A photo guide to CONTACT public installations 2012
The 2012 CONTACT Photography Festival is well underway with a host of promising gallery exhibitions to check out around the city. As has been the case for number of years, in addition to these more traditional shows, there are also a number of public installations to check out, many of which look stunning in the urban milieu in which they're presented. Here's a quick guide to the must-see public installations at CONTACT 2012.
Scott McFarland's portrait is of a repatriation ceremony for a fallen Canadian soldier who was killed while on active duty in Afghanistan takes the marquee spot in the MOCCA courtyard this year. At 21 by 59 feet, the photo is stunning for its detail and scale. Andreas Gursky, eat your heart out. Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, 952 Queen St W, April 25 - June 25.
Perhaps the most compelling public installation this year comes from the late photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who died in Libya just last year. His portraits of sleeping soliders can be seen on billboards on Lansdowne Ave at Dundas St. and College St. (in both cases on the northeast corners). These portraits are of American soldiers during their time in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, which were shot during the making of the Oscar nominated documentary Restrepo. They portray a hauntingly intimate and human side of soldiers that's easily lost to the grand narratives of war.
This is the public component of The University Paradox, which is also showing at the University of Toronto Art Centre. Sourced from an archival photograph of a student protest at Vancouver's Simon Fraser University back in 1967, the artists have replaced the architectural elements of the photo with line drawing, which serves to highlight the manner in which the participants occupy space. A companion piece can be found that UTAC. The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, South Facade, 231 Queens Quay W, April 25 - June 18.
Also a must-see, Melanie Manchot's work pays tribute to the Distillery District's rich history. She combines portraits of Distillery's staff with corresponding historic photos, which underline both the similarities and differences between past and present. Distillery District, 55 Mill St, April 25 - May 31.
This public installation features the work of six Toronto-based photographers (Alyssa Bistonath, Aaron Vincent Elkaim, Debra Friedman, Ruth Kaplan, Brent Lewin, Robert Poulton) on subway station posters throughout the system. Not overly complex from a thematic standpoint, these photos represent the way the artists view Toronto, which makes for a welcome change from the ads that typically occupy these spaces. The second component of this installation involves LCD screens on station platforms that showcase photos submitted by the public. You have until May 30 to submit photos of your interpertation of what We're in this Together means.
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