Oh Canada! Contact Photography Festival in MAY

I lived in Toronto for 3 years. At times accused of being a Yank, but, still and all, loved the city’s appreciation for the arts.

A friend of mine even had a photography gallery in his house. Good times.

For the entire month of May, CONTACT, the city of Toronto hosts over a million visitors to a photographic extravaganza including a variety of programs, exhibitions and events.

And for the uninitiated, May is a beautiful time of the year in Toronto.

Personally I wish I was going. We’ll do our best to implore our readers to the North to keep us informed. One that looks particularly good is the films about photography.

Here’s whats coming:


TORONTO, March 2007— CONTACT, Toronto’s premier annual photography festival, is launching for it’s 11th year and taking over the GTA. From May 1 – 31, 2007, the work of professional, emerging and established photographers will transform Toronto into a huge art gallery as restaurants, government buildings, public spaces, street corners, hotels, schools, museums and galleries become the backdrop for their work.
The theme of the 2007 festival explores The Constructed Image. Using different material, influences and disciplines often combined through technology, photography’s relationship with reality has been transformed by the numerous ways in which images are now constructed. The Constructed Image will explore this fusion of practices that has transformed the nature of photography into a new hybrid genre.

“This year will be our 11th year presenting the festival,” says Emily McInnes, Director of Development for CONTACT, “and we are thrilled to feature renowned Canadian artists and present Canadian premiere exhibitions of international photographers.”


Photography’s relationship to reality has been irrevocably transformed by the numerous ways in which images are now constructed. Long revered for the ability to preserve memory – and actually heralded as a triumph over death itself – photography, in the traditional sense that we have known it, is now confronted with its own demise.

Hybridity is now a fundamental feature of photography: a composite of multiple scenes or a combination of numerous disciplines, materials and influences, which are often combined through the use of technology. Photographers are incorporating painting, drawing and sculpture into their images. They are utilizing techniques developed for filmmaking and performance. Images are digitally altered, theatrically arranged, artificially staged and fabricated. Fashion, advertising and marketing strategies, many of which, ironically, were often originally influenced by photography, are now frequently reinterpreted by photo-based artists as a means of expression. This directorial nature of working has moved photography away from the objective documentation of the world, and aligned it more closely with the freedom and infinite possibilities that theatre, film, painting and sculpture have always provided. These constructed modes of working with photography, and their constantly increasing popularity, are fundamental for artists today who seek to articulate concerns relating to contemporary global events and experiences as they evolve in the world around us, rather then simply capture the memory of them.

The Constructed Image will explore this fusion of practices that has transformed the nature of photography into a new hybrid genre.

I hope some of you get to check this out. And make us all jealous.

Damon Webster

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