Friday, May 6, 2011

A Contact Crawl: Guy Tillim, Lynne Cohen, Ed Burtynsky & Abel Boulineau

A few CONTACT reviews and recommendations of mine are now up at Posted Toronto and will be out in print in tomorrow's National Post Toronto section. An excerpt:

Guy Tillim at the Design Exchange, 234 Bay St.
This show is a stealth heavy-hitter — quiet to start but it builds into a knockout to the gut. South African photojournalist Tillim begins with photographs of once-grand, now rotted buildings in Ghana, Benin, DR Congo, Angola, Mozambique and Madagascar, images that initially evoke oft-repeated themes of Modernism and its miscarriages. But as Tillim’s big ger picture grows with photos of discarded monuments, dilapidated government offices and done-in courtyards, one begins to feel the heavy weight of history borne by Africa and its people — a weight so logically obvious as to seem ridiculous mentioning, but one that, unmentioned, often seems insensible in the West. Redeeming and redoubling this heaviness are civic workers who peer out of Tillim’s photographs, people who soldier on, tenuously refashioning the frames of past occupiers into something hopefully honourable and new. One image in particular is a heartbreaker: a room in Lubumbashi’s City Hall where a tiny handwritten sign on morals — what to have, what to hate, what to fight for — stands as a small mark of resistance in a massive colonizer-built room. Highly recommended.
Also in the neighbourhood: Alain Paiement at Allen Lambert Galleria (181 Bay St.); Robert Longo at Metro Hall (55 John St.)

For capsule reviews of Lynne Cohen @ Olga Korper, Ed Burtynsky @ the ROM, and Abel Boulineau @ the AGO, and more picks, read on at Posted Toronto. And on a non-CONTACT related note: The revolving door for the north entrance at Metro Hall has been transformed into a music box by Janis Demkiw, Corwyn Lund & Duncan MacDonald. Very fun and totally worth a whirl while you're checking out the Robert Longos. Up until May 22.

(Image of Guy Tillim's City Hall, Lubumbashi, DR Congo 2007 from 21st Century Blog)

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