The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival today announced the highlights of the 26th annual city-wide event which will run through May 2022. Canadian and international artists will present works based on the ‘focus in exhibitions, site-specific installations and commissioned projects in museums, galleries, and public spaces across Toronto. The preliminary list of artists includes Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Farah Al Qasimi, Lara Almarcegui, Claudia Andujar, Deanna Bowen, Sandra Brewster, Jorian Charlton, Kota Ezawa, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Sasha Huber, Mahtab Hussain, Onyeka Igwe, Vid Ingelevics & Ryan Walker, Brendan George Ko, Kwasi Kyei, Kadine Lindsay, Andréanne Michon, Tyler Mitchell, Esmaa Mohamoud, Suzanne Morrissette with Clayton Morrissette, Gisela Motta & Leandro Lima, Aïda Muluneh, Shirin Neshat, Bidemi Oloyede, Oluseye, Frida Orupabo, Rajni Perrissette Vivek Shraya and Ilene Sova. Artist projects postponed from 2021 include Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács, Wendy Coburn and Alberto Giuliani.
CONTACT features the work of a diversity of acclaimed and emerging artists, documentary photographers and photojournalists from locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Each year the Festival expands to reach many different communities and reflect the work of not only local artists, but also artists who bring an international perspective to the city. The themes for 2022 reflect many of the ongoing conflicts and global turmoil today. Topics include the state of the environment and the impact of humanity and geopolitics on climate change; Black culture and identity; effects and responses to colonialism and systemic racism; and perspectives on land, borders, intergenerational knowledge and histories.
CONTACT continues to center BIPOC’s voices through projects that confront local and global realities to expand knowledge and stimulate conversation. The Festival aims to provide opportunities for meaningful dialogue by encouraging creative engagement between contemporary artists and the prominent local and international curators of our time, whose critical perspectives amplify the power of photography and bring new perspectives to public discourse. The curators participating in the 2022 Festival are: AXIS Curatorial (Noor Alé & Claudia Mattos), Tairone Bastien, Chris Boot, Roya DelSol, Anique Jordan, Sara Knelman, Andrea Kunard, Zun Lee and Sophie Hackett, Courtnay McFarlane, Memory Work Collective, Gaëlle Morel, Crystal Mowry, Michèle Pearson Clarke, Sarah Quinton and Mark Sealy, among many others.
“We are delighted to offer a preview of the exciting lineup of participating artists, with some projects remaining on view beyond May. We look forward to working with the artists, many of whom will be creating site-specific works for our main exhibitions and outdoor installations. The CONTACT team is also delighted to welcome again many of our long-standing partners and sponsors who continue to support one of the best photography festivals in the world, ”said CONTACT Executive Director Darcy Killeen.
Preview of CONTACT 2022 Artists
CONTACT Gallery | Metro room | Toronto Billboards
Organized by Mark Sealy
May 1 – June 30, 2022
Tyler Mitchell is an African-American photographer who works in fashion, documentary and fine art photography, as well as film projects, which include autobiographical subjects and identity themes. Mitchell calls his practice a “black utopian vision, in which the young black men and women around me look worthy, are presented as a community, and also ask the tough questions in terms of: what are the things that we have? been historically refused? ”Mitchell’s three-part exhibition, located in separate locations across the city, represents his first solo exhibition in Canada.
Mitchell made history photographing Beyoncé for the cover of Vogue in September 2018, the first black person to do so in the magazine’s history. He’s part of a new generation of image makers who are reshaping the lens through which we see culture. Mitchell’s presentations are curated by British curator and cultural historian Mark Sealy, whose focus is on photography’s relationship to social change, identity politics and human rights.
Deanna Bowen | Black drones in the beehive
Ryerson Imaging Center | Main gallery
Organized by Crystal Mowry
April 29 – August 6, 2022
This exhibition celebrates the visual practice of Montreal artist Deanna Bowen, winner of the 2021 Scotiabank Photography Prize. Originally produced by Bowen under a commission from the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (KWAG), Black Drones in the Hive derives its title from a historical and fanatical insult aimed at local black companion William Robinson by an official in the city of Berlin, Ontario (now Kitchener) in the 1870s. Drawing materials from the KWAG’s permanent collection as well as From local and international archives, Bowen brings together historical documents, illustrations and publications in a series of thematic constellations, weaving together the narrative threads of migration, racist dispossession, ingrained power networks and hierarchies of memory.
Sandra Brewster | Walking on the Don
Organized by Kari Cwynar and Charlene K. Lau May 1 – October 31, 2022
Sandra Brewster’s outdoor installation, Walking the Don, connects surrounding communities to her work in Toronto’s Ravines, bringing tales of the Black Diaspora to the urban wilderness. Based on research on outdoor Black experiences collected in collaboration with writer, traveler and scholar Jacqueline L. Scott, the Brewster series provides documentation of the plant life around Evergreen Brick Works and Don River. Valley Park. Images are embedded along the southern portion of the Beltline Trail, guiding and accompanying residents and visitors on their own walk to the Brick Works site.
Collectif Travail Mémoire | Memory work
Organized by Memory Work Collective
May 1, 2022 – April 30, 2023
Memory Work is a multimedia mural that imagines a future for Toronto characterized by collective attention and the application of ancestral knowledge to technology. Installed at the Strachan Gate of the Bentway, this series of embellished photographic portraits tells the story of a cohort of women leaders in Toronto 2038. Memory Work invites the audience to explore the roles and ways of being possible: the cosmetic healer, the creative biologist, the officer target placement – that our changing city might one day demand or aspire to.
Aïda Muluneh | Aquatic life
Textile Museum of Canada
Organized by Sarah Quinton
April 6 – September 25, 2022
Aïda Muluneh created Water Life in the arid salt marshes of Dallol, Afar, in northern Ethiopia, one of the hottest places on the planet. This 2018 photographic series draws attention to people around the world who suffer from lack of access to clean water. The artist’s striking images are of women wearing dramatic clothing whose graphic forms are derived from the regional Ethiopian dress. They also make formal connections with textiles across cultures. This tension affects the health, sanitation and education of women around the world. Muluneh transforms often cliched representations of African life into powerful images of women and social activism.
Frida Orupabo | woman with snake
460 King Street West, north facade
Organized by Bonnie Rubenstein
April 28 – June 30, 2022
Exploring issues of race, gender, culture, class and their complex intersections, Frida Orupabo merges varied sources of archival material to question colonial and modern representations of black femininity. Positioned on the facade of a Victorian-era building, monumental images by the Oslo-based Norwegian Norwegian artist depict the bodies of black women as places of knowledge and empowerment.
Esmaa Mohamoud | The FUBU Fraternity (For us, by us)
Westin Harbor Castle Conference Center, West Front – now on view until April 1, 2023
Harbor Square Park, May 1, 2022 – April 30, 2025
Organized by Bonnie Rubenstein
Focusing on the physical connection between black male bodies by amplifying the du-rag symbol, Esmaa Mohamoud confronts the dynamics of gender and race. His massive photographic mural, the first phase (launched in 2021) of a two-part commissioned project, asserts a dominant occupation of public space. Showcasing two men in an expansive scene, the Toronto and Markham-based artist opens a powerful dialogue about systemic inequity while signaling positive change. The second phase of the project will feature a bronze sculptural commission inspired by the du-rag that will be positioned in the park nearby Harbor Square.
Supported by the City of Toronto, Cindy and Shon Barnett, Dara and Marvin Singer, and Partners in Art (Founding Patron). As part of ArtworxTO: Toronto Year of Public Art 2021-2022.
CONTACT will once again host an exhibition of the works of the winners of the Next Generation Photography Prize organized by the National Gallery of Canada in partnership with Scotiabank. The award recognizes the exceptional photographic work of three emerging Canadian optical artists, aged 35 and under. The 2022 winners will be announced in February 2022. CONTACT will also celebrate the Prefix Award, an annual award designed to honor artists of any nationality at any stage of their career who have yet to receive the recognition they deserve. Launched in 2021, the prize consists of an exhibition, publication and cash prize.