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ARTS: A corridor of possibilities (May 2022)

May 17th, 2022 · No Comments

Photography festival explores the shocking and the everyday

Vista, 2021, by Alison Galley from the Lifescapes: Through the Lens exhibit at the Dignam Gallery is part of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival. COURTESY ALISON GALLEY/THE DIGNAM GALLERY

By Meribeth Deen

It’s been a long winter, so you may have forgotten, but you live in a destination hot spot. The days are getting longer and warmer, so there’s no excuse not to get out there and find a little inspiration. You live in the Annex, so you don’t need to travel very far—the Bloor St. Culture Corridor is at your doorstep: museums, films, concerts, art exhibitions, theatre performances, family events, and classes. 

All these opportunities represent some of Toronto’s cultural diversity, including French, Jewish, Italian, Estonian, Japanese and Indigenous.  

The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival takes place in May in galleries throughout the city—it’s a great time to delve into the raw realism this medium has to offer.

Presented by The Istituto Italiano di Cultura at 496 Huron St., the exhibit Surviving Humanity takes place at the Allen Lambert Galleria (Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St.) and features works by Italian photographer and journalist, Alberto Giuliana. Giuliana’s focus is on how human ingenuity might prevent our extinction from climate change, and the installation confronts a question asked by Giuliani’s children: “How will the world be when we grow up?” In the following statement, he elucidates the project.

Eden Project biospheres, Cornwall, UK, 2017 by Alberto Giuliani is on display at the Allen Lambert Galleria (Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St.). COURTESY ALBERTO GIULIANI/ INSTITUTO CULTURA ITALIANO

“My life as a journalist and explorer revolved around a single goal—to find a way to defy death, and in broader sense, to learn how the massive changes facing the planet were being addressed. 

“For the first time in world history, these changes were jeopardizing the survival of a large part of the population. After all, there was a prophecy for that too—humankind itself was said to face extinction. 

“In pursuit of such answers, I crossed the globe…and the steps I took led to the cities of the future, havens deep in the earth’s core, safe from outside cataclysms. The things I learned, and the people I had the privilege of meeting—scientists, luminaries, astronauts, researchers, visionaries, politicians—were more than anything I could ever have imagined.”

Next stop is, Tartu College, located at 310 Bloor St. W. Organized by VEMU, Estonian Museum in Canada, the exhibit Ukrainian Frontline Photography presents photographs that document the war in Ukraine. 

The exhibit includes works by Ukrainian street photographers as well as the Estonian photographer, Dmitry Kotjuh. Here is how the Bloor Street Culture Corridor website describes the photographs: “They show crushed municipal and civil buildings, vehicles, and bridges; soldiers and ordinary citizens with all kinds of weapons and Molotov cocktails; carrying the deceased ones and rescuing domestic animals; rolling suitcases on ruined streets, fire, and smoke in snowy trenches. The exhibit runs until the end of July. 

The Dignam Gallery, at 23 Prince Arthur Ave. presents Lifescapes:  Through the Lens, a group photography exhibition by members of the Women’s Art Association of Canada.

Who knows what other cultural gems you’ll find in the corridor just by stepping out of your house this month. If you encounter anything particularly great or inspiring, let the Gleaner know! 

Tags: Annex · Arts