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CONTACT, the largest annual photography festival in the world, is well underway. With so much going on recently—election! Jane’s Walk! Hot Docs!—it can be hard to keep up. Fortunately, CONTACT runs through to the end of May, with many individual shows running later still, and there is plenty of time to catch the photographic goodness.
Here are our staff photographers’ picks for some shows you definitely shouldn’t miss…
Aaron Vincent Elkaim, Train, 2011
Bau-Xi Photo (324 Dundas Street West)
May 25 (extended from May 13)
Monday to Saturday 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Featuring work by a group of up-and-coming photojournalists who “are committed to the documentation of injustice and inequities that exist environmentally, socially, culturally and politically,” this show focuses on several moments of transformation across Canada. The Boreal Collective includes: Rafal Gerszak, Brett Gundlock (whose G20 portraits we wrote about a while ago), Jonathan Taggart, Aaron Vincent Elkaim, and Ian Willms.
Jon Guido Bertelli, Lost in the Past, 1997
Jon Guido Bertelli, Zapatistas, Heroes from the Last Century
Bending Spoons Gallery at Vesuvio (3010 Dundas Street West)
Monday to Saturday 12–11 p.m.; Sunday 3–10 p.m.
In which the artist searches for “the last surviving Zapatista veterans from the Mexican Revolution of 1910–20.”
Carlos Cazalis, Akira Iwamoto, 73 from Osaka on welfare. Immediate family dead, 2009
Carlos Cazalis, Urban Shadows
Pikto (55 Mill Street, Building 59-103; Distillery District)
Monday to Sunday 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
Cazalis travelled to Osaka, Tehran, Mexico City, São Paulo, and Dhaka for a study of megacities and their damaging effects; he looks at both the macro- and microscopic effects of high-density urbanism in each.
Pieter Hugo, 24. Aissah Salifu, Agbogbloshie Market, Accra, Ghana, 2010
Pieter Hugo, Permanent Error
Billboards (posted at the intersection of Spadina Avenue and Front Street)
A look at a slum in Ghana, known as Sodom and Gomorrah, that is also a dumping ground for electronic refuse, by a South African photographer.
Osheen Harruthoonyan, The Road, 2011
Osheen Harruthoonyan, Black Garden
Lonsdale Gallery (410 Spadina Road)
Thursday to Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
An exploration of the relationship between land and culture, in Harruthoonyan’s works “optical and printing techniques merge foreground and background, to create otherworldly spaces.”
Robert Bourdeau, Paris, France, 2001
Robert Bourdeau, The Station Point
Stephen Bulger Gallery (1026 Queen Street West)
Tuesday to Saturday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Shot in Europe and North America in large format, Bourdeau’s photographs look at landscapes and buildings that are embedded in natural settings, sometimes to the point of having been overgrown by nature, a reflection of his interest in “how certain structures lose their identity and take on other feelings and ambiguities, and at other times become guardians or sentinels of physical and emotional space.”
Chris Gergley, Tipped Car, 2003
Chris Gergley, Field Work
Monte Clark Gallery (55 Mill Street, Building 2; Distillery District)
Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday 12–5:30 p.m.
Produced over the past 12 years, Gergley’s exhibit of large-scale images consider human interventions in the landscape, as a way of “investigat[ing] the notion of landscape and the relationship between the figure and pictorial ground.”
Abel Boulineau, Aix-les-Bains: the Hautecombe boat, Grand Port, around 1910
Abel Boulineau, “Where I was born…”
Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West)
Wednesday 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Thursday to Sunday 10a.m.–5:30pm
Boulineau (1839–1934) spent summers travelling through, and photographing, the French countryside. The gelatin silver printing-out-paper prints have been in the AGO’s collection for some time, but they were only recently identified as Boulineau’s—he was previously known as a painter rather than a photographer.