation, sexuality, access and cultural differences.
Gupta has published numerous monographs, including Wish You Were Here (Yoda Press, 2008) and Pictures from Here (Chris Boot Ltd., 2003). His photographs can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa; Fine Arts Museum, Houston; Arts Council of Great Britain; National Media Museum, Bradford, UK; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia; amongst many others.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Photographs by Mark Ruwedel. With an essay by Jock Reynolds.
Yale University Press, New Haven, 2008. 180 pp., Tritone illustrations, 14x11".
Mark Ruwedel (b. 1954) has photographed the American West for the past twenty-five years, revealing the narratives—both geological and human—contained within the landscape. This stunning book presents more than 70 prints from Ruwedel’s ongoing series Westward the Course of Empire, an inventory of the residual landforms created by the scores of railroads built in the American and Canadian West since 1869.
The grades, cuts, tunnels, and trestles depicted in Ruwedel’s photographs speak to a past triumph of technology over what was often perceived as hostile terrain, as well as to the desire and struggle to create wealth and power from the land. Long abandoned (and in some cases never completed), the railroads also evoke the futility of the enterprise. This book is thus a sublime yet restrained elegy to the land and to the follies and wonders of human ambition.
This book is also available as a limited collectors edition, which features a signed and numbered book with gilded page edges, a signed gelatin silver photograph printed by the artist all housed in an elegant custom made clam shell box. Ruwedel has chosen three different images reproduced in the book to accompany this rare special edition. Collectors can choose the print they prefer, subject to availability.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
We are in the last day of our special exhibition. Although it was only an 8-day show, it has been a terrific and popular adventure. Open for 24 hours/day since May 26th we have been visited by people who were at the original event, hundreds of fans and even a few visitors asking “who are those people in the photographs?”!
Monday, June 1, 2009
The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at Hart House (University of Toronto), which proposed Mark Lewis, is the first institution in Canada to commission a new project by the artist. Barbara Fischer, the Commissioner/Curator for the Canada Pavilion is Director/Curator at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery.
Mark Lewis’s films for the Canada Pavilion combine documentary footage and dramatic action with his recent interest in the historical technique of rear projection, resulting in works that explore the history of place and the passage of time. The four autonomous works are presented together in a spatial syntax of oppositions that characterize some of the social tensions and spatial complexities that mark urban modernity as well as the conditions and potential of film as a modern medium. TD Centre, 54th Floor (2009) features a vertiginous view of the pulse of downtown traffic from the 54th floor of Mies van der Rohe’s iconic office tower in Toronto. In the film Cold Morning (2009), also shot in Toronto, Lewis shifts perspective by focusing on the actions of someone who lives and makes his home on the street during one of winter’s coldest days. With the medium of rear projection, Lewis elaborates the spatial dissociation more explicitly at the level of film itself. Set against the autonomous backdrop of pedestrian traffic within a public market, The Fight (2008) observes the to-and-fro of physical conflict without apparent resolution, while Nathan Phillips Square, A Winter’s Night, Skating (2009) follows the undulating narrative of lovers seemingly immersed in the open dream space of an urban skating rink.