Posts Tagged ‘photos’

One of my stops the other day was the Ryerson Image Centre.

below: Students enjoying the un-autumn-like weather while the pond is almost empty.

the pond outside Ryerson Image Centre is almost dry, there are tables, chairs and yellow umbrellas set up in the pond area, students sitting there.

The main exhibit at the Ryerson Image Centre is based on the work of Gordon Parks, specifically his ‘Flavio’ photo essay.  Gordon Parks was an African-American, born in Kansas in 1912.   He bought his first camera in a pawn shop.  In 1948 he began a 23 year career at LIFE magazine where he created many photo essays including ‘Flavio’.   In the 1960’s Parks  went to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to document the poverty there.  He  centered the project around a boy, Flavio, and his impoverished family, the Da Silvas.  When the photographs and story appeared in ‘LIFE’ magazine in June 1961, it caused quite a stir, especially in Brazil.  In return, a Brazilian photographer, Henri Billot , visited the poorer parts of Manhattan to prove that the poverty in the United States was as bad as the poverty in Brazil.   The family that Billot concentrated on was the Gonzalez family.   There is also some discussion about candid photos vs images that are staged in documentary photography.

As a reaction to the LIFE article, Flavio was brought to the USA for two years to treat his asthma.  Money was also raised to relocate the Da Silva family to a new home.

below: Some of the photos by Gordon Parks.

five black and white photos on a dark grey wall, photos by Gordon Parks of poverty in Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s

below: Flavio and his brother Mario on the promenade in Rio during their first trip outside the favela. 1961.  Favela is Brazilian Portuguese word for slum, or low income area a city (usually on the outskirts).   In the 1960s the favelas were populated mostly by migrants from rural areas who couldn’t afford living in the city.   These areas didn’t have running water, electricity, or sanitation.

two boys in front of a row of apartment buildings, photo by Gorodn Parks

below: Photo by Henri Billot

old photo from the 1960s, 3 children play on the sidewalk by a car that is parked on the street

below:  Neighbourhood of the Gonzalez family, Manhattan, 1961, by Henri Billot (my apologies for the reflections).

Gonzalez building, tenement slums of New York (Manhattan), black and white phot by Brazilian photographer, Henri Billot

below: Flavio and his wife Cleuza da Silva in Rio in 1976 when Gordon Parks returned to see how the Da Silva had fared since his earlier visits.

black and white phot of Flavio and Cleuza da Silva taken in 1976 in Rio by Gordon Parks

In the student gallery was a small exhibit of the work of Alia Youssef.  Her project ‘The Sisters Project’ features portraits of Canadian Muslim women of all ages all with a narrative of their own.   Their portraits were on the wall of the gallery but their portraits and stories are on the website (it’s well worth a visit!)

two photographs by Alia Youssef, each of a muslim woman in a field or park, the one on top is a younger black woman, the bottom is an older whiter woman with a head scarf

In light of the recent earthquake in Indonesia, the third exhibit at the Ryerson Image Centre seems timely.  It is a display of photographs taken in the aftermath of the earthquake in Mexico City on 19th September 1985.  At the time it was the strongest earthquake on record.  Large portions of the city center and the neighbourhoods next to it were leveled.

below: Photo by Barbara Laing.

an old black and white photograph of Mexico city after the 1985 earthquake, a pair of pants and a clock on top of a flattened building, some people in the distance

woman dressed in black in a gallerywith black walls,looking at black and white photos on the wall

below: Photo by Pedro Mayer.

an old black and white photograph from the aftermath of the Mexico City earthquake of 1985, s pile of rubble with people standing on top of it.

the pond outside Ryerson Image Cetnre is almost dry, there are tables, chairs and yellow umbrellas set up in the pond area, students sitting there. aas seen from inside the Image Center

The annual World Press Photo Exhibit is on at the Alan Lambert Galleria once again.

below:  Finding Freedom in the Water by Anna Boyiazis, 2nd place, People stories.

World press photo exhibit at Alan Lambert Galleria - a woman stands in front of a series of photos of African women learning how to swim

below: Walking past four photos by Luca Locatelli about the environment, 2nd prize stories.   These were taken in the Netherlands, a country that is the world’s second largest exporter of food (by value, after the USA).

World press photo exhibit at Alan Lambert Galleria, a group of people walk past 4 of the photos from the environmental category, photos taken at an experimental farm in the Netherlands

below: On the right is “Jump”, by Thomas P. Peschak featuring a group of Rockhopper Penguins on Marion Island.   Second prize, nature singles.

World press photo exhibit at Alan Lambert Galleria, a man comes up the escalator towards some of the photos in the nature category and the people who are looking at them.

below: ‘Rohingya Refugees Flee into Bangladesh’, by Kevin Frayer.  General news, 2nd prize stories.

a woman stands in front of a photo of a crowd of people, with a boy in the front of the crowd who is crying

below: “Wasteland” by Kadir van Lohuizen.  A look at garbage in different countries.   First prize, environment stories.

World press photo exhibit at Alan Lambert Galleria, two men looking at one of the photos, one man is pointing to something in that photo

below: First prize winner in Long Term Projects,  stories, “Ich Bin Waldviertel ” by Carla Kogelman –  The life of two rural Austrian girls since 2012.

World press photo exhibit at Alan Lambert Galleria - a black and white series of photos about two girls in Austria.

From the monochrome past to the coloured present – there’s a new mural on the corner of St. Clair West and Spring Grove painted by Christiano De Araujo.    Old black and white photos of the area and its people provide the background for a group of ten very modern and diverse people.

looking diagonally across the intersection of St. Clair West and Spring Grove Rd to a new mural that has just been finished on the side a building, painted by Christiano De Araujo.

painting of two young women, one blond and one withshort curly bright red hair, on top of painting of black and white vintage photos

painting of a black and white photo from 1930 of a woman holding a baby

below: The top photo is 1732 St. Clair West in 1911.

painting, in colour, of a group of people standing in front of paintings of some old monochrome historical pictures of the St. Clair area

below: On the top, very left corner, the black and white photo is a street scene – It’s St Clair Ave looking east from Prescott Avenue, under the railway bridge and beyond.  The bridge was built in 1931 and the photo was taken shortly after that.

new mural on the side of a 2 storey building, a series of vintage black and white photos of the area and people, with paintings of 8 modern people in colour

This is a StART (StreetARToronto) project

What are words?   How do we use them?

below: “Excuses injurieuses” 2007, by June Clark.  One of her “Wine and Tea” pieces.  It consists of the words Invective and Apology written over and over again starting from the top left corner and moving inwards toward the center.  Instead of a spiral it is a pyramid shape.  Perhaps it rises upwards, or perhaps it sinks down.  It’s only 40cm x 40 cm so the words are tiny.  I’d love to know how many words there are but I think that I’d be screaming profanities before I finished counting.  What I can tell you is that the pair of words ‘invective apology’ is written 32 times on the outer square.  If  invective is a noun that means, expletive, or abusive language, what does ‘invective apology’ mean and is that the same as the french title, ‘Excuses injurieuses’?

close up artwork of words written over and over again, invective apology, in smaller and smaller circles.

June Clark was born in Harlem NY but moved to Toronto in 1968.   At the moment, the AGO is featuring some of her work.  For whatever reason, I was more attracted to the pieces with words.

below: More of Clark’s “Wine and Tea” series, 2007.  Each one is a 40cm x 40 cm square and they are made with wine, tea and paper except for the one on the top left.  It is “Poubelle Lune” and the circle is a rusted lid that fits in a circle that has been cut out of the canvas.

a grid of 8 square artworks by June Clark on a gallery wall

below: Close up of another of the eight squares, a collage of sorts, the silhouettes of two people (men?) in front of flags, one American and one ? Titled: “All Some Many”.  If you look closely, you can see small words cut out of newspapers or magazines, some, all.

close up of an artwork, ink and collage. Brown squares in checkerboard shapes, with one shape being a photo, 4 small words from a newspaper, all (twice) and some (twice).

below: The next two photos are panels from “Formative Triptych” 1989/1990.  The first one says “I always imagine that I never received anything as a child, but I do remember being disappointed that the chocolate Easter Bunny was hollow and then of course there was the red broom and dustpan set.”

old black and white photo of a black girl, smiling, in dress, with words beside that say "

below: The words say “I decided that I must become so famous and so recognizable so the they could never let me die in an emergency room.”

picture of the head and shoulders of a middle aged black woman, old black and white photo, with words beside that say "

below: More collage and more words, this time it’s “Homecominghome”, words on paper towel.   Words like proactive, dulled integrity, impotent, hostage, elation, victim, underwhelmed, illusion, and satisfied surface desires.   These are only some, there were many more, each in their own little black frame.  Paper towel, that stuff we use once and then throw away.  Can we throw away the words?  Or what is behind the words?  Do we want to?

Actually there was a story about why paper towels were used – “…was made during a residency in New York City.  I had been cleaning the space so it was empty aside from paper towels.  It was a way of dealing with my emotions around how I felt living back in Harlem.  Cutting out the words, I felt like I was captive but free – a sort of ransom situation, of calls for help and demands for responsibility. ”  Quote taken from the words on the wall at the exhibit.

a grid of 8 square artworks by June Clark on a gallery wall - black frames around pieces of paper towel with words on them formed from cut outs from newspapers,

Words are fascinating.

June Clark’s work is on exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario until December 2018.

 

And while we’re on the subject of words and the AGO, there is a whole room of panels like the one below.  This is “Jack and the Jack Paintings: Jack Goldstein and Ron Terada”

Goldstein was an artist who published his memoirs in 2003, just before he committed suicide.  Terada has taken words from the book and made them into 14 panels, sorry, I mean test-based paintings.  They are Goldstein’s words? Or are they now Terada’s words?  Whose story are they telling?

below: A large painting by Jack Goldstein (lightning) and four of the panels by Ron Terada.

The Jack exhibit continues until 16 September.

looking down Hazelton Ave towards Yorkville Ave., two older houses, now used as commercial businesses, one half painted blue and the other half is red.

It’s still May and the CONTACT Photography Festival is still on so I am still trying to see as much as possible.   Yesterday afternoon I went wandering in Yorkville where there is lots to see and do besides a couple of CONTACT exhibits.

below: Captain Canuck.  I started with the TD Gallery at the Toronto Reference Library.  It wasn’t that long ago that I was there (April I think) but the exhibit has changed.   It is now ‘Alter Ego: Comics and Canadian Identity’.  Isn’t Captain Canuck the most famous Canadian superhero?  He first appeared in 1975.

painting of Captain Canuck, from the chest up, one arm raised to shoulder height

below: Not so well known – The cover of the book ‘Nelvana of the Northern Lights’ by Adrian Dingle (1911-1974).   Nelvana was Canada’s first female superhero; she first appeared in 1941, a few months before (American) Wonder Woman.  Nelvana’s superpowers included turning invisible and traveling at the speed of light along a ray of the Northern Lights.  According to Wikipedia, she “visited lost kingdoms under the ice, journeyed to other dimensions, and fought against the Axis Powers during World War II, eventually taking on the secret identity of secret agent Alana North.   Her last adventure was published in 1947.

book cover, book called Nelvana of the Northern Lights, a comic book by Adrian Dingle, 15 cents, 68 pages, hard cover

below: This structure was built in 1876 as a Carpenter Gothic Revival Style church – the Olivet Congregational Church.  It has been the home of the Heliconian Club since 1923.  This women only club was formed in 1909 and is still active today supporting women in the arts.  There is a photo exhibit on there at the moment but viewing is by appointment only (it is a club not a gallery after all).

pale blue wood building, originally a church, now the home of the Heliconian Club on Hazelton ave. Bright blue doors, two, rose window,

below: For CONTACT, the Lomas Gallery on Yorkville Ave is featuring a few large photos of cityscapes that are full of tall buildings.  The one behind the red couch is ‘NoMad New York’ by Christopher Woodcock.

Lomas Gallery in Yorkville, bright red oval shaped couch in front of a wall with a large photo of a city scene, lots of skyscrapers with lots of windows, by Christopher Woodcock, plus words on the wall that say Contact Festival, City Obscure, Windows on either side of the wall with people passing by

below: On the wall beside is ‘[a]DCLXI’ by Amyn Nasser.

on a gallery wall, Lomas Gallery, a large photo, [a]DCLXI by Amyn Nasser of a wall of glass skyscrapers with lots of windows, on the wall beside is another photo in which Nasser's photo is reflected.

below: It’s not a sculpture or a statue, but this red faced mannequin caught my eye. Maybe next time he’ll remember his sunscreen.

two male mannequins in a mens wear store window, one has a very red face, also a picture of a man in a black suit with a bright blue background is in the window

below: The clock tower of the Yorkville firehall. One side seems to missing its clock face.

the clock tower of Yorkville fire station with a reflective glass building behind it. A Canadian flag is flying on top of the firehall clock tower.

below: Brendan Meadows’ black and white portraits hang on the walls of the Liss Gallery in an exhibit titled ‘Ipseity’.  These were printed as silver gelatin selenium-toned lith prints by Bob Carnie from negatives made from digital images.  The images were also  manipulated with the Sabatier effect (solarization); this results in an image that is wholly or partially reversed in tone. Dark areas appear light or light areas appear dark.

interior shot, Liss Gallery, frames black and white portraits on the walls

below: Posters on hoardings add a little life at street level to the construction sites in the area.  This set features businesses and sites in the area including the ROM.

posters on hoardings in front of a construction site - picture of the ROM at night, picture of the interior of a menswear store, man trying on a suit

below: Some colourful art deco style posters.

art deco posters on hoardings in front of a construction site

art deco posters on hoardings in front of a construction site inclujding a Vogue picture

below: Prepared for anything!  With a yellow duckie, handcuffs and binoculars, Batman and his Robin hand puppet prepare to take on the forces of evil!  These are sculptures by Patrick Amiot.

a metal junk sculpture by Patrick Amiot, outside, by the front door of an art gallery, batman, with a very small robin in one of his hands.

below: Part of the Miraim Schiell gallery is devoted to Amiot’s work.

a wall mounted artwork by Patrick Amiot of a man ice fishing with his dog, created from junk

an artwork on a gallery wall, by Patrick Amiot, of the front of a Spadina TTC streetcar, crowded with driver, man, and dog,

below: This large RCMP mountie and his dog stand behind the gallery.

metal junk sculpture by Patrick Amiot of a mountie and his dog, outside, behind a gallery in Yorkville

below: Enjoying the wonderful spring afternoon on Cumberland.

outside, park in Yorkville, tall trees with leaves just coming out, spring, people sitting on chairs under the trees, talking, reading, phones, drinking,

statue of a bear outside, life size, a painting in a glass enclosed box is behind him

below: Oh.. that second mountie that I alluded to in the title of this post – he was on the wall at the Alter Ego exhibit.  This one.   Just don’t call him Dudley Do-Right.

large picture of a mounti on a horse with a gun in his hand, on a wall in a gallery

below:  This is either ironic or sad.  The first few lines of text say “In the the 1960s and 1970s, Yorkville village was the heart of Canada’s bohemian, counterculture community”.  As I took this picture a new Bentley with dealer plates drove past.  I looked around and the ‘counterculture’ of 40 to 50 years ago has been replaced by designer boutiques, high end stores, fine art galleries, and restaurants with linen napkins.  Not a lot of music happening here.  Full transcription is below.

plaque to Yorkvilles music scene, Heritage Toronto black and white plaque, from 2016

“In the the 1960s and 1970s, Yorkville village was the heart of Canada’s bohemian, counterculture community. More than 40 clubs and coffee houses nightly featured folksingers-songwriters, including Ian & Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young, who performed some of their first compositions in these smoky venues.
Yorkville’s first coffee house, Club 71, was opened by Werner Graeber in 1959. By 1964, Yorkville had become a nurturing environment not only for folk music, but also for pop, blues, and later, psychedelic rock. Hippies and teenagers flocked to these unlicensed venues, which offered an alternative to Yonge Street bars.
Yorkville was also home to three sound-recording studios, taping major acts such as The Guess Who, Lighthouse, and Ann Murray. With its vital role in fostering a wealth of talent, the Yorkville scene inspired a generation of songwriters and led to the rise of a new Canadian sound.”

outside pizza pizza, man inside eating, another man outside looking at mural on the wall

There are a group of photography exhibits now showing at the Ryerson Image Centre.  Two of them showcase older photos of Canada.  The largest exhibit is ‘Faraway Nearby’ and it consists of photographs of Canada from the New York Times photo archive…   25,000 vintage photos of Canada taken over the past 100 years have been gifted to Ryerson by Chris Bratty in honour of his father Rudolph (Rudy), a property developer in the GTA.   ‘Faraway Nearby’ is a wonderful selection of them covering a wide cross section of subjects.

vintage black and white photo of people in bath suits standing on diving boards beside a lake

below: There is a section devoted to tourist type photos that you would find in the travel section of a newspaper.  Yes, that’s an RCMP officer standing beside the car, a convertible with California plates.  I’d say it was kitschy to have the RCMP guy there but even today the red uniform of the RCMP is iconic; they are featured on many postcards and souvenirs.   Tourists still take photos with them I’m sure.

photo in an exhibit of a group of tourists in a convertible car with California plates parked beside the road and overlooking a mountain lake. An RCMP officer stands beside the car.

below:  Oh dear, Highland dancers and Native Americans all dressed up.   Is that the Banff Springs Hotel?  The exhibit taken as a whole is a fascinating look at Canadian history; how far we’ve come in some respects and how we haven’t really changed in others.

vintage black and white photo of a highland dancer with a line of native Americans in traditional dress behind her. Some teepees in the background, also a hotel.

below:  Loggers clearing their way through a sea of timber that is being guided into a newsprint mill in Hull Quebec, about 1946.  Unknown photographer.  (Almost all the photos are by ‘unknown’).

vintage black and white photo of two shirtless men on legs with poles as the move logs and timber by river to a newsprint paper mill on the other shore.

Being a newspaper, a large number of the subjects were political such as this photo of Joe Clark, Prime Minister of Canada from June 1979 to March 1980, on a visit to Cameroon  in the summer of 1979.

black and white photo from 1979 of Joe Clark, then Prime Minister of Canada, riding in a motorcade with the President of Cameroon, in Cameroon.

below: Prime Minister Trudeau (the first one) meeting President Nixon, “Tricky Dick”, of the USA.  Love the sunglasses! (or is that just a trick of the lighting?).

vintage photo of Richard Nixon, President of the United States, greeting Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

below: While on the topic of the Trudeau’s, here’s Margaret with Fidel Castro.  Castro is holding Margaret’s youngest son Michel.  The photo was taken in Havana in 1976 when the Trudeau’s were in Cuba on a 4 day state visit.

vintage black and white photo of Margaret Trudeau and Fidel Castro. Castro is holding one of the Trudeau sons.

below: There are also some photos taken during various Royal visits.  Here are a group of men by Lake Nipigon in 1919.  The man holding the dead duck (3rd from the left) is Edward, Prince of Wales (b.1894 – d.1972).   He was 25 years old in this picture.   On 20 January 1936 he became King Edward VIII but he abdicated the throne in December of the same year after reigning for only 326 days.

a vintage black and white photo of a group of men in northern Ontario, by a lake, one is holding a duck that has been shot

below: A photo by an unknown photographer for the Canadian War Records Office and the American Press Association, Vimy, France, April 1917.  The description of the photo reads: “Giving Fritz some of his own pills.  Canadians firing a German 4.2 on the retreating Boche.  Some of the guns left behind by the retreating Germans were in excellent condition, and the Canadians at once  undertook to return some of the shells to their former owners in the most effective manner.”

vintage world war one photo

below: A slightly lighter look at war, this time WW2.  Photograph by Nat Turofsky (d. 1956) for Alexandra Studio.  Distributed by the Star Newspaper Service and the New York Times.  Location unknown. 1939.  Nat and his brother Lou were well known Toronto photographers in their day. Back in 2009, The Torontoist published an excellent story about them and the Alexandra Studio which they owned.

The description of the photo reads: “Shouldering guns instead of hockey sticks.  Member of the Toronto Maple Leaf hockey team, led by Bob Davidson, Goalie “Turk” Broda, and “Sweeney Shriner, marching into the trenches at a machine gun target range during a military training session.  The team is in constant training so that they will be ready for duty if called to the colors.”

vintage photo of men in Maple Leafs hockey sweaters walking through war trenches

***

The second, and smaller, exhibit is ‘The Notman Studio:  1858-1915’.  William Notman was a photographer based in Montreal who traveled across Canada documenting what he saw.   He was also a studio photographer who took hundreds of portraits.   This is a small sample of his work.

below:  ‘Ice Castle’ about 1857, Montreal Quebec, Albumen print.

old photo of a large ice castle

below: ‘Esquimalt Dry Dock’, 1887, Victoria B.C. Albumen print.   You’ll have to pardon the reflections in the pictures.  The glass in the frames acts like a mirror and although I have tried to minimize the amount of reflection, getting rid of it entirely was not always possible.

vintage photo, 1887 ship being built, wood, in Victoria B.C.

below: Standing outside his teepee with his rifle and his horse.

vintage photo of a native American man in traditional clothes holding a rifle and a horse and a lead. Standing outside a teepee

below: There were a series of Cariboo Hunting photos.  They were small and all focused on the two men.   Especially considering their age, they are in excellent condition and beautiful to look at.

vintage photo of two men hunting caribou. Resting with their rifles.

below: ‘Little Champlain Street’  1890, Quebec City.   I looked for photos of Toronto in the collection that was on display but there weren’t any.

vintage albumen print photo, 1890, Little Champlain street in Quebec City. row houses, kids in the street

below: There is an incredible amount of detail in the above picture so I cropped it quite a bit to highlight some of the details.   The shabby brick and plaster row houses, the solitary street light, the planks that form the narrow road, and the kids wearing hats as they keep an eye on the photographer.  Although it is Quebec City, I can imagine parts of Toronto looking quite similar at the time.

details of a vintage photo, street scene, kids, row houses,

In case you were wondering, albumen prints refers to a process whereby the photographic paper that is used to print the images from a negative was made using egg whites.  The main constituent of egg whites is the protein albumen.  It is sticky and forms a glossy finish when it dries.  The stickiness of the albumen is used to bind salt (sodium chloride, your basic table salt, or ammonium chloride) to the paper.  Once the paper dries, it is dipped into a solution of silver nitrate thereby making the paper sensitive to UV light.   This method was developed in 1847 and was the first commercially viable method of producing photographic paper.  It remained in use until the 20th century.

By the entrance to the Notman exhibit is this wonderful, and still relevant, quote attributed to William Notman: “To consider Photography a mere mechanical art, is a great mistake.  The too prevalent desire for cheapness, and the ease with which a little may be done in Photography, has induced many to embrace the profession lacking the necessary qualifications…”

Both exhibits continue until 10 Dec 2017.

Today’s blog is going to be short as well as different from previous posts.

below: It’s a selfie!

reflections of a TTC streetcar in the window of a pale blue building.

I have been playing and/or experimenting with taking photos with my phone as I ride on TTC streetcars.  It’s a bit of a game: Is there anything interesting?  Am I fast enough to catch it?  and more importantly….  How dirty are the windows today?

But I’m not going to post the pictures here, except for one above.   Instead, I have put all the pictures on a website:  http://www.asiwalktoronto.com/500series.html  I am trying to see if I can develop some sort of “snapshot” of the city as seen from a slightly different angle than usual.

Thanks for taking a look!