SOURCE: Scotiabank


May 05, 2016 07:00 ET

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival: Celebrating 20 Years of Photography With 20 Public Installations

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - May 05, 2016) - The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival marks its 20th anniversary this May, 2016. To celebrate, the Festival presents 20 Public Installations in urban spaces throughout Toronto and on billboards in eight cities across Canada. Positioned on streets, and subway platforms, or suspended from the façades and interiors of buildings, the Festival's Public Installations transform the experience of the city. Conveying narratives specific to the environment, its usage, and inhabitants, the interplay between the photographic subject and its surrounding context destabilizes the conventions of advertising and alters the patterns of everyday activity in public spaces.

Browse the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival's 20 Public Installations:

Toilet Paper: Toronto Carousel , Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari
Metro  Hall, Structure along King St W at John St
Presented in partnership with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Toronto, supported by the City of Toronto. April 29 - May 31. 13 inkjet prints on vinyl, 8.7 x 6.5'.

Italian artists Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari founded the biannual, picture-based magazine Toilet Paper. Together they create and produce photographic narratives and tableaux that are at once humorous, poetic, and irreverent. In their carefully composed photo shoots, the vocabulary of fashion and commercial photography is both celebrated and parodied.

Coming Attractions
The Long Weekend: Paul Butler, Galen Johnson, Julia Anne Leach, Guy Maddin, Caelum Vatnsdal. With special guests Jonah Corne, Simon Hughes, Alicia Smith
TIFF Bell Lightbox.  Windows at King St W and Widmer St
Presented in partnership with TIFF, curated by Bonnie Rubenstein. 350 King St W
April 27 - May 31. Inkjet print on vinyl, 14 x 72'

The Long Weekend is a collective of Winnipeg artists, filmmakers, and designers who, working under the aegis of Paul Butler's enduring Collage Party practice, have produced movie posters that imagine an alternate history of cinema. Covering the street-level windows of TIFF Bell Lightbox -- the epicentre of the Toronto International Film Festival -- Coming Attractions creates the appearance of a welter of one-sheets plastered in the style of advertisements found on construction site hoarding. The installation creates a direct confrontation between The Long Weekend's specifically contrived film world and the corporate hegemonies of the real film world.

Kensington Market/Chinatown Area
May 1 - 31. 20 xerographic prints on bond paper, 8 x 12'.

#Dysturb is a collective of freelance photojournalists who take current, international news stories to the streets. Through an emphatic intervention into public space, this network of professionals exposes the general public to global issues by installing large-format photographs guerrilla-style on the walls of city hubs. The collective operates independently of the conventions and restrictions of traditional news publishing outlets, and its urban takeovers provide an alternative context to raise awareness and disseminate information about world events.

Casa Susanna
St. Patrick Subway Station
Presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario, in conjunction with the exhibition Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s-1980s. Supported by PATTISON Outdoor Advertising. May 1 - 31. 32 inkjet prints on vinyl or coroplast. Dimensions variable.

Casa Susanna was a resort for masculine-to-feminine cross-dressers in upstate New York that provided a safe haven for visitors to explore alternative forms of gender expression. Guests spent weekends reveling in the freedom to dress in women's clothing and photographing one another. A selection of snapshots from the AGO's Casa Susanna collection are presented as murals and posters in St. Patrick Station where history enters into conversation with the present on a distinctly public platform.

Refugees In A S tate Apartment , Jens Ullrich
Consulate General of Italy, Fence along Dundas St W at Beverly St
Presented in partnership with the Goethe-Institut Toronto, in cooperation with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura and the Consulate General of Italy, Toronto. Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein. April 27 - May 31. 13 inkjet prints on vinyl, dimensions variable.

German artist Jens Ullrich's series, Refugees In A State Apartment, places portraits of refugees within the historical setting of a lavish villa. Ullrich notes that "the metaphoric ambiguity of a house between being a refuge, a place to live, an intimate situation, or even a cultural monument somehow seems apposite [to the situation of the refugees]... " The series speaks to issues of access and acceptance in the wake of profound social upheaval. Emblematically displayed along a fence bordering the Consulate General of Italy -- itself once a stately home that has undergone transformations similar to the German villa-Ullrich's series speaks to issues of access and acceptance in the wake of profound social upheaval.

Paper Planes, Current Studies , Sjoerd Knibbeler
Brookfield Place, Allen Lambert Galleria, 181 Bay Street
Presented in partnership with Brookfield Place, supported by the Mondriaan Fund. Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein. April 26 - May 31. 12 inkjet prints on vinyl 8 x 6ft, 14 inkjet prints on 7 vinyl banners, 4.75 x 6'.

The six-storey glass and steel "atrium of light" at Brookfield Place provides a soaring environment for Sjoerd Knibbeler's photographic visualizations of aerodynamics, natural phenomena, and climatological conditions. Presenting two related projects, the Amsterdam-based Dutch artist confronts the limitations of photography through images capturing intangible or invisible concepts.

Further Clarities a nd Convolutions , Raymond Boisjoly
Billboards on Lansdowne Ave at Dundas St W and College St.
Supported by PATTISON Outdoor Advertising. Curated by Sabrina Maltese and Heather Rigg. May 1 - 31.
4 laser prints on blueback paper 10 x 20' and 2 laser prints on blueback paper, 16 x 12'.

Raymond Boisjoly's practice is steeped in a dialogue that questions the representation, production, and dissemination of imagery. For this site-specific billboard project, Boisjoly's distorted scanner images are tiled to form a backdrop for a series of overlaid, cryptic texts written by the artist himself. Enlarged to massive scale and positioned on traditional advertising spaces within a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood, Boisjoly's billboards withhold strategies that easily appeal to the sympathies and desires of consumers. The artist's compositions offer a disorienting series of provocative statements for passersby. Rather than spoon-feeding viewers prescribed and easily digestible messages, they provide an unexpected opportunity for contemplation-encouraging close, analytical inspection in a place reserved for authoritative commodity fetishization. Further Clarities and Convolutions foregrounds the convoluted ways in which our understanding of others, and therefore ourselves, is mediated.

What it Means to be Beautiful , Mickalene Thomas
Billboards at Front St W & Spadina Ave, Toronto and across Canada (Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Winnipeg).
Supported by PATTISON Outdoor Advertising. Curated by Heather Rigg. May 1 - 31.

Throughout her practice, Mickalene Thomas explores and asserts the complex identity of black women and challenges issues of representation in Western visual culture. The Brooklyn-based artist depicts relatives, friends, and lovers-real women with varying body types, ages, and hairstyles who exude a strong sense of confidence and elegance. Through this project-positioned on billboards in Toronto and eight major cities across Canada -- the artist critiques the lacuna of black women from visual culture while asserting their empowered presence and identity in the very spaces from which they have been historically excluded.

Prada, Marfa , Elmgreen & Dragset
Oxford Art Tablet, Richmond Adelaide Centre, 130 Adelaide St W
Presented in partnership with Public Art Management, supported by Oxford Properties and Sedition. Curated by Ben Mills and Jess Carroll. May 1 - 31, 7am - 9pm daily. Single channel HD video (8 mins), 16 screens, 9 x 16' overall.

Erected in 2005 along a desolate patch of U.S. Highway 90 just outside of Valentine, Texas (population 160), Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset's Prada Marfa is a non-functional Prada store featuring items from the actual 2005 Fall-Winter Prada collection. In Toronto's Richmond-Adelaide Centre, Prada Marfa is shown as a time-lapse video, captured over a single 24-hour span. Positioned in the heart of the city's financial district near a high traffic retail destination, the work furthers Elmgreen and Dragset's intention for the piece to "trigger debate."

Drape, Eva Stenram
460 King St W, north façade
Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein. April 27 - May 31. Inkjet print on perforated vinyl, 30 x 29'.

Eva Stenram subverts the original function of vintage pin-up photographs to scrutinize the disembodiment and sexual objectification of women. In the ongoing series Drape (2011-), Stenram conceals overt nudity by physically or digitally altering her source material, creating a rupture within each scene through an absence of information. The artist heightens the element of fantasy in her images to emphasize the voyeuristic act of looking. Confronting notions of beauty, Stenram's image binds histories and unfolds a narrative within the fabric of the city's garment district.

Stopping Point
The Old Press Hall, The Globe and Mail, 425 Wellington St W
Curated by Ellen Treciokas and Roger Hargreaves. Presented in partnership with the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada, The Globe and Mail and the Archive of Modern Conflict. April 29 - June 26 (until demolition day). Inkjet print on vinyl, 45 x 40'.

This singular photograph has been selected from a picture library of 750,000 prints. It represents not the end of the road, but one more stopping point on its onward journey from working press archive to museum study collection. It returns to its point of origin, parked on the side of a now-obsolete and soon-to-be-demolished newspaper factory to act as a negotiated sign of something that is both a relic of the past and an enduring symbol of a quintessentially Canadian summer experience: a boat strapped to the roof of a city car driven to the edge of the wilderness.

Patchwork Village
Crombie Park, 131 The Esplanade
Residents of The Esplanade, led by artists Anne-Marie Woods, Jacques Fortier, and photographer Charlie Lindsay. Presented in partnership with Jamii & CORPUS. Curated by Isorine Marc. May 1 - Oct 1.

The site plan for The Esplanade neighbourhood (original St Lawrence boundaries) was approved in May 1976. In celebration of the community's 40th anniversary, Patchwork Village encompasses a written and visual collection of stories told by residents. On view in Crombie Park-the heart of The Esplanade-this installation celebrates the area's most valuable asset: its people and their stories.

Aves , Edgar Leciejewski
North York Centre, 5150 Yonge St
Presented in partnership with NoYo. Supported by North York Centre. April 18 - July 1
16 inkjet prints on 8 vinyl banners, 12 x 9.8'.

Leipzig-based artist Edgar Leciejewski depicts bird species he finds lying on city streets in his native Germany. Presented at North York Centre as large-format banners that seem to float within the skyscraper's glass atrium, this installation serves as a memento mori for these fallen creatures. Such urban structures pose a danger to birds, which become disoriented by the building's reflective surfaces and suffer tragic results. Leciejewski's nature morte photographic images evocatively venerate his lifeless subjects, elevating them to monumental proportions rendered in abstract yet exquisite detail.

#DrizzyDoesUTSG , UofTDrizzy
U of T St George campus. Poster campaign, various locations
Presented in partnership with Museum Studies, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Curated by Bethea Arielle Penny. May 1 - 31. 2,000 posters, 17 x 11".

UofTDrizzy is a popular Instagram account run by an anonymous student at the University of Toronto since early 2015. The images feature Toronto rapper Drake photoshopped into student-life scenarios at U of T. UofTDrizzy visits the downtown St. George campus through a series of posters - by distributing multiple copies of each poster across campus on the same day they are posted on Instagram, a cumulative body of work is created that physically mimics the visual presence of social media.

Downtown Toronto (Twilight Time), Aude Moreau
The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, south façade, 231 Queens Quay W
Presented in partnership with The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in conjunction with the exhibition A Political Nightfall. Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein. Jan 29 - Dec 31. Inkjet print on vinyl, 19 x 31'.

Aude Moreau was invited to create a site-specific image as a large-format billboard on The Power Plant's south facade. Captured from Toronto Fire Station 315 at College Street and Bellevue Avenue just after sunset, commercial logos glowing in the remaining light of dusk compete for visibility. Continuing her mediation on private and public space, Moreau's photograph of Toronto's skyline is embedded in the cityscape that emerges beyond it.

Harbourfront Centre, parking pavilion , 235 Queens Quay W

Presented in partnership with Harbourfront Centre. Curated by Patrick McCauley. May 1 - September 18. 3 inkjet prints on vinyl, 9 x 15'.

Alex McLeod proposes a modernist architectural fantasy, one where a digitally rendered world of glass and concrete is brought to life by ambient artificial light. Globules of water are suspended in mid-air-their cause and outcome undetermined-generating both an unsettling atmosphere of impending doom and a captivating sense of enchantment. McLeod's images recall the wide-open vistas of romantic landscape painting, and stage an otherworldly dystopia within a space that shares architectural similarities to Toronto's downtown core.

The Last Tattooed Women of Kalinga , Jake Verzosa
Royal Ontario Museum, outside the entrance 100 Queen's Park
Presented in partnership with the Royal Ontario Museum, in conjunction with the exhibition
Tattoos: Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art. Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein. May 1 - September 2. 10 inkjet prints on perforated vinyl, 5 x 4', on bamboo structures.

The Last Tattooed Women of Kalinga, a series of portraits by Manila-based photographer Jake Verzosa, laments and celebrates a dying tradition of tattooing in villages throughout the Cordillera mountains in the northern Philippines. Reminiscent of Verzosa's previous installation of these works in the Philippines, larger-than-life portraits framed by bamboo -- a material customarily used in some traditional tattoo practices -- and presented outdoors, bordering the ROM's historic façade. As both documentary records and aesthetic objects, they reflect the ancient tradition and present-day global phenomenon of body art.

Ten Blankets
Jeff Bierk in collaboration with "Jimmy" James Evans and Carl Lance Bonnici
The Annex neighbourhood and Queen St E at Victoria St and Church St

The artist gratefully acknowledges support from the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. 10 dye-sublimation prints on fleece blankets, dimensions variable.

A former "street photographer" who documented homeless individuals sleeping on city streets, Jeff Bierk has since critiqued the genre as one that exploits and aestheticizes, "expanding the divide" between viewers and the individuals depicted. Bierk's process now involves an ongoing collaboration with his close friends, where they decide which photographs are selected for public display. For this transient and roaming installation, images of his friends sleeping or laying down are printed on fleece blankets. They are given to and used by the artists' friends throughout the Annex area near Bierk's "Back 40" -- an empty lot behind his apartment that is used for socializing -- and around Queen and Church, where the artist works.

Alliance , Chloe Sells
Adelaide Place, Drake 150, 150 York Street
Presented in partnership with Drake One Fifty and Dream Property Management. Curated by Mia Nielsen. May 1 - 31. Inkjet print on vinyl, 25 x 18'.

Chloe Sells develops unrepeatable effects in her monoprint photographs that feature swirls of deep colour, lens flare details, areas of vibrant abstraction, and overlaid arrangements of ribbon-like paper cut haphazardly. Working with digital technology, the artist has taken a photograph developed in the darkroom and enlarged it to massive proportions. Presented on translucent vinyl in the window of 150 York Street, Sells' image is reminiscent of stained glass, offering views from inside and outside the building that play with the viewer's perspective.

Best Beach , Sarah Anne Johnson
Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre, 11 Bay St
Supported by Partners in Art and StreetARToronto, in partnership with Westin Harbour Castle. Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein. Until April 2017. Inkjet print on vinyl, 37 x 144'.

Winnipeg-based artist Sarah Anne Johnson uses photography to explore communal experiences, taking a playful yet considered approach to the pursuit of the utopian. This commissioned mural, first unveiled for the 2015 Festival, transforms a grey city block into an enchanted place. Nestled between towering buildings that hover near Lake Ontario, Best Beach echoes the natural landscape that lies just beyond the city's edge. Exploring the space between reality and fiction, experience and desire, Johnson captures the promise of a local landscape and transforms it into an idyllic place that seems very far from the city.

About Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

CONTACT fosters and celebrates the art and profession of photography with an annual Festival in May and year-round programming in the CONTACT Gallery.

CONTACT, a charitable organization founded in 1997, is generously supported by Scotiabank, Nikon Canada, Pattison Outdoor Advertising, La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, Vistek, Dentons Canada LLP, Toronto Image Works, Steam Whistle Brewing, The Gilder, Transcontinental PLM, 3M Canada, Waddington's Auctioneers and Appraisers, Four By Eight Signs, Beyond Digital Imaging, Hotel Le Germain, The Gladstone Hotel, The Globe and Mail, NOW Magazine, and BlogTO.

CONTACT gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Celebrate Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Ontario Arts Council, The Government of Ontario, Partners in Art, Street Art Toronto (StART), Canada Council for the Arts, the Hal Jackman Foundation, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Goethe-Institut, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, and all of our funders, donors, and programming partners. 

Contact Information

  • For more information on CONTACT or to interview a CONTACT spokesperson or artist, please contact NKPR: 
    Yulia Balinova
    416 365 3630 ext 230