Sunday, May 1, 2011

15th CONTACT Photography Festival, May 1-31

After having an official launch on Friday April 29, 7pm at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), the 15th Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival begins in earnest today.

Openings today include Guy Tillim: Avenue Patrice Lumumba at the Design Exchange; and Gauri Gill, The Americans at the Mississauga Central Library. There are artist talks by Gauri Gill, Elle Flanders, Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Olga Chagaoutdinova and Lluis Barba.

Public installations include A Sign in the Northwest Passage (The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, South Façade); Battlefields 1848 – 1867 (Consulate General of Italy, garden); Men in the Cities (Metro Hall, King St W at John St); Permanent Error (Billboards at Spadina Ave & Front St W); over here over there (Brookfield Place, Allen Lambert Galleria); Sachliches and Formen (Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1); Tomorrow is Yesterday (Onestop Network LCD Screens. 60 TTC subway stations, every 10 minutes; Dedicated Screens, Bloor (N & S Platform), St. Andrew (S Platform), Dundas (S platform)); Week-End (Billboards at Strachan Ave & Adelaide St W); and What Isn’t There (Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, courtyard).

For the first time, CONTACT’s public installations will be presented in five Canadian cities from coast to coast, revealing compelling relationships between photography and urban environments. Denis Darzacq in Ottawa, Jessica Eaton in Montreal, Fred Herzog in Vancouver, Scarlett Hooft Graafland in Calgary, Maslen & Mehra in Halifax.

CONTACT is an annual festival of photography in Toronto, during the month of May, with over 1000 local, national and international artists exhibiting at more than 200 venues. Founded as a not-for-profit organization 15 years ago, the festival is devoted to celebrating, and fostering the art and profession of photography. It stimulates excitement and discussion among a diverse audience that has grown to over 1.5 million. CONTACT is the largest photography event in the world, and a premiere cultural event in Canada.


CONTACT 2011: Figure & Ground

Toronto May 1 – 31

Now in its 15th year, CONTACT continues the tradition of exhibiting groundbreaking photography throughout the month of May. Focusing on our relationship to the environment, CONTACT 2011: Figure & Ground looks at how photographic images alter perception, inform knowledge, and uncover meaning. Highlights of the festival thematic programming include six Primary Exhibitions, 14 Public Installations and 44 Featured Exhibitions. More than 1,000 artists exhibit their work at 159 Open Exhibitions across the city.
Celebrate the openings of our six Primary Exhibitions highlighting the festival theme:

Friday April 29, 7 – 10pm, MOCCA

Dynamic Landscape: Olga Chagaoutdinova, Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Viviane Sassen, Dayanita Singh. Through narratives informed by landscape, these artists focus on the interplay between humanity and nature. Organized with MOCCA.


Fred Herzog: Vancouver. For over fifty years, Fred Herzog has photographed the changing street life of Vancouver. Organized by the National Gallery of Canada and MOCCA.

Saturday April 30, 7 – 9pm, Institute for Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum

Edward Burtynsky: Oil. Renowned Canadian artist Edward Burtynsky presents us with the reality of oil production as its role in our civilization undergoes massive transformation. Presented with the Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre and Scotiabank Group. Organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and made possible with the generous support of the Scotiabank Group.

Sunday May 1, 2 – 5pm, Design Exchange

Guy Tillim: Avenue Patrice Lumumba.Modern history in Africa is depicted against the backdrop of its colonial and post-colonial architectural heritage. Presented with the Design Exchange and Wedge Curatorial Projects. Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, with funding provided by the Lannan Foundation.

Tuesday May 3, 7 – 9pm, University of Toronto Art Centre (UTAC)

Suzy Lake: Political Poetics. A seminal figure in the field of Canadian visual art, Lake’s work explores the relationship between image and identity. Organized with UTAC.

Tuesday May 3, 7 – 9pm, The McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, UofT

Robert Bean: Illuminated Manuscripts. A multi-media installation in Marshall McLuhan’s former seminar room. Part of the McLuhan centenary celebrations in 2011. Organized with McLuhan 100, McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, Faculty of Information Coach House Institute, UofT.

Site-specific Public Installationsof photography throughout Toronto, include projects by Giorgio Barrera, Elle Flanders, Pieter Hugo, Robert Longo, Alex McLeod, Alain Paiment, Kevin Schmidt, Josef Schulz, and Diana Thorneycroft. For the first time, CONTACT presents installations in five cities across Canada, with projects by artists Denis Darzacq, Jessica Eaton, Fred Herzog, Scarlett Hooft Graafland, and Maslen & Mehra.

Register now for CONTACT Portfolio Reviews, and meet with some of the most important professionals in the field –

CONTACT Magazine hits the streets on April 20.

Download the new festival navigational APP now! Visit

Plan your trip to Toronto. Book your hotel package at Tourism Toronto.

Image Credit: Dayanita Singh, Dream Villa 27, 2007, 2008. Courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London

CONTACT, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1997, is generously supported by Scotiabank, BMW Group Canada, Nikon Canada, Torys LLP, Ernst and Young LLP, Vistek, Pattison Sign Group, Toronto Tourism, Kronenbourg, Transcontinental PLM, Sotheby’s, Blurb, Fashion Television, Toronto Life, The Gladstone Hotel, The Drake Hotel, 3M Canada, Genstar and Beyond Digital Imaging. CONTACT gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

CONTACT fosters and celebrates the art and profession of photography with an annual month-long festival in May and year-round programming in the gallery.

For more information on CONTACT or to interview a CONTACT spokesperson or artist, please contact: Bunmi Adeoye, NKPR, (416) 365-3630 x 26,

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
80 Spadina Ave, Suite 310
Toronto, Ontario M5V 2J4

T 416-539-9595 F 416-539-0829

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