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  • June 23, 2021

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Esmaa Mohamoud, The Brotherhood FUBU (For Us, By Us). Installation at Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre,Toronto, 2021. Courtesy of the artist, Georgia Scherman Projects and Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid.

TORONTO, Canada, June 23, 2021 — The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is pleased to present a diverse slate of powerful outdoor installations by Canadian and international artists that were delayed due to COVID-19 health restrictions. This year’s Festival extends beyond its customary month-long event in May (as it responds to fluctuating public health guidleines) to roll out programming throughout the year to dynamically engage viewers in public spaces across Toronto. Updates on project locations and dates are available on the


CONTACT website’s new interactive map.

Core Program outdoor projects now or soon to be on view include work by: Sara Angelucci, Dayna Danger, Gohar Dashti, Max Dean, Sasha Huber, Vid Ingelevics & Ryan Walker, Leyla Jeyte, Aaron Jones, Erik Kessels & Thomas Mailaender, Luther Konadu, Esmond Lee, Ange Loft, Peter Morin, Esmaa Mohamoud, Ebti Nabag, Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, Frida Orupabo, Andrew Savery-Whiteway, Fallon Simard, Skawennati, Greg Staats, Malgorzata Stankiewicz, and McAlister Zeller-Newman.

Frida Orupabo,Woman with book. Installation at 460 King St W, north façade,Toronto, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Photo: ToniHafkenscheid.

Esmaa Mohamoud, The Brotherhood FUBU (For Us, By Us)  [image on previous page]

Westin Harbour Castle Conference Center

June 9, 2021 – April 2023

Focusing on the physical connection between Black male bodies through the symbol of the du-rag, the Toronto- and Markham-based artist Mohamoud confronts the dynamics of gender and race. Her massive photographic mural—the largest outdoor banner in Canada (144 ft x 37 ft)—commandingly occupies public space and opens a powerful dialogue about systemic inequity while signaling positive change. Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein.

Frida Orupabo, Woman with book / Woman with snake

460 King St W, north façade

June 3 – November 31

Exploring questions of race, gender, culture, class, and their complex intersections, the Oslo-based, Nigerian-Norwegian artist fuses varied archival materials to question colonial and modern representations of Black womanhood. Positioned on the façade of a Victorian-era building, Orupabo’s monumental images portray Black women’s bodies as sites of knowledge and empowerment. Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein.

Sara Angelucci, Botanica Colossi

Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives

May 1 – August 1

For several years, Toronto artist Angelucci has undertaken a close study of nature in an area surrounded by Crown Land in rural Ontario. In the darkness of night, she captures detailed ecologies of native plants entwined with cultivated and invasive species. Presented on the exterior of the Peel Art Gallery, Museum, and Archives (PAMA)—formerly the Peel County Land Registry Office, Courthouse, and Jail—Angelucci’s luminous compositions speak to the complicated histories inscribed in this evolving landscape. Online programs:

Force Field. Installation at Fort York National Historic Site, Toronto, 2021. Courtesy of the artists and Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid.

Sara Angelucci and Sabrina Maltese in conversation ; and IMAGE/IMAGINE(ING) A WILD GARDEN: Sara Angelucci in conversation with Charlie Briggs

Greg Staats, for at least one day, you should continue to breathe clearly

Todmorden Mills Heritage Site

June 11 – September 6

In this commissioned site-specific installation, Six Nations Hodinǫhsǫ:ni, Toronto-based artist Staats transforms the Papermill building with photographic imagery and pictographic representations, creating a dialogue between the site and the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, and conveying a photographic narrative of renewal derived from the Mohawk condolence ceremony. Curated by Philip Monk.

Luther Konadu, Figure as Index

Harbourfront Centre, parking pavilion

June 4 – September 6

Framing photography as a collaborative endeavour, Konadu’s ongoing documentary practice features his close family of friends creating intimate portraits. The Winnipeg-based artist and writer uses visual strategies of layering and collage to encourage a slow reading. His images evolving from this performative process are presented as murals within the active social space of Harbourfront Centre. Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein.


Group Exhibition, Force Field

Fort York National Historic Site

June 15 – September 1

This Indigiqueer intervention features artworks by Dayna Danger (Métis/Saulteaux/Polish), Ange Loft (Kahnawake Mohawk), Peter Morin (Talhtan Nation), and Fallon Simard (Anishinaabe-Métis). A series of curved billboards arranged in a circular formation, the installation draws inspiration from the medicine wheel, with each artist responding to one of the four directions and its associated element.

Curated by Logan MacDonald.

Vid Ingelevics & Ryan Walker, A Mobile Landscape

Port Lands | June 4 – April 2022

Since 2019, Toronto-based artists Ingelevics and Walker have charted the ongoing Port Lands Flood Protection Project, one of North America’s most ambitious civil works projects. This second series of photographs installed on utilitarian wooden structures built for their CONTACT 2020 exhibition focuses on the complexities of excavating a post-industrial site and the resulting environmental cleanup.

Curated by Chloë Catan.

Esmond Lee, Gods Among Us

Malvern Town Centre | June 1 – October 15

Lee’s ongoing project presents a history of Scarborough’s diverse faith communities through representation of provisional places of worship, spaces especially important to newcomers as centers for socializing and worship. Positioned on a curious architectural feature at Malvern Town Centre, the Scarborough-based artist and architect’s images highlight the structure’s cathedral-like qualities. Curated by Ann MacDonald.

Erik Kessels & Thomas Mailaender, Play Public

The Bentway Studio at Canoe Landing

June 17 – September 6

Dutch artist and designer Kessels and French multimedia artist Mailaender take the absurd very seriously. Joining forces for this collaborative project, they draw from the photographic archives of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) to activate a newly constructed urban playscape, resurrecting the past to create new experiences in the present.

Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein.

Upcoming online program:  Erik Kessels & Thomas Mailaender in conversation

Leyla Jeyte, if they saw me, i would live

BAND Gallery, exterior

April 29 – August 31

Jeyte’s images presented on BAND’s fence and building façade offer a glimpse into the lives of the people she encountered during her travels to Kisumu, Kenya. Connecting with her subjects allowed the Toronto-based photographer to witness the ways in which they move through their days.

Curated by Claudia Pensa Bowen.

Sasha Huber, YOU NAME IT

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery,

south façade | June 4,  2021 – May 8, 2022

The Helsinki-based artist’s practice investigates the ways colonial history is imprinted in the landscape through acts of remembrance. Her photographic mural Rentyhorn documents a reparative intervention aiming to rename the Alpine peak Agassizhorn, named after the “scientific” racist Louis Agassiz. Rentyhorn is a prelude to Huber’s first Canadian solo exhibition at The Power Plant, January 29 – May 8, 2022.

Curated by Justine Kohleal.

Aaron Jones, Seeing Knowledge

Malvern Public Library, façade

May 1 – September 6

Jones extends his collage and assemblage practice to create imagery sourced from the branch’s Rita Cox Black and Caribbean Heritage book collection, one of the most significant and comprehensive of such collections in Canada. Jones’ work generates compelling juxtapositions between local communities and archival materials that speak to issues of Blackness, history, and Canadiana. Part of the exhibition Three-Thirty, curated by Anique Jordan.

Ebti Nabag, Bubble of Youth

Lester B. Pearson Collegiate Institute,
north façade |
May 1 – September 6

Nabag’s life-size portraits of high school students celebrate the gestures, body language, fashion, and friendships entangled in the high school experience. Mounted on an external wall of Pearson Collegiate, Nabag’s photography-based mural weaves together the students and their surroundings to imagine ways young people create their own spaces inside and outside of school. Part of the exhibition Three-Thirty, curated by Anique Jordan.


Check the website for upcoming CONTACT Core outdoor installations:


Gohar Dashti, Land/s | Aga Khan Museum and Park

Max Dean, Andrew Savery-Whiteway, McAlister Zeller-Newman, Still—Your Bubble | Itinerant Photo Studio

Group Exhibition, New Generation Photography Award | Ryerson University, Gould St.

Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, Future Perfect | Metro Hall

Skawennati, Calico & Camouflage: Assemble! | Yonge-Dundas Square

Małgorzata Stankiewicz, Lassen (This Is an Emergency) | Street-level sites throughout Toronto

In addition to CONTACT’s Core outdoor installations, Core Program Exhibitions and Juried Call Exhibitions planned at established galleries, and Open Call Exhibitions at galleries and alternative locations across the city, will open when possible throughout the year. Several of these can be seen outdoors, in storefront windows, or virtually, while other venues plan to safely welcome visitors by appointment as government guidelines permit. Visit CONTACT’s website for regular updates, and check venues’ websites or call ahead for the most accurate information on public hours or closures.

While CONTACT is not currently planning any onsite events or gatherings this year, there are a number of new ways to engage with the Festival on its redesigned website, with virtual exhibitions, conversations, workshops, and more, to be updated throughout the year. For the first time, the website now features brief audio talks about selected outdoor installations, providing unique insights into the projects as described by the artist(s) and/or curators. QR codes posted onsite at outdoor installations connect visitors directly to these audio tracks, making them accessible both on location and from home. 

Grant Submission News

UPDATE — The Burtynsky Grant submission deadline has been extended to September 7, 2021

A $5,000 annual grant to support a Canadian artist in the creation of a photobook, the Burtynsky Grant was established in 2016 by photographer Edward Burtynsky and CONTACT to foster the creation of photobooks by Canadians. The grant supports photography-based artists who are at the advanced stages of developing a cohesive, rigorous body of work presented in book form. Find more info here.

25th Anniversary Partners

CONTACT’s 2021 Core Program is developed through collaborations with partners across Toronto, including: A Space Gallery; Aga Khan Museum; Art Gallery of Ontario; ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022; BAND Gallery; The Bentway Conservancy; Brookfield Place; Campbell House Museum; City of Toronto; Doris McCarthy Gallery; Fort York National Historic Site; Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography; Gallery TPW; Harbourfront Centre; John B. Aird Gallery; Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Art Museum at the University of Toronto; Koffler Gallery; McMichael Canadian Art Collection; Mercer Union, a centre for contemporary art; MOCA Toronto; National Gallery of Canada; Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives; The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery; Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art; Pumice Raft; Ryerson Image Centre; Scotiabank Photography Award; Todmorden Mills Heritage Site; Trinity Square Video; Waterfront Toronto; The Westin Harbour Castle; and Yonge-Dundas Square. 

CONTACT gratefully acknowledges the support of ArtworxTO, Canada Council for the Arts, Institut Français, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, Mondriaan Fund, Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, Partners in Art, Pro Helvetia, Toronto Arts Council, and all funders, donors, and program partners.

About Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

CONTACT fosters and celebrates photography with its annual Festival across greater Toronto in May and year-round programming in the CONTACT Gallery. CONTACT presents lens-based works by acclaimed and emerging artists, documentary photographers, and photojournalists from Canada and around the world. The Core Program includes primary exhibitions (collaborations with major museums, galleries, and artist-run centers) and public installations (site-specific public art projects). These are cultivated through partnerships, commissions, and new discoveries, framing the cultural, social, and political events of our times. The Juried Call and Open Call exhibitions present a range of works by local and international artists at leading galleries and alternative spaces across the city. CONTACT presents a wide range of programs including a book fair, lectures, talks, panels, workshops, and symposia during the Festival and hosts exhibitions and programs at its Gallery throughout the year. The Festival is free and open to the public, with some exceptions at major museums.

CONTACT, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1997, is generously supported by its title sponsor Scotiabank, and Scotia Wealth Management, as well as 3M Canada, NIKON Canada, Beyond Digital Imaging, BIG Digital, Four By Eight Signs, Pattison Outdoor Advertising, Toronto Image Works, and Transcontinental PLM.  Media Sponsors: Artdaily, British Journal of Photography, CBC Toronto, Hyperallergic, NOW Magazine, and The Globe and Mail.

* * *

Libby Mark or Heather Meltzer
Bow Bridge Communications
New York City; +1 347-460-5566; Toronto + 647-544-8441

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
80 Spadina Ave
Suite 205
Toronto, Canada
416 539 9595

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