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In Your Face at the AGO

At the risk of turning today's entries into a He Said/She Said debate about the AGO, earlier today (without CityPass) I finally got around to sitting down and drawing my face at the AGO's In Your Face exhibit.

Drawing my face in front of a mirror (with colored pencils donated by Curry's) ended up being the highlight of my visit even though I originally went for the Ansel Adams, Alfred Eisenstaedt photography show. Judging by hords of doodlers around me, I probably wasn't alone.

It wasn't that the Adams/Eisenstaedt exhibit was bad. After all, they're two of the more famous photographers of the 20th century. But the reality of the AGO at the moment is that for someone like me who's been before and overdosed on the permanent collection, it takes more than a small photo exhibit to surprise and delight given I just plunked down $15 for the admission fee.

For starters, it might have helped to have an audio guide (or podcasts, whatever) that enlightened me with a little more background than what was offered. On this regard, I agree with Carrie that the AGO can do more to enhance the gallery-going experience, even in this period of transition.

And perhaps an even greater challenge for the AGO is that there are simply so many smaller galleries in Toronto where one can view works by amazing contemporary photographers like Ed Burtynsky for the price of free.

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All the more reason why sometimes it's the exhibits like In Your Face (which opened way back on July 1st) which often times can be the most memorable. If not for their uniqueness but also that they provide an experience that can offer something that smaller galleries can't, namely, my drawing on the wall next to sculptures by Henry Moore.

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