Battlefields 1848 – 1867

The Consulate General of Italy is situated at the corner of Dundas St. West and Beverley, and within it’s garden is the public installation, Battlefield 1848 – 1867 by Giorgio Barrera. The installation that consists of 16 panels traces the chronology of three great Italian wars and commemorates the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy.

Though CONTACT is officially over for the year, this public installation will be on display until July 17th, 2011.

Garden open Mon – Fri 9am – 6pm, Sun 12 – 6pm
Access through gate at 136 Beverley St

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Permanent Error – Pieter Hugo

The corner of Front and Spadina is this interesting gateway to the condo land, which is Cityplace. It was also the location for the public installation, Permanent Error by Pieter Hugo which appeared on four billboards and twelve panels. What initially captured my attention about this piece was the striking imagery of the expansive wasteland in Ghana and it’s juxtaposition against the towering condos on the south side of Front Street. But on another occasion, driving into the city off the Gardiner and up Spadina, the billboards have a similar shocking effect with the bustling city in the background with the fashion district just up the street and Chinatown in the distance. Upon closer inspection of the photography, you realize that these marginalize people are living in an industrial waste land of old discarded technology from Western countries such as ours. It really makes you question, what happens to your digital waste?

This installation can be viewed until this coming Saturday, if you are in the area, take a moment to contemplate and enjoy these powerful images.

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over here over there : Alain Palement

Over at Allen Lambert Galleria in Brookfield Place, Alain Palement had a public installation titled, over here over there. The 12 murals installed on the floor bring an unusual and impossible perspective on various day to day rooms and locations. Spanning across the large galleria, hundreds of people walk across these pieces over the month of May.

It was interesting to see people’s reactions to the work, many walked by without skipping a beat, some skirted around the murals, making an effort not to step on them, and others viewed and interacted with the piece both viewing for different angles and actually looking at the work while they stood in the middle of it. The unique birds eye view to these everyday rooms definitely brought a different dynamic to the space and how one should view photography.
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Men in the Cities – Robert Longo

Men in the Cities is a public installation found along King Street, just outside of Metro Hall. These dynamic images of contorted men and women in business attire pose an interesting juxtaposition against the constant pedestrian traffic along this strip. Most passing by hardly take notice of the images, yet the pedestrians themselves blend in with the installation unintentionally becoming part of it to any viewers on the other side of the street, the vantage point in which these photos were taken.

These images were originally taken in the 1980’s by Robert Longo, as source material for Longo’s iconic pencil drawings and now they stand here in our city three decades later as their own exhibit.

The 13 panels which make up the installation are being taken down today, the last official day of CONTACT. The Festival Wrap Party & BMW Exhibition Prize Announcement is happening this evening at The Spoke Club, 600 King St W 4th Floor starting at 6pm.

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Week-End, Alex Prager

All this week, I’m going to be featuring various CONTACT public installations, the first is Week-End by Alex Pager.

All the work features women in various Hollywood-esque classic film vignettes, which almost seem like pinups for the guys working in the garage and car rental places below. I have to wonder if this placement of this work at this location is intentional.

The work is featured on four billboards and four panels at the south east corner of Strachan & Adelaide St W and can be seen until June 4th.

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Contrast Canadian Photographic Works

This afternoon, I caught an Inside Out screening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. As I was waiting in line, I found myself standing outside of the inaugural Contrast Canadian Photographic Works exhibit. Of course I had to go in and check it out. Inside I was greeted by Fabrice Strippoli who was one of the ten featured photographers and curator of the group show.

Strippoli explained to me how CCPW is a boutique photo agency that specializes in commercial projects and fine art photography. Unlike your regular gallery show, the work was staggered and grouped all over the bare concrete brick walls, in various sizes and framing. But even in this no frills fashion, the work was strong enough to pop off the walls and hold their own. CCPW features the work of Shawna Eberle, Alex Filotti, Mark Hesselink, Jean-François Bouchard, Justin Kingsley, Paul Labonté, Richard Marazzi, Martin Mraz, Nicolette Potter and Fabrice Strippoli.

With CONTACT coming to a close in a couple of days, it’s not to late to go down to the King street location to check out the work. The gallery will be open on Sunday from Noon to 8pm and on Tuesday from 11am to 7pm. While you are there, make sure you take a moment to check out their camera obscura which is setup to show you a view of the bustling King Street view in a away you have never seen before.

Contrast Canadian Photographic Works (CCPW)
May 1–31
356 King St W