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A red backpack, a white sweater, and two bottles of water lying at the base of a rock formation
Fig. 1

Mark Ruwedel, Crossing #7, 2004. From the series Crossing, 2001-ongoing. Archival inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist, Gallery Luisetti and Art 45

Ryerson Image Centre celebrates the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival with new exhibitions and events

Apr. 14, 2015

The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) will celebrate the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival this May with four new exhibitions opening April 29, 2015, and a public reception on May 7, 2015, at 6 – 8 p.m. The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival runs from May 1 to 31, 2015, at more than 175 venues throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Scotiabank Photography Award: Mark Ruwedel is a career survey celebrating Ruwedel’s selection as winner of the 2014 Scotiabank Photography Award. Over the past three decades, Ruwedel has emerged as one of Canada’s most internationally respected landscape photographers. Working primarily in the western territories of the United States and Canada, the artist documents cultural traces and physical imprints of human activity on the land. Presented by Scotiabank, the exhibition is organized by the Ryerson Image Centre and is a Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival primary exhibition. Ruwedel will speak about his artist practice and recent work on May 5, 2015, at 7 p.m. and will lead a tour of the exhibition on May 20, 2015, at 6 p.m.

Also a primary exhibition of Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, Canada By Rail and By Sea (2007–2011) presents a selection from two series of elegiac landscapes by acclaimed Canadian artist Scott Conarroe. Drawing upon traditions of documentary photography and epic landscape painting, Conarroe’s large-scale colour photographs depict rail paths, ports and coastlines, and their immediate environments with a contemporary clear-eyed romanticism. Conarroe addresses the significant contribution of past and modern transportation infrastructures to the construction and unification of a Canadian national identity. The artist will lead a tour of the exhibition on June 3, 2015, at 6 p.m.

On the Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall, acclaimed experimental filmmaker Phil Solomon presents EMPIRE x 8, as part of Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival public installation program. This machinima video overlooks New York’s Empire State Building and represents a twenty-four hour period of shifting light, dramatic weather, falling debris and ominous planes. Unlike Andy Warhol’s Empire (1964), to which Solomon pays homage, the passage of time is accelerated and the skyline simulated, drawn from the video game Grand Theft Auto IV. Solomon asks viewers to reconsider an architectural icon—and an experimental film masterpiece—haunted by questions about appropriation, realism, and the tarnished state of the American Dream. The artist will speak about his work on June 24, 2015, at 6 p.m.
Scotiabank Photography Award: Mark Ruwedel, Scott Conarroe: Canada By Rail and By Sea and Phil Solomon: EMPIRE x 8 will be on view from April 29 to June 28, 2015.

Working with prominent Canadian photographer, filmmaker and writer Michael Mitchell, second-year students from Ryerson University’s Film and Photography Preservation and Collections Management (FPPCM) program explore the artist’s rich and diversified career in the context of his personal photography collection. This exhibition, accompanied by a catalogue and digital publication, juxtaposes a selection of Mitchell’s own work alongside nineteenth and twentieth century photographs from his collection, and excerpts from his prolific writings. On view from April 29 to May 31, 2015, the exhibition is generously supported by the Howard and Carole Tanenbaum Family Foundation and is a Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival featured exhibition.

On May 22, 2015, at 7 p.m., acclaimed photographer Sally Mann will discuss her new publication, Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs, with RIC director Paul Roth. Hold Still is a groundbreaking personal history with the page-turning drama of a great novel. Attendees will receive a free copy of the memoir, while supplies last. The event and book giveaway are generously supported by CONTACT.

All events are free and open to the public.