Contact 2008: Toronto Photography Festival

© Toni Hafkenscheid, Grand Canyon, 2008
colour photograph mounted to cintra and plexiglass
Courtesy Birch Libralato Gallery

CONTACT is an annual month long festival of photography that takes place at over 200 venues across the Greater Toronto Area from May 1 – 31. As the largest photography festival in the world, CONTACT has become a premiere cultural event in Toronto with a broad range of international programming. This includes exhibitions, public installations, films, lectures, seminars and workshops. CONTACT participants, whether acclaimed international artists or local emerging photographers, exhibit in a variety of venues, from major public museums to private galleries and many alternative spaces including subway stations, billboards, the airport and city streets.

CONTACT 2008 examines how photography shapes our understanding of the world around us and the enduring role it plays in the preservation of individual and collective memories. A wide range of images – from the epic to the everyday – look beyond the headlines to explore private and social histories.

Between Memory and History: Throughout the years, CONTACT has questioned photography’s ability to represent the truth, explored rapidly increasing global interconnections and celebrated constructed imagery within a photographic culture. Despite its ever evolving conditions, a fundamental characteristic of the medium – its ability to preserve our individual memories and collective histories – at least for the moment, remains unchanged.

Photography has been associated with memory since its invention and memory has long been described as a continuous exchange of images. As we experience the global shift from film to digital technology, will photographic images merely become “memories made easy”? As the increasing participation in CONTACT demonstrates, photography is prevalent throughout our lives, now more then ever before, and wields a complex relationship to human experience.

© Louise Noguchi

Featured Exhibitions:

APR 26 – MAY 31
Birch Libralato >>

APR 28 – JUN 6
Scotiabank – Main Banking Hall – Scotia Plaza >>

APR 30 – JUN 8
Monte Clark Gallery >>

APR 30 – MAY 24
Peak Gallery >>

APR 30 – MAY 31

MAY 1 – 31
Olga Korper Gallery >>

exhibitions listing continues on CONTACT website

** if you travel into Canada, make sure that you have the proper ID.

Architecture Sustainability and Local Identity May 9 & 10

Photo Credit: Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario (detail)
KPMB Architects, completion, 2001
Photo credit: Eduard Heuber/Arch Photo Inc.

Museum London presents: Architecture, Sustainability and Local Identity: film and discussion about the future of architecture, suburbia and urban development.

Friday, May 9 at 7:30 pm

Lecture Theatre

Radiant City: A Documentary about Urban Sprawl
Followed by a Q & A with directors Gary Burns and Jim Brown

Venturing into territory both familiar and foreign, directors Gary Burns and Jim Brown turn the documentary genre inside out, crafting a vivid account of life in The Late Suburban Age.

Burns and Brown rummage through a toybox of cultural references, from Jane Jacobs to The Sopranos, to create a provocative reflection on why we live the way we do. Riffing off sitcoms and reality TV, they play fast and loose with a range of cinematic devices to consider what happens when cities get sick and mutate.

Radiant City was recently awarded the Genie for Best Documentary.

Saturday, May 10 at 1 pm

Lecture Theatre

James Howard Kunstler has long been recognized as a fierce critic of suburban sprawl and the high costs associated with an automobile-centric culture. He is the author of The Geography of Nowhere (Simon & Schuster, 1993) and Home from Nowhere (Simon & Schuster, 1996). Most recently, he authored The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century.

“The future will require us to build better places, or the future will belong to other people in other societies.”
— James Howard Kunstler

Saturday, May 10 at 3:00 pm

Lecture Theatre

Local Identity and Regional Responses to Sustainable Architecture

Balancing environmental, social, and sustainable design has the potential to transform everyday life and is already reshaping the fields of architecture and product design. This panel discussion will explore such topics as the role architecture plays in defining humanity’s relationship to its physical and cultural context, nationally and with a local focus on the City of London. Among the issues discussed will be contemporary and future urban design, sustainability, the development of green buildings and the protection of heritage streetscapes.

John Nicholson, principle architect with the award winning firm Malhotra, Nicholson and Sheffield Architects Inc.

Brian Dust is an associate architect with the award winning Vancouver firm Neale Staniszkis Doll and Adams Architects.

John McMinn is an associate professor at the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture. In 1992 he was awarded the Canada Council for the Arts Prix de Rome in Architecture. His professional interests include architectural and environmental design, poetic tectonics, contemporary urbanism and vernacular landscapes.

Marco Polo is an assistant professor at Ryerson University and is the editor of The Prix de Rome in Architecture: A Retrospective, published by Coach House Books (2006). Polo’s areas of specialization include Canadian architecture since 1945, regionalism in Canadian Architecture and the cultural dimensions of sustainability.

Together Polo and McMinn curated the exhibition 41 to 66: Regional Responses to Sustainable Architecture, organized by Cambridge Galleries. A version of this exhibition will represent Canada at the prestigious Venice Biennale in Architecture from September 14 to November 23, 2008.

Saturday, May 10, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Lorraine Ivey Shuttleworth Community Gallery

Community members are invited to discuss the changing landscape of London in a conversation led by City of London urban designer Sean Galloway.

NOTE: All sessions of ARCHITECTURE, SUSTAINABILITY AND LOCAL IDENTITY are offered free of charge, although space is limited. To reserve your ticket please RSVP by calling 519.661.0333. Tickets will be available at the door the day of the program.

Museum London is located at 421 Ridout Street North, London, Ontario. For general information please contact us at 519.661.0333.

Museum London

** if you travel into Canada, make sure that you have the proper ID.

Paper Clips


Whitwell Middle School in rural Tennessee is the setting for this documentary about an extraordinary experiment in Holocaust education. Struggling to grasp the concept of 6 million Holocaust victims, the students decide to collect 6 million paper clips to better understand the enormity of the calamity. The film details how the students met Holocaust survivors from around the world and how the experience transformed them and their community.

Hysteria and the Body @ Art Gallery of Windsor

Hysteria and the Body opens April 18 @ Art Gallery of Windsor

Major international art exhibition looks at stereotypes about women, their bodies and “the female malady”

Organized by the National Gallery of Canada
Art Gallery of Windsor – 401 Riverside Drive West, Windsor, Ontario, N9A 7J1
March 29, – June 15, 2008
Opening Reception at 7 pm on April 18

Featuring some of the most important women artists working today in Europe, Canada and the US, this stunning exhibition looks at the long and troubling association of women and hysteria, which is often based on deeply-rooted stereotypes and assumptions.

In the 19th century, psychiatry deemed hysteria, a functional disturbance of the nervous system, a “female malady”, but since the 1970s, many women artists – and a few men – have mimicked hysteria as a means of empowerment to resist traditional gender roles. The exhibition Hysteria and the Body investigates many related ideas, including the “hysterical” body, stereotypes of femininity, aging, motherhood, and individual identity.

Featuring work by internationally acclaimed artists like Cindy Sherman (American), Louise Bourgeois (French), Annette Messager (French), Jana Sterbak (Canadian), Marina Abramovic (born in Serbia), Pipilotti Rist (Swiss) and Vito Acconci (American), Hysteria includes sculptures, video, prints, drawing and photography. The exhibition seeks to disrupt traditional ways of viewing the figure and our preconceptions of “normal” behaviour.

** if you travel into Canada, make sure that you have the proper ID.