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Artist Suzy Lake holds her book above her head and smiles. Backdrop reads 'Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival'
Fig. 1

Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival launch party (artist Suzy Lake pictured), 2017 © Clifton Li, Ryerson Image Centre

The Ryerson Image Centre kicks off the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, April 28, 7–11 pm

Apr. 6, 2017

The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) will kick off the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival with the official launch party, open to the public, on April 28, 2017, 7:00– 11:00 pm. In addition to acting as a host institution for CONTACT, the RIC is proud to present the Scotiabank Photography Award exhibition, which this year features the work of Suzy Lake, 2016 winner of the prestigious award. Alongside this show, the RIC will showcase two more CONTACT primary exhibitions, including a robotic installation by artist Max Dean and a four-part film series by First Nations and Metis artists Kent Monkman, Caroline Monnet, Jeff Barnaby, and Michelle Latimer.

Scotiabank Photography Award: Suzy Lake celebrates the career of this Canadian artist, renowned internationally for her work on self-representation, female identity and the aging body. This survey of more than fifty objects, made between 1976 and 2014, brings focus to Lake’s artistic process and methodologies. Including never-before-seen photographs, maquettes and working materials, the exhibition examines this important artist’s career of experimentation and unwavering efforts through the years to push the boundaries of the photographic medium. This exhibition is presented by Scotiabank and organized by the Ryerson Image Centre in partnership with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Through an interactive experience where gallery visitors can instruct a factory automaton to save endangered family photographs, Max Dean’s As Yet Untitled explores issues surrounding a viewer’s responsibility for culture and memory. Composed of an industrial arm, conveyer belt, paper shredder, and two silhouetted hands, Dean’s mechanized robot is programmed to pick up a 4 x 6” snapshot from a hopper and present it to the viewer as a final step before it is discarded—allowing the audience to decide which images will survive, and which will be lost to history.

The RIC’s Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall will feature Souvenir, a series of four short films that address Indigenous identity and representation through reworked material from the National Film Board’s archives. Using montage, intercutting and juxtaposition, First Nations and Metis artists Kent Monkman, Caroline Monnet, Jeff Barnaby, and Michelle Latimer explore and deconstruct cinematic stereotypes and interrogate history. These short collage films, each derived from a distinct artistic vision, explore Canada’s complicated past—recasting documentation into critical inquiry and shining a harsh light on official inhumanity, appropriated iconography, and the politics of representation. This film series is produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

Scotiabank Photography Award: Suzy Lake; Max Dean: As Yet Untitled; and Souvenir: Kent Monkman, Caroline Monnet, Jeff Barnaby and Michelle Latimer are all primary exhibitions of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. On view from April 29 to August 13, 2017, these exhibitions will also have free public programming, including artist and curator walk-throughs, talks, and more.