December 08, 2023

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Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival Announces Full Program and Highlights of May 2023 Edition

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival Announces Full Program and Highlights of May 2023 Edition

Image: Catherine Blackburn, Scooped, (detail), 2017 (photos, 24kt-gold-plated beads, seed beads, thread, 12x9cm). Courtesy of the artist.

Canadian and international artists will present lens-based projects in museums, galleries, public spaces and more across Toronto

TORONTO, ON — Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival today announced the full program of the 27th edition of the annual citywide event spanning May 2023. As part of this year’s Core Program, artists will present lens-based works in exhibitions, site-specific installations, and commissioned projects at museums, galleries, and public spaces across Toronto. Among these are CONTACT’s critically acclaimed Outdoor Installations—a central component of the Festival’s program. This year CONTACT welcomes several guest curators activating 21 sites across the city. The Festival runs April 28 – May 31, 2023, and is free and open to the public.

Among the almost 100 artists, documentary photographers, and photojournalists featured across the Core Program of gallery exhibitions and outdoor installations are: Farah Al Qasimi, Joi T. Arcand, Hélène Amouzou, Nabil Azab, Genesis Báez, Ursula Biemann, Catherine Blackburn, Mary Bunch, Jawa El Khash, Lindsey french, Karina Griffith, Maggie Groat, Grace Grothaus, Maïmouna Guerresi, Aziz Hazara, Robert Kautuk, Jake Kimble, Seif Kousmate, Nadya Kwandibens, Long Time no See, Meryl McMaster, Suzanne Morrissette, Joel Ong, Abdi Osman, Sarah Palmer, Celeste Pedri-Spade, Racquel Rowe, Wayne Salmon, Serapis, Rasa Smite & Raitis Smits, Sunday School, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jane Tingley, Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning and Jin-me Yoon.

Click here for a complete list of Core Program artists.

“CONTACT is delighted to present an exciting roster of artists for this year’s Festival who bring insights and observations on myriad local and global cultural, political, and environmental issues,” said CONTACT Executive Director Tara Smith. “The entire CONTACT team is honoured to have such an impressive range of works on view, and we thank our many partners and supporters for making this possible.”

In addition to the Core Program are the Festival’s Open Call Exhibitions, presenting a range of works by artists at galleries and alternative spaces across the city. This year there are over 330 artists in more than 115 Open Call Exhibitions in the metro area. Click here for further information.

CONTACT also organizes and co-presents a wide range of Public Programs including a photobook fair, photobook dummy reviews, lectures, panels, and workshops open to a wide audience. Click through for further information on Core and Open Call Exhibitions, and Public Programs.

Highlights of the 2023 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival include the following:

CONTACT Gallery | 80 Spadina Ave, Ste 205 | May 6 – June 17
Harbourfront Centre Parking Pavilion | 235 Queens Quay W | May 1 – 31
Billboards | Dovercourt Rd and Dupont St | May 1 – June 2
Curated by Tara Smith
Opening reception (CONTACT Gallery): Friday, May 5, 6–9pm

Presented across three sites—at CONTACT Gallery, on billboards, and in an outdoor installation at Harbourfront Centre—newly commissioned work by artist Maggie Groat implements a collage-based approach in installation, sculpture, and image. Her practice investigates decolonial ways of being, alternative archiving, sustainable exhibition making, and the transformative potential of salvaged materials during times of living through climate emergencies. Presented by CONTACT. Exhibition supported by Cindy and Shon Barnett. Outdoor Installation presented in partnership with Harbourfront Centre. Billboards supported by PATTISON Outdoor Advertising.

Joi T. Arcand, Catherine Blackburn, Nadya Kwandibens, Celeste Pedri-Spade | Materialized
Critical Distance Centre for Curators | 401 Richmond St, Ste S-122 | April 21 – June 3
Billboard at Artscape Youngplace | 180 Shaw St | April 21 – June 3
Curated by Ariel Smith

A co-presentation by Native Women in the Arts and Critical Distance Centre for Curators, this exhibition presents work by Joi T. Arcand, Catherine Blackburn, Nadya Kwandibens, and Celeste Pedri-Spade, each of whom utilizes photography combined with textiles, adornment arts, and customary practices to examine themes of intergenerational memory, familial narrative, and decolonization. Co-presented by Native Women in the Arts and Critical Distance Centre for Curators, in partnership with CONTACT.

Jake Kimble | Grow Up #1
Mural, 460 King St W, north façade | May 1 – June 30
Curated by Emmy Lee Wall, Capture Photography Festival

Jake Kimble’s practice combines humour and pathos in vulnerable, self-reflective images often featuring the artist engaged in acts of self-repair. The work reflects his experience growing up in a chaotic household in which he felt the burden of adult responsibility.  In Grow Up #1 he wears a cowboy hat, complicating his identity as a Chipewyan (Dëne Sųłıné) child from Treaty 8 territory in the Northwest Territories, and subverting traditional dichotomies of “cowboys and Indians” and “parent and child” by playing both roles simultaneously. Presented by CONTACT in partnership with Capture Photography Festival.

Robert Kautuk | Up Front: Inuit Public Art at Onsite Gallery
Onsite Gallery | 199 Richmond St W (exterior) | April 1 – August 31 | Curated by Ryan Rice

The Inuit Art Foundation and Onsite Gallery present Up Front: Inuit Public Art at Onsite Gallery, a new series of commissioned digital murals by Inuit artists. In this iteration, aerial photography by Robert Kautuk animates the gallery’s façade, bringing his unique vision to downtown Toronto. Presented by Onsite Gallery in partnership with the Inuit Art Foundation and CONTACT.

Group exhibition | more-than-human
Onsite Gallery | 199 Richmond St W | through May 13 | Curated by Jane Tingley

Artists: Ursula Biemann, Mary Bunch, Lindsey french, Grace Grothaus, Suzanne Morissette, Joel Ong, Rasa Smite & Raitis Smits, Jane Tingley with Faadhi Fauzi & Ilze (Kavi) Briede, Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning

more-than-human features ten contemporary Canadian and international artists using interactive and experiential digital media to challenge, excite, and shift our collective understanding of the more-than-human mind. Inspired by an ethic of inclusion that acknowledges the rights of nature through stewardship and care, the exhibition questions what it means to be alive and have agency, bringing together artists, Indigenous leaders, scholars, technologists, and scientists to build connections across diverse knowledge fields. Presented by Onsite Gallery in partnership with CONTACT.

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MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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