Saturday, 27 May 2017

Some Exhibitions to Check Out at the CONTACT Photography Festival

After looking through the 251-page Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival guide, here are some exhibitions (and notes from the guide about them) that grabbed my interest -- some of which I've already seen -- and they're powerful -- others I'll be checking out soon.

"CONTACT 2017 represents outstanding photo-based projects by Canadian artists and curators that explore the nation's shifting landscape and challenge perceptions of history. The Festival transforms the city in May with more than 200 exhibitions and events," notes the guide.

Ears, Eyes, Voice: Black Canadian Photojournalists 1970s-1990s Jules Elder, Eddie Grant, Diane Liverpool, Al Peabody, and Jim
Co-presented with BAND, supported by Scotiabank, and curated by Julie Crooks at BAND Gallery, 19 Brock Ave., Toronto.
The exhibition has been running since April 27 and closes today -- May 27.

"The collective archive of these photographers reveals a comprehensive visual record. Training their lens on politicians, community members, activists, and protesters, as well as entertainers and athletes, they tell a remarkable range of stories and histories about Black lives and experiences."

Jalani Morgan's The Sum of All Parts

Jalani Morgan's The Sum of All Parts

Jalani Morgan's "The Sum of All Parts"
Presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of York University, supported by the City of Toronto and curated by Emelie Chhangur
The exhibition is on the Metro Hall Structure along King St. W at John St. It opened on April 28 and closes on May 31.

"Black Lives Matter TO, whose partisans feature prominently in Morgan's images, is committed to "actively dismantle all forms of anti-Black racism, liberate Blackness, support Black healing, affirm Black existence, and create freedom to love and self-determine." The symbolic siting of Morgan's work at Metro Hall allows viewers to consider the status of the organization's demands against a political backdrop, and how difference and negotiation will act as mobilizing factors in creating new kinds of solidarities for this city's future."

Sandra Brewster's it's all a blur...

Sandra Brewster's It's all a blur...

Sandra Brewster's "It's all a blur..."
Georgia Scherman Projects, 133 Tecumseth St., Toronto.
Opened on May 5 and closes on June 10.

"It's all a a series of gestural portraits made with photo-based gel transfers. Sandra Brewster uses the medium as a metaphor for movement or change from one place to another, specifically in reference to the migration of her parents and their peers who left Guyana for Toronto in the late 1960s."

Alexis MacDonald/Stephen Lewis Foundation's "The Unsung S/heroes"
Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St. E., 2nd Floor, Toronto
Opened May 2 and closes on May 31.

"This is a story about AIDS and the women so rarely seen. Through stunning large-scale photographic portraits and installations, this exhibition offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of African grandmothers on the frontlines of the global AIDS crisis."

"Free Black North"
Organized by and presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario. Curated by Julie Crooks
Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., Toronto.
Opened April 29 and runs until August 20.

"Free Black North features photographs of men, women, and children living in Ontario in the mid to late 1800s, descendants of Black refugees who escaped enslavement in the southern United States. These portraits, drawn from collections at Brock University and the Archives of Ontario, many shown here for the first time, reveal how these chiefly unknown individuals presented themselves with style, dignity, and self-assurance."

"Making Peace"
Front Street Promenade/Corktown
Opened on May 13 and closes on September 24.

"Making Peace pays tribute to the people and organizations all over the planet who devote their time, energy, and resources to the cause of peace, and reveals how they have shaped and influenced the course of the 20th century. This outdoor exhibition presents 124 photographs spanning more than 100 years, and aims to educate viewers of all ages, especially young people, about the five key elements necessary for building "sustainable peace": disarmament and nonviolence, conflict prevention and resolution, economic and social justice, human rights, law and democracy, and environment and sustainable development."

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