Posts Tagged ‘images’

Monday’s walk was a meandering route downtown, once again going where my feet and eyes take me.  No particular plan in mind and no set destination…   just trying to explore where I haven’t been recently.   No theme jumped out and tapped me on the shoulder but a few “stories” emerged.

below: There is now a 3D sign between the CN Tower and the Aquarium that says Canada 150.

a young boy is leaping from the D of the 3D Canada 150 sign in front of the CN Tower, and is leaping onto the top of the A. His hands are on the top of the A, one foot is one the side of the A and the other foot is near the top of the D

below:  …and another 3D sign by the CN Tower (you can see part of the back of the Canada 150 sign through the tree). I wonder how many there are in this city now?   Another bit of information (trivia?) – this area is called Bobbie Rosenfeld Park and has been since 1991. Fanny (“Bobbie”) Rosenfeld was a Canadian athlete who won two track medals  in the 1928 Olympics.   She also played softball and hockey in the 1920s and 30s.  When arthritis force her to stop playing she turned to sports journalism, working for the ‘Globe and Mail’ until her retirement in 1955.

3D sign for the CN tower with tourists taking pictures in front of it. Canada 150 3D sign in the background as well as some people sitting around on benches

One of the routes from the CN Tower into the downtown core of the city is via the Skywalk, a glass enclosed elevated walkway over the railway tracks.  The next few photos were taken as I walked that route.

below: A Toronto species of woodpecker in its native habitat – a forest of glass and steel. This artwork was completed in 1997 and is the creation of Dai Skuse and Kim Kozzi who together are known as Fastwurms.

large sculpture of a woodpecker on a pole in the foreground, many glass skyscrapers condos in the background

below: The above photo was taken from a quiet little terrace that I accessed from the Skywalk. Now you can see just how big the woodpecker is!  The ‘tree trunk’ pole is 30m high.  What you can’t see is the second woodpecker who is on the other side of the pole and slightly farther down it.

a concrete terrace, with benches and planters with purple flowers, lots of condos in the background, one person standing there

below:  The glass of the Skywalk creates some interesting reflections and shadows.  The glass was fairly clean the other day when I walked through it.  I have seen it when it’s been quite dirty and it’s not a pretty sight.

reflections of a woman walking on the Skywalk between Union Station and the convention center, with views of the street below and buildings beyond also in the frame
reflected in the red glass of the entrance to the CN tower are two women walking

below: Union Station, looking east from the Skywalk.   The new roof over the station platforms is taking shape.  Someday soon I’m going to have to take a look at the insides of the station; I can’t wait for all the renovations to be completed.

union station as seen from the west, from the skywalk, with open air tracks as well as the covered platforms. New roof over the platforms, tall buildings in the background

below: Part of the south “wall” along the railway tracks.

buildings reflected in another glass building right beside the trains tracks south of Union Station

below: Looking east from lower Simcoe along the south edge of the Gardiner Expressway.   The podium of the new condo under construction at 10 York Street is quite the wedge!

construction of a tall condo beside the gardiner expressway. The bottom of the condo is a wedge shape to maximize the space available

below: I played a bit on google maps street view and this is what I found for the above scene (taken Nov 2016).  If you compare the photos (above & below), it’s obvious that one of the ramps for the Gardiner Expressway has been demolished.   The eastbound exit to Yonge/York/Bay was removed a couple of months ago.  If you are a regular user of the Gardiner, I’m sure you have already experienced the consequences of this!

screenshot of google maps street view of Lower Simoce stret just south of the Lakeshore, one of the offramps for the Gardiner, a new condo under construction

below: Standing on the same spot, but turning around 180 degrees – looking west from Lower Simcoe.  An old ramp in the foreground…. and what looks like new construction in the background.  Those are new bents (the structures that hold up the road).

under one of the Gardiner Expressway ramps, with new bents being built for a new ramp in the background.

below: To get a closer look at what was happening here, I ventured around to the other side .  This is the view from closer to Rees Street. There is car on the old ramp so it must still be open (onramps still functional, just the offramp was removed).

two "cherry pickers" parked in front of new bents being constructed for a new ramp for the Gardiner Expressway

below: The trees are growing at Canada Square (Harbourfront), but so are the condos.  Yes, this new building is the same one with the wedge shaped lower floors.

view from Canada Place (Queens Quay West) with a clump of birch trees in the foreground and 3 highrise buildings in the background - two older ones and one in the middle that is under construction.
below: Also at Canada Square, there are three large photographs by Johan Hallberg-Campbell, a series called “Coastal”.   This one of them:

a large photograph of a run down building, northern, on the side of a concrete structure that is an entrance to the underground parking

below: More of Hallberg-Campbell’s work can be seen inside in the Artport Gallery (Harbourfront building) – here, many photographs with simple wood frames are mounted on a wall that is covered with large images.  “Coastal” is the product of the artist’s travels to coastal areas of Canada, from Newfoundland to northern Manitoba to British Columbia and many places in between.   Life on the edge, so to speak.  (Note: gallery show ends 18th June)

three colour photos in simple light wood frames mounted on a wall that is covered with large images

below: It’s not art but sometimes the line between public art and advertising campaigns is fuzzy.

a man walks on the sidewalk below a largef ad for Apple watches.  The photo is cropped so that the only part of the ad that shows is a hand on the handle bar of a bike.  A bright turquoise watch is on the person's wrist

Not all is shiny and new.   And that’s the way it should be.

metal grille, part of a barricade along the side of a parking structure, rusted,

parking structure on the top, old door and wall on the bottom. A wood picnic table in disrepair is in front of the door

‘Making Peace’ is a traveling exhibit that is being shown in Toronto at the moment.  It was produced by the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and was first shown in in 2010 as a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 1910 Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to IPB.  It’s purpose is to promote peace as well as educate and inform.

It can be seen until the end of June on Front Street East in the Canary District (by Corktown Commons, east of the Distillery District).    In Toronto, the exhibit involves short four-sided pillars that line the sidewalk and each side of every pillar has a photo with a description or a quote from a famous person.  There is also a temporary gallery in an indoor space ‘loaned’ to the exhibit by one of the developers in the Canary District.

below: A painting in progress by Ford Medina showing Nelson Mandela in five colours.  These colours carry over into the outdoor exhibit and each colour represents the five main elements that IPB considers necessary for peace:
1. disarmament and nonviolence (purple)
2. conflict prevention and resolution (red)
3. economic and social justice (orange)
4. human rights, law and democracy (blue)
5. environment and sustainable development (green)

indoor temporary gallery for the Making Peace exhibit, a painter is in the midst of creating a large painting of five copies of a picture of Nelson Mandela, each copy is in a different colour, purple, red, orange, blue and green,

below: The display extends into Corktown Commons.  Here the pillars are green as this is the section for the fifth element named above, the environment.

outdoor exhibit, Corktown Commons, short pillars with 4 sides, each side has a picture and a description, the background colour is green which represents the environment and sustainability.

below:  Photo by Ribeiro Antonio.  The words that accompany this photo are: ” On 25 September 2015, the 193 countries of the UN agreed to an historic plan of action, entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.  This plan contains 17 goals with 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues.  These include ending poverty and hunger, improving health education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests.”  If you are interested in this, there is more information on the UN website.

a photo of a person dressed in a large blue and green Planet Earth costume, holding the hand of a young boy as the walk on a beach towards the water

below: Blue is for human rights, law, and democracy and here you have an old black and white photograph of Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960), a British campaigner, apparently taken when she was in Australia speaking out on behalf of woman’s rights as part of the Suffragette movement.  The Suffragettes (or Women’s Social and Political Union or WSPU) was founded by a small group of women in 1903, including Sylvia, but during WW1 Sylvia was expelled from the WSPU because of her pacifist views and anti-war actions.  Her sister Adela shared similar views – she immigrated to Australia where campaigned against the First World War.

a vintage black and white photo that is part of an exhibit, outdoors, called Making Peace

below: Two photos.  The one on the right, of the woman holding the flower in front of the armed soldiers, was taken at a Peace March against the Vietnam War in Washington DC in 1967.  The photo on the left was taken in 2001 and is the back of a Kamajor fighter in Sierra Leone.  They played a role in the civil war that occurred in that country between 1991 and 2002.

2 sides, taken from the corner, of a box like structure, with black and white photographs on the two sides, one of the back of a man with a rifle across his shoulders and a backpack that says Lets go to school. The other photo is a woman standing up to a line of soldiers with bayonets.

below: A couple of the red pillars on Front Street with the blue sculpture, “The Water Guardians ” behind them.   The images on the closest pillar are of inside the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem as well as UN peacekeepers in Bosnia.

an outdoor art exhibit on peace, two of the structures used for mounting pictures on, with the blue sculpture on Front Street, Canaray District, in between the two boxes.

below: Closer to home, this pillar celebrates the work of the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation.   Working with the city as well as with community groups, businesses, and individuals, they help to increase  Toronto’s tree cover.

a set of four photos about planting trees on the side of a square pillar, one of many pillars that are arranged in a line on the sidewalk.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.”  Gandhi

below: Homeless migrant worker, China

picture of a woman sleeping underneath a picture of a woman lying on a bed, shown outdoors so there are some tree leaves in the picture

The exhibit continues until mid-September.

But not a running, or even a jogging, track!  No, yesterday’s walk was an oval-ish loop at walking pace from Dundas West station, up one side of the railway tracks and back down the other.

below: Just past the subway station I saw the mural on “The Friendly Trini’s” which is now closed.  If the mural is telling the truth, they once served butter chicken, curried goat roti, jerk chicken with rice and peas, as well as drinks in coconuts and pineapples.  Feeling hungry already, and I’ve only just begun my walk.

a mural on the side of the Friendly Trinis restaurant that is now closed. Two women are walking on the sidewalk by the restaurant, a sign for Jennys bar and restaurant is in the background. The mural has drinks in coconuts and pineapples as well as a list of some of the food they served

below: Also on Dundas West, the King’z Convenience and Dollar Store which sells Filipino products and delicacies is adjacent to the Slovenija meat & delicatessen.  Multicultural.  I regret not taking pictures of the window of the Slovenian store – juice and beer brands that were unfamiliar to me.

two storefronts on a street, one is a slovenian grocery store and the other is a convenience store

below: Detail, boy riding an old fashioned bike on a little hook above a door.

a decorative ornament hanging high on a brick wall, a hook that extends from the wall about 8 to 10 inches, on top is a flat rendition of a boy on an old fashioned bicycle

below: And someone has decorated their balcony.

a balcony railing has been decorated with different colours of fabric that has woven between the rails

below: Just before I reached the bridge over the railway tracks I saw these words on a wall.

graffiti on a wall, in white paint on grey wall, the words "I have a dream'

below:  The dream theme continues on the metal steps up to the bridge.  This one was small and I almost missed it.  I’m not sure if it was painted black to blend into the background, or if the painting was an attempt to “clean up” the graffiti when prying off the letters proved to be too difficult (the D is broken so maybe someone tried).  Insert words about killing other people’s dreams here.

a raised word, 'dream' in cursive that has been stuck on the side of a set of stairs and then painted black to match the steps

below: From the top of the steps looking south.  The minimalist new Bloor GO and UP (Union Pearson) station is finished, top left of the photo.  Don’t you think we should call it ‘Get UP and GO’?  The street is Dundas West and yes, that mural is new.

view from a bridge, a street, and a railway and some buildings in between. There is a mural at the bottom of the steps.

below: Helping to hold up the bridge, west side of the tracks.  He’s carrying the weight of the world, or maybe just the bridge, on his shoulders.

mural on the concrete base supporting metal struts bridge supports.

After crossing the bridge, I walked north along the West Toronto Railpath. The fencing along the path has all been upgraded.  There used to be some spots where you could get through the fence (non-railway side) but those are gone.  Between the tracks and the path there is a new clear (glass? plastic?) fence.  Of course it has already been ‘vandalized’ or ‘tagged’ – choose your verb.  Because I was there on a sunny afternoon, the sun was shining through the ‘artwork’ and making interesting designs.  A few thistles and other weeds added some compositional elements.

glass that has been spray painted yellow and orange, with some black that has run, weeds are growing in front of it, the sun is shining from behind it

a bright red heart has been sprayed painted onto a glass wall, weeds growing front, train tracks behind, the sun shining through the glass.

There were quite a few hearts on my route, especially around the Dupont exit of the Railpath.

below: Many hearts on the fence.

two street art pieces painted on a glass wall. the first is a red and black heart with a white banner across it on which the word love is written. the other is 8 little red hearts on white stems growing from the ground below.

below: A heart for Hex and Nish wherever, and whomever, they may be.

a bright red heart painted on a man made boulder, words hex and nish written on it

below: Three heart balloons on the Dupont sign.  You can get a good view of the fence here.

glass fence beside railway tracks, path, trees, also a metal sign on which three red hearts on white stems have been painted.

below: Part of the West Toronto Railpath runs alongside Planet Storage, an large old brick building.  There used to be a lot of street art along the side of the building but it’s all been painted over.   A few tattle tale remnants remain.

wall, part of an older brick building that has been painted a rust colour, with windows, some of which have metal grilles over them. Remnants of old graffiti on the metal grilles.

below: My favorite, little details like the bright yellow giraffe looking at the clouds.

looking into a window, toy yellow giraffe on the window sill as well as two toy trolls, one with yellow hair and the other with orange. Reflections of clouds in the window

below: There is one mural on the Railpath, the back of Osler’s Fish Market is covered with a fish and fishing themed mural.

back of Osler Fish Market covered with a fish and fishing mural

below: Fish heads in the weeds.  Queen Anne’s lace, that plant with the white flowers, was growing in abundance along the path.  You might know it by its other name, Wild Carrot.

detail of a mural, fish heads, on a wall with Queens Annes lace and other weeds growing in front.

mural with fisherman bringing in a load of fish to the shore, boat in the background, more fish in the foreground.

mural, man sitting, mending fishing nets, woman on the shore carrying a bundle towards some fishing boats.

below: A splash of red on a street just off the railpath.

the top part of an old Victorian brick 2 storey house, painted red with white trim

below: The sign on the table says: “Hi! La Witch Cat here.  Enjoy the space, but PLEASE do not litter.  I provided a garbage can. Use it!  This includes cigarette butts.  Put in trash once extinguished.  Thanks!  XXO”.  Marvellous!  I sooo agree with the part about cigarette butts.  Why do people who don’t litter still consider it okay to throw cigarette butts wherever they please?  I smiled but I didn’t stop to rest.

In a veryshady spot, against a metal fence, two old chairs with a white table between them, a sign on the table and a small garbage can to the left.

below: At one point I found myself at this intersection.  What is a pedestrian to do? It’s possible I walked where I shouldn’t have, or at least where foot traffic is rare.  All the roads in the photo are Dundas West; it’s where the street splits as it approaches Dupont and Annette.  There was a small park behind me, called Traffic Island park.  The name sums it up I think.

wide intersection where two roads meet in a V shape. not much else in the picture, only the nose of one car, no other traffic. hydro poles and wires in the picture

two old Toronto street signs, slightly rusted, on a hydro pole, one for Dundas St. WEst and one for Dupont street

below: A lament for the streetscape.  One more line in an elegy to public spaces.  The result of a half hearted attempt.  Massive hydro poles on the narrow sidewalk.  A large ad. A green space that needs attention.  If you look carefully, you can see  a plaque on a small stand.

sidewalk right beside a road, with hydro poles on the sidewalk, a small stretch of green space (about a metre) befoew a large fence that is concrete on the bottom and glass on the top. A couple of small trees that are dying are in the green space.

below: This is the plaque.  According to the words, this strip of land was replanted in 2001-2003 with a number of native species with the plan that they would spread and “create an oasis in the middle of the city”.   It mentions three plants – Nannyberry tree, Staghorn sumac, and Bottlebrush grass.   Disconnect alert.

plaque describing the railside garden with words about its history and some picture of the plants that grow there

below: On my way back to the subway station I spotted this 24 hour lovebot.

a lovebot sticker on a TTC bus stop pole, between the sign that says 24 hours and the symbol of a bus, older industrial building behind it.

…. that was where I walked yesterday but before I leave, a few small details.  Ciao!

graffiti on a grey metal door of a girl's head with lots of pink hair. A pink heart beneath her with the word love under that

red background, silhouette of sumac leaves

blue background, graffiti drawing of man's head, wearing large crown, sad eyes, heart in word bubble

a plate in a window that says Good Morning Sunshine, also two small ceramic figures of cats, and one ceramic dog

On Friday morning, my original goal was to find ‘Residents of the Esplanade’, a CONTACT Photography Festival outdoor exhibit at David Crombie Park but it was such a beautiful morning that I didn’t stop there. I found more than just the ‘Residents’.

Forty years ago, May 1976, the site plan for The Esplanade neighbourhood was approved. Since then, it has become home to a very diverse group of people. And it is those people that this installation celebrates on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the neighbourhood.

Crombie Park runs along the south side of The Esplanade between Berkeley street and Lower Jarvis.  The installation consists of a number of small white rectangular pillars with the picture and story of person on either side.

A photo from the CONTACT photography festival, installation called 'Residents of The Esplanade' - story of Mysha from Pakistan

A photo from the CONTACT photography festival, installation called 'Residents of The Esplanade' - photo of Solomon from on top of a basketball hoop

A photo from the CONTACT photography festival, installation called 'Residents of The Esplanade' - photo of Alan working at a desk, tulips and a woman sitting in the park are in the background

People were out enjoying the morning; school kids were playing basketball at recess.

kids playing basketball on an outdoor court. The wall behind the basketball hoop has been painted with a mural of hands making a heart shape with the fingers, by Bruno Smokey and Shalak Attack.

Flowers were blooming.

close up photo of red tulips in full bloom on a sunny day

tulips in a garden in a park, orange and yellow tulips, with some greenery. Grassy area with trees behind, and people walking on a sidewalk in the background.

below: Looking towards Lower Jarvis Street and downtown Toronto.

at the corner of The Esplanade and George Street, looking west towards downtown and St. Lawrence market. Playground on the left with children playing.

below:  One street beyond Lower Jarvis is Market Street.  It dead ends at the railway tracks.  The long structure on the right is a parking garage.

looking west towards the CN Tower, with the railway tracks to the left (but they are elevated and behind maintenance buildings so you can't see the tracks). Parking structure to the right, with city buildings behind it.

below: After a small backtrack up Market Street, I went through Conger Coal Lane to Church Street.  I don’t think I have walked this way before.  The lane was named in commemoration of the Conger Coal Company whose yard and wharf was nearby.   It was one of the many companies that provided Toronto with coal back in the day when coal fueled the city.  It was started in 1870 by Mr. P.D. Conger.   In 1913, Sterling Coal company bought Conger and the name was changed to Conger Lehigh Coal Co.

a downtown Toronto lane, very clean, no graffiti, taller, newer buildings on either side of the lane. CN tower in the distance,

below: A very old photo of the Conger Coal Company dock at the foot of Church Street, back when Church street ended at Lake Ontario

historical picture of the old COnger COal Co wharf at the bottom of Church street.

below: Tucked into a corner on Church street immediately south of Front Street, is an art installation by Paul Raff called ‘Shoreline Commemorative’.  A topography of limestone forms the base of the work.  A glass ball representing the line between sky and water sits on top of a tripod that tries to evoke a land surveyor’s tripod.  The words on the wall say “For 10,000 years this was the location of Lake Ontario’s shoreline.  This brick wall stands where water and land met, with a vista horizon”

Shoreline Commemorative by Paul Raff, an art installation on Church St., south of King, that marks where the shoreline of Lake Ontario used to be. It involves words on a brick wall and a model of the shoreline of Toronto showing the different elevations of the land.

below: Continuing the lake theme, a little fish out of water, jumping over the entrance to a condo.

bas relief sculpture of a fish, square stone on a brick wall above the entrance way to a condo building.

below: From the lake theme to another common theme in the city, construction. Spring is the beginning of construction season and here Berczy Park is being upgraded. In the background a new condo is being built but as we all know condo construction ‘season’ never ends. In fact, the challenge might be to find a place in this city where there isn’t a condo being built.

workmen redoing a park, Berczy Park in Toronto, with a digger and another piece of equipment, cityscape behind with a tall condo building under construction. A red and white crane is on top.

below: I walked past the never ending Front Street construction.  Construction in front of Union station seems to be finished, but this stretch of Front Street just west of the station is still being worked on.   There have been fences here so long that I can’t remember a time when they weren’t here.

Front street constrcution, behind a greenwire fence is a rd truck and piles of construction materials. Between the fence and a stone building is the sidewalk on which some people are walking.

a shirtless man in sitting on a stool at the corner of Front and Union streets. He has four signs (behind, above, in front, and beside him) asking for spare change or for you to buy his novel that is well rated on both Amazon and Goodreads.

A man is selling Black History newspaper to another man in front of the TTC subwayentrance at Union station.

 

 

It’s common to see posters pasted on walls so finding movie posters on the walls of the tiff Bell Lightbox didn’t strike me as unusual.    I walked past this display until I noticed the sign that marked this as a CONTACT Photography Festival installation.  Fake movie posters, many designed with a touch of humour, that look just like the real thing.

detail of an art installation that is a wall of fake movie posters made with ads and illustrations from old books and magazines

below: The installation, titled ‘Coming Attractions’ covers the corner windows and wall space.   The posters were designed by ‘Long Weekend’ which is a collective of artists working out of Winnipeg.   They were made from ads and illustrations from old books and magazines.

at the corner of King and another street, the TIFF Bell Lightbox building has an art installation on two sides, walls of fake movie posters. The installation is called 'Coming Attractions' and it is by a collective of artists known as The Long Weekend.

detail of an art installation that is a wall of fake movie posters

On the other side of King street, and just a but further east, is a series of eleven large images taken from past editions of ‘Toilet Paper’, a biannual magazine founded by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari.   They hint at advertising and they blur the line between fantasy and reality.

below: Muhle is a German company that makes shaving products and one of their blades looks identical to the one in this picture.

A woman with her phone in her hands walks past a large poster of two women face to face where all you can see is their nose, mouth, chin and tongues that are stuck out. A razor blade balances between the two tongues.

People walk past two large posters that show a girl lying on a large pile of french fries.
People walk past two large posters that show a girl lying on a large pile of french fries.

A man walks past large posters on King St.,

a man stands in front of a picture that is a large globe with everything painted light blue except the USA

a man stands in front of a picture that is a large globe with everything painted light blue except the USA

If you like these images, you might also like Toilet Paper’s website.

‘Current Studies’ and ‘Paper Planes’
Two different series of photographs by Sjoerd Knibbeler
Allan Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place

At ground level there are six large freestanding ‘walls” arranged in line, three at each end of the atrium.    Each ‘wall’ is covered by two images, one on either side.  They are photographs that are the result of Knibbeler’s experiments to “ shape, encompass, and capture air currents.”  This is the ‘Current Studies’ part of the installation.

A picture taken inside the Allan Lambert Gallery at Brookfield Place, photos by Sjoerd Knibbeler, a series called Current Study large pictures standing in the middle of the gallery, as well as series called "Paper Planes" which are hung from the ceiling

Suspended from the ceiling are a set of photographs of paper airplanes, the ‘Paper Planes’ part of the installation.    Knibbeler photographed paper airplanes that he made using information that he found online.  He chose military planes that were never produced.

A picture taken inside the Allan Lambert Gallery at Brookfield Place, photos by Sjoerd Knibbeler, a series called Current Study large pictures standing in the middle of the gallery, as well as series called "Paper Planes" which are hung from the ceiling

A picture taken inside the Allan Lambert Gallery at Brookfield Place, photos by Sjoerd Knibbeler, a series called Current Study large pictures standing in the middle of the gallery, as well as series called "Paper Planes" which are hung from the ceiling

A picture taken inside the Allan Lambert Gallery at Brookfield Place, photos by Sjoerd Knibbeler, a series called Current Study large pictures standing in the middle of the gallery, as well as series called "Paper Planes" which are hung from the ceiling

A picture taken inside the Allan Lambert Gallery at Brookfield Place, photos by Sjoerd Knibbeler, a series called Current Study large pictures standing in the middle of the gallery, as well as series called "Paper Planes" which are hung from the ceiling

A picture taken inside the Allan Lambert Gallery at Brookfield Place, photos by Sjoerd Knibbeler, a series called Current Study large pictures standing in the middle of the gallery, as well as series called "Paper Planes" which are hung from the ceiling

A picture taken inside the Allan Lambert Gallery at Brookfield Place, photos by Sjoerd Knibbeler, a series called Current Study large pictures standing in the middle of the gallery, as well as series called "Paper Planes" which are hung from the ceiling

A picture taken inside the Allan Lambert Gallery at Brookfield Place, photos by Sjoerd Knibbeler, a series called Current Study large pictures standing in the middle of the gallery, as well as series called "Paper Planes" which are hung from the ceiling

A picture taken inside the Allan Lambert Gallery at Brookfield Place, photos by Sjoerd Knibbeler, a series called Current Study large pictures standing in the middle of the gallery, as well as series called "Paper Planes" which are hung from the ceiling

#CONTACT16

I usually take a dim view of conceptual art largely because the importance given to the “words on the wall” has eclipsed the consideration given to the artwork itself.   Mediocrity in technique or creativity hides behind big jargon words and convoluted language in the artist statement.  Often the concept that the artist claims to be exploring is at odds with the end product.

When the art doesn’t live up to words that sound learned and meaningful then it degrades the work and makes the artist, and those curating the exhibit, seem pompous and out of touch.

For example, if you read that certain videos by an artist “cast a hitherto unexampled light on the conventional North American city”,  what would you expect to see?  Would you expect to see a video shot from a helicopter as it circled a city at night?  A video that looks familiar to anyone who has flown over a city after dark.   That’s what you get with Aude Moreau’s ‘The End in the Background of Hollywood 2015’ now showing at The Power Plant gallery.   I don’t have a photo of it but I do have a picture of three of her other photographs also on display.

below: From left to right (discounting the small picture farthest from the camera): 1. ‘Untitled (Hollywood Sign)’ 2015, 2. ‘LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department)’ 2015.  It’s a picture of a tiny helicopter in a large grey sky.  and 3. ‘Waiting for Landing’, airplanes lined up as they approach LAX airport.   Unfortunately, the words on the wall then go on to say, about these three images, “These demonstrate visual strategies that act upon the symbolic representation of the city and the spectacular dimension of the film industry.”  Oh my.

4 pictures hanging in a contemporary art gallery. One is a picture of the Hollywood sign taken just after dark, the next is a grey sky with a tiny dot of a helicopter in the middle, the third is too far away to discern, and the last is a picture of Los Angeles at night taken from a helicopter

And with that I left The Power Plant gallery.  Growling silently to myself and shaking my head with a mix of disdain and and frustration.   Imagine my surprise when once outside I encountered another of Moreau’s photographs.  A very lovely one.

below:  A picture of the Toronto skyline by Aude Moreau mounted on an exterior wall at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.  A picture with visual impact.

A photograph by Aude Moreau of the Toronto skyline as the sun starts to set, sunlight reflected off the buildings, darkening blue sky. The picture is mounted on an exterior wall and there is a tree in front of it as well as a couple of picnic tables

below:   You can play “spot the building” and test your knowledge of Toronto geography.   You can line up the DBRS building, the Hilton Hotel and the Canada Life building on University Avenue along with the Sheraton Hotel on Queen street.   The blue addition on the AGO is farther north on Dundas.  Can you think of where the photo was taken?  Apparently, it was taken from Toronto Fire Station 315 at College Street and Bellevue Avenue.  It was taken just after sunset but when there was still enough light in the sky to reflect off the taller buildings.   Moreau makes the city sparkle.

A photograph by Aude Moreau of the Toronto skyline as the sun starts to set, sunlight reflected off the buildings, darkening blue sky. The picture is mounted on an exterior wall and there is a tree in front of it

I must have seen this picture very shortly after it was installed.  It is part of the CONTACT photography festival that starts this weekend but there was no accompanying sign, no words that attempted to a explain the image.  Perhaps that was for the best.  In fact, I now have the CONTACT catalogue with their description of the artwork but I think I won’t read them.  I’d rather enjoy the picture just the way it is.