This year CONTACT expands its scope across Toronto and presents a broad spectrum of physically and conceptually engaging forms of photography.  In keeping with this commitment to multiplicity, the 2018 Festival catalogue cover has been produced as a series of four, with each one featuring a single work. The images by Richard Mosse, Felicity Hammond, Charlie Engman, and Shelley Niro represent highly distinctive approaches to the photographic medium, yet they can each be considered touchstones for areas of common ground that have come together through the process of developing the curated program.

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2018 CONTACT Catalogue Covers: Richard Mosse, Felicity Hammond, Charlie Engmann, Shelley Niro.

Focusing on collaborations, new discoveries, commissions, and premiere presentations, CONTACT’s 2018 Primary Exhibitions and Public Installations present outstanding, timely works by artists from Canada and abroad. Many of today’s critical global issues are the consequence of war, and the societal complexities that arise from it are examined by numerous artists throughout the Festival. Richard Mosse uses a military-grade thermal video camera that registers bodily presence from great distances to create highly complex works based on documentation of refugee camps. Along a similar vein, Trevor Paglen uncovers the physical markers of covert military and intelligence surveillance activities. Looking at the contested lands of Palestine, Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme construct poetic narratives that speak to the ongoing conflict permeating the area. The monuments of war are investigated by Daniel Alexander, whose images of cemeteries and epitaphs consider the impulse to commemorate; and the AGO’s photographic archives reveal personal accounts of the First World War and images capturing the technologies of mass destruction.

The built environment is also a prevalent theme this year, and a number of artists were commissioned to produce new site-specific work at prominent locations around the city. Felicity Hammond’s project examines how depictions of past and future urban developments dramatically shift and complicate the way that architecture is experienced, and Marleen Sleeuwits’ photographs are based on her elaborate transformations of nondescript architectural spaces. As a platform for artistic experimentation, our Public Installations activate a visual dialogue within their urban surroundings, as seen in the fleeting moments captured in Wang Yishu’s images positioned in a bustling subway station, the digital landscapes Scott Benesiinaabandan derives from monument sites to acknowledge Indigenous histories, and the expansive view of the cosmos by Elizabeth Zvonar that illuminates the grey concrete cityscape. Several venues, some of which are new to the Festival this year,provide challenging contexts for artistic interventions. While Dana Claxton’s hyper-saturated images of canoes transform a new gathering place beneath the Gardiner Expressway, Max Dean’s multimedia installation occupies a former soap factory slated for demolition. Replacing the traditional display of pictures, Piero Martinello’s portraits of radical individuals infiltrate the former home of a magistrate.

Numerous projects this year aim to challenge cultural stereotypes. Charlie Engman’s expansive body of work, which is being exhibited for the first time, features boundary-pushing photographs of his mother; John Edmonds’ public installation confronts presumptions about race, class, and gender based on clothing choices; and Sofia Mesa’s collaborative project commemorates individuals often deemed invisible by society. Through active dialogue with diverse communities, Esther Shalev-Gerz considers the politics of representation by examining the origins of museum objects. The culture and collecting practice of the museum is also scrutinized by Nadia Myre, who reclaims Indigenous skills and crafts devalued by colonization; and by Awol Erizku, whose still life compositions address the practice of whitewashing in art historical representation.

The pervasive theme of reclamation and empowerment resonates in Shelley Niro’s work, which redefines contemporary Indigenous experience and identity, particularly for women. Gestures of cultural understanding are performed by a number of artists whose images reveal complex narratives: Kent Monkman’s alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle reclaims a controversial headdress; Aida Muluneh speaks to the struggles and achievements of the African diaspora across history; and Caroline Monnet’s scene of women in the film industry highlights an emerging sense of power and self-determination. Reframing social and cultural traditions, Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca’s work dynamically captures contemporary dance and music derived from various forms of colonial resistance in Brazil, and a vibrant group exhibition drawing from an archive of Canadian hip hop culture disrupts the status quo to provide high visibility for under-recognized photographers.

We invite you to experience all of the exceptional projects in CONTACT 2018’s curated program throughout the city. Revealing multilayered perspectives on the world, the works ultimately come together through interaction, dialogue, and celebration.

Read the Artistic Overview Close the Artistic Overview


Primary Exhibitions

Museums, galleries and artist run-centres present outstanding photographic images.

Basel Abbas, Ruanne Abou-Rahme Incidental Narratives A Space Gallery
Richard Mosse The Castle Arsenal Contemporary Toronto
Photography: First World War, 1914–1918 Art Gallery of Ontario
Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca Art Gallery of York University
Charles "Teenie" Harris Cutting a Figure: Black Style Through the Lens of Charles “Teenie” Harris BAND Gallery
Piero Martinello Radicalia Campbell House Museum
Felicity Hammond Arcades CONTACT Gallery
Lee Henderson To Step From Shadow Into the Warmth of the Sun Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography
Laurie Kang A Body Knots Gallery TPW
Daniel Alexander When War Is Over Harbourfront Centre
Bill Jones Waking Dream John B. Aird Gallery
Esther Shalev-Gerz Koffler Gallery
…Everything Remains Raw: Photographing Toronto’s Hip Hop Culture from Analogue to Digital Group ExhibitionCraig Boyko, Michael Chambers, Stella Fakiyesi, Demuth Flake, Patrick Nichols, Sheinina Raj, Nabil Shash McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Sophia Al Maria Black Friday Mercer Union, a centre for contemporary art
Elisa Julia Gilmour, Meryl McMaster, Deanna Pizzitelli New Generation Photography Award Onsite Gallery
Trevor Paglen Surveillance States Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art
Scotiabank Photography Award: Shelley Niro Ryerson Image Centre
Nadia Myre Acts That Fade Away Ryerson Image Centre, Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall
Charlie Engman Mom Scrap Metal
Christina Battle BAD STARS Trinity Square Video

Public Installations

Site-specific projects activate urban spaces in Toronto and in eight cities across Canada.

Felicity Hammond Post Production 460 King St W, north façade
Aida Muluneh Reflections of Hope Aga Khan Park
Sofia Mesa Guardians Allan Gardens Conservatory
Charlie Engman Mom Billboards at Dovercourt Rd and Dupont St
Kent Monkman in collaboration with Chris Chapman United in Love Billboards at Dundas St W and Glenlake Ave
Awol Erizku Say Less Billboards on Lansdowne Ave at Dundas St W and College St / Cross-Canada Billboard Locations
Marleen Sleeuwits Not The Actual Site Brookfield Place, Allen Lambert Galleria
Max Dean Still Moving East Harbour, Unilever Soap Factory
John Edmonds Hoods Metro Hall
Wang Yishu Caught In-Between Osgoode Subway Station
Scott Benesiinaabandan newlandia: debaabaminaagwad Ryerson University - Gould and Bond St / Ryerson University - Devonian Square
Dana Claxton A Forest of Canoes The Bentway
Emeka Ogbah WER HAT ANGST VOR SCHWARZ: Casino Baden-Baden series The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, South Façade
Caroline Monnet History shall speak for itself TIFF Bell Lightbox
Elizabeth Zvonar Milky Way Smiling Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre

Open Exhibitions

Drawn together from a call for participation, venues showcase photography throughout Toronto.

Laird Kay Wonder 462 Eastern Avenue (Former Weston Bread Factory)
Quil Lemons Glitterboy 500px
Group Exhibition Sheridan College’s Bachelor of Photography Graduate Exhibition 99 Sudbury
Yuula Benivolski Scrap Pieces A Space Gallery
Ryan Pechnick refuse/reuse Abbozzo Gallery
Sylvia Galbraith Outside of Time Abbozzo Gallery
Grade 8 Students from Beaumonde Heights Junior Middle School Rexdale Youth IN FOCUS Albion Library
Sound Image 2018 Analogue Gallery @ Shed
Group Exhibition TORONTO² Annex Photo (Concept by Fujifilm)
Brendan George Ko Pololu Valley and Palms Archive
Wallis Wang I Was Not Here Arta Gallery
Radha Chaddah Awakening Arta Gallery
CLICK Group ExhibitionFay Athari, Sasan Ghahrerman, Elsa Hashemi, Ludmila Schnaider, Anthony Schatzky, John Kosmopoulos, Sidra Syed, Steven Levinson, Jacquelyn Sloane Siklos, Alborz Malekpoor Arta Gallery
Nicola Woods The Trees Amongst Us ARTiculations | Earl Selkirk Gallery
Isolation Group ExhibitionPaul Brandejs, Donald Bray, Stephen Cooper, David Johns, Margit Koivisto, Jessica Lin, Lori Ryerson, Michael Sachter, Lorie Slater, Felicity Somerset, Donna Wells, Rita Wong Artists' Network Gallery
Cold Feet Group ExhibitionMark Aguirre, Julia Bonavita, Sonia Pajakowski, Naomi Senwasane, Olivia Zaloski Arts Etobicoke
MINDSET 2018 : EXPOSURE Group ExhibitionStephanie Avery, Jaene Castrillon, Katie Cooper, India d'Scarlett, Sylvia Frey, Genova, Amy Loucareas, Elaine Lum, Marta McKenzie, Sandy Middleton, Brad Necyk, Sean Patenaude, Annette Seip, Kat Singer, Brenda Spielmann, Jan Swinburne Artscape Youngplace
Dismantle Group ExhibitionMarley Abdull, Raine Akiyama-Chen, Anna Arjoon, Alabama Bamford, Kira Bentley, Amanda Blake, Maximum Brauch, Aidan Breit-McNally, Noah Brown, Erica Bruno, Rachel Burns, Andrew Camilleri, Aya Danzig, Jaiden Dalbello, Carlin Elbourne, Ben Elhav, Isabella Ferrer, Hallie Ford, Camila Frater, Jelena Gajdel, Savva Gretzky, Grace Hancock, Joshua Holme, Spencer Julien, Olivia Kerr, Macy Kerrigan, Hayden Lawrence, Temple Marucci-Campbell, Curtis Matysek, Eliza McFarlane, Astrid Mohr, Brooklyn Morris, Liam O’Connor-Savaria, Anais Ordóñez Figueroa, Jamie Pattison, Eny Ross, Daniela Salinas, Maizy Shepherd, Sarah Shepperd, Romi Shraiter, Marina Sotiras, Taylor Storr, Quinn Tabbitt, Alexis Vo, Issie Watson Artscape Youngplace - 1st, 2nd & 3rd Fl Hallway Galleries
Paul Orenstein Transitive Artscape Youngplace - Flex Studio 107
Qing Ouyang, Jianrong Yang, Jiude Zhang Souls of Simultaneous Contrasts Artscape Youngplace - Flex Studio 107
Jianfeng Yin Ice Harvesters on the Songhua River Artscape Youngplace - Flex Studio 107
Group Exhibition Kids and Cameras: Fresh Perspectives Back Lane Studios
Group Exhibition Open Juried Photography Show 2018 Beaux-Arts Brampton
James Brittain Revisited: Habitat 67 bulthaup Toronto
Group Exhibition Legacies: Our Heritage Through Our Grandmothers' Eyes Canadian Language Museum
Larry Williamson Four Blocks Cobalt Gallery
Reka Nyari Valkyrie Ink Coldstream Fine Art
Series Group ExhibitionThomas Brasch, Skip Dean, Larry Hayden, Salina Kassam, John Migicovsky Connections Gallery
Group Exhibition Community Continuing Studies Gallery
Matt Linden From Above Corks Restaurant
Undertow Group ExhibitionAmanda Francis, Priscilla Koopman, Julian Lynn, Matthew Oakes, Rennie Taylor Corridor Gallery, Story Arts Centre, Centennial College
Martine Côté, With the participation of designer Stephen Redlich FILÉES Dark Tools
matthew kudelka Urban Angels 3 David Kaye Gallery
Barbara Brown Desire for Arcadia: Field Notes from An Art Practice David Kaye Gallery
Kristen Dobbin, Toomas Volkmann Elukaare kaks otsa / Two Edges of a Lifespan Estonian Studies Centre/VEMU
Group Exhibition Home in the 6ix: Youth Photography Exhibition Eva's Print Shop
Barbara Cole First Canadian Place Gallery
NPAC Members NPAC National Pictures of the Year Awards First Canadian Place Main Lobby
Shlomo Israeli Unclear Galleria 814
Brett Mortensen, Arlene Celeste Airfields Galleria 814
Spectra: Gallery 44 Members Show Group ExhibitionDavid Brandy, Katherine Childs, Ulla Djelweh, Sylvia Galbraith, Tom Kane, Susan Kerr, Kelly Lamorie, Franklin Lau, Jack Martin, Eliza Moore, Huw Morgan, Joachim Oepkes, Nelly Akerman Singer, Janne Reuss, Ted Scott, Jennifer Young Gallery 1313
David Brown The Sound of Silence Gallery 1313
Spectra: Gallery 44 Members Show, Part 2 Group ExhibitionChris Blanchenot, Linda Briskin, Mike Callaghan, Keith Davidson, Dennis Duncan, Margarita Macdonald, Jude Marion, Kye Marshall, Christian Martius, Zohreh Moeini, John Moran, Sara Pand, Atia Pokorny, James Sutherland, Annie Tong, Drew Williamson Gallery 1313
David Williams Undercurrent Gallery 1313
Erin Siddall Proving Ground: Nevada, Toronto Gallery 44 – Vitrines
Tanya Louise Workman Allergic to Lilacs Gallery 44 Members' Gallery
Sae Kimura Cropped Short Stories Gallery Arcturus
Group Exhibition 50×50 George Brown College - Waterfront Campus
Philip Scheffner Havarie Goethe-Institut
Chantal Ryanne People and Places Grocery Coffee
GTA Photography Classes Students Views from Generation Z GTA Photography Classes
Will O'Hare WO/MAN Hashtag Gallery
Art Frak Dark Rainbow Hashtag Gallery
Lisa Murzin Harry Was a Cow Caller Hashtag Gallery
Dieter Hessel Stone Heliographics
Melanie Gordon Superheroes. Dreamers. Changers. Hey Kiddo
Ana Vujcuf Grease Monkeys HGB Gallery
Frank Rodick untitled selves IMA 310 Gallery
Jack Gilbert Sick Kids Hospital Foundation Fundraiser IX Gallery
Serge Tesker One Euro Italy Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery
Nadya Kwandibens Indigenous Rising Kensington Market
Grade 8 Students at The Holy Trinity Catholic School, Grade 8 Students at Second Street Junior Middle School Lakeshore Youth IN FOCUS Lakeshore Arts
Brian Anderson, Michael Lindon, Delfina Mehes Triumvirate Observations Latitude 44 Framing & Decor
Anniversary: Latvian Photographers in the Age of Unease Group ExhibitionArnis Balcus, Evita Goze, Katrina Kepule, Zile Liepins, Ilze Vanaga Latvian Canadian Centre
Spencer Julien Refraction Les Enfants Terribles
Brendan Meadows Ipseity Liss Gallery
Adam Cohoon You Can't Get In Little Trinity Church - Annex
Allen Agostino Iskodaywatomi: Fire People Livelihood Cafe
City Obscure Group ExhibitionBence Bakonyi, Nancy Lee, Reinhart Wolf, Amyn Nasser, Peter Funch LUMAS Gallery
Alevtina Naumova Stories in the Walls, Stories on the Walls: Time, Space, and Urban Memory Mackenzie House
Group Exhibition PineRidge Arts Council Presents Durham Photographers McLean Community Centre
Michelle Quance Stoked Michelle Quance Photography
Mark L. Freedman Safari Miles Nadal JCC
Kyla Zanardi Hunger Narwhal Contemporary
Victor Torok C41: The Road So Far NODO Restaurant
William Emerson Gaydos Before the Money Northern Contemporary
Phil Sutherland, Vicki Alton Lighting Your Way Home Ontario Place
Group Exhibition Inner Spaces Ontario Science Centre
Environmental Visual Communication Group ExhibitionDavid Coulson, Danielle Da Silva, Jeff Dickie, Justine DiCesare, Brett Forsyth, Talley Garey, Natasha Hirt, Matt Jenkins, Vincent Luk, Mary Paquet, Samantha Stephens Patagonia Toronto
Mick M. Toronto: A Family Portrait Pizzeria Libretto
Elizabeth Czartoryski The PERCH Private Studios
Greg McCarthy Life Studies Project Gallery
Difficult Placement Group ExhibitionKatelyn Gallucci, Rachel Guglielmelli, Cameron Lamothe, Sebastián Rodríguez Besa, Nick Vo Project Studios
Sheila Jonah, Natalie Draz, John Drajewicz Cameras Looking Forwards and Backwards
Artistic Growth Group ExhibitionQuan Zhou, Jennie Wang, Jasmine Suo, Henry Zhao, Philip Chang, Yun Wang, Huanan Zhang, Zhiwen Li, Wei Tian, Ying Shi Queen Gallery
Dissonance Group ExhibitionGlenn Bloodworth, Freeman Keats, Bill McCloskey, Maureen Murphy, Richard Perron, Lise Presseault, Richard Robesco Queen Gallery
Roberto Riveros Toronto Landmarks Riveros Photography
Through the Lens Group ExhibitionAlicia Farrow, Srdjan Gotovac, Elsa Hashemi, Mina Nabaei, Sarah Mitchell, Joanne Taylor, Carly Wade Rosetta Gallery
Laura Crkovski Architectural Perspectives Royal LePage Real Estate Your Community Realty
Kris Erickson Remains Ryerson Image Arts, Third Floor Gallery
Ryan Walker Voices in the Wilderness Ryerson Image Centre - Student Gallery
Group Exhibition Maximum Exposure 23 Ryerson University School of Image Arts
Andrew Drown Evidence Saudade Toronto
Jason Brown Alone Together Skylight Gallery, Toronto Public Library
Alex Shaharudin A Still Ebb Startuptive
Kimberley Spencer The Iconic Mustang Studio 888
Joel Drutz Kinetoscape Stylistics
Angel Torres Urban Matador The Continental Dance Club
Leo Zuckerman Blue Dot The Freedom Factory
Paola Poletto Ghosts of Monsters The Lower Gallery @ Toronto Centre for the Arts
Matt Barnes Hell Or High Water The MethLab
Kerry Hayes Random Acts of Vision The Porch Light
Ryan Van Der Hout Dark Waters The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
Joseph Wyciszkiewicz aka Lavarius, Reynaldo Garcia The Cohesive Project The Show Gallery
Boundless Love Group ExhibitionRegina Garcia, Raina Kirn, Angela Lewis, Kerry Shaw, Brooke Wedlock Schaal, Michelle Yee thisopenspace
Geoffrey James with Arthur Goss Spanning the Don Toronto City Hall - Ground Floor Windows
Allan Cullen Reality Toronto Reference Library - Hinton Theatre
Linda Ward Selbie POSTCARDS INDIA Toronto's First Post Office Museum
Ann Leese The Sublime: Unbounded and Limitless Twist Gallery
Visionary Mammals Group ExhibitionAstara, Kalista, Moana, Arthur, Giovanni, Myles, Henry, Kaiya, Raz, Theo B., Theo P., Cassidy, Xavier, Roberto, Mathus, Monty, Jude UB Social Cafe & General Store
Havergal College Adol Essence United Contemporary
Burke Paterson Objects + Ritual United Contemporary
Accidental Parkland Group ExhibitionDan Berman, Vincent Luk, Sammy Tangir, Nicole Czorny, Erin Riley, Sarah Burtscher, Jade Lee Portelli, Diane Davis, Christine McLean, Jeff Dickie, Jason Ramsey-Brown, Ian Crysler, Andrew Wallace, Dave Coulson, Sarah Dinnick, Nancy Friedland, Anthony Smith, Shawn Micallef, Deb Perna, Frank Dionisi, Danielle Griscti, Samantha Stephens, Todd Irvine University of Toronto - New College
Women at Work Group ExhibitionDorothy Chiotti, Erin McGean, Lyndon Wiebe, Wally Jay Parker Urban Gallery
Spencer Wynn Canada 150 Vistek
Canada C3: Coast to Coast to Coast, Connecting an Ocean Nation Vistek Mississauga
True North - X Group ExhibitionAlexis Aubin, Amber Bracken, Chris Donovan, Gavin John, Pat Kane, Isaac Paul, Renaud Philippe, Galit Rodan, Adrienne Surprenant, Kali Spitzer Withrow Common