Paddy Jane Gallagher
Where/when : Cabaret Nostalgia (672 Queen West), to May 31. 416-504-7126.
What: The Original Hustler, sexy prints of backroom hustlers, gangster molls and pin-up dolls.
Why: Painstakingly staged and beautifully lit photos use contemporary precision to recreate campy Prohibi-tion-era glamour and sleaze. The giclée prints on canvas and on some old records hanging in the front window add an interesting painterly dimension.
Buzz: Hanging among Cabaret Nostalgia's vintage duds, these photos transport you to retro heaven.
Where/when: Wynick/Tuck Gallery (401 Richmond West, #128), to May 27. 416-504-8716.
WHAT: Large-format photos taken with a pinhole camera.
Why: Bos (also a musician) is fascinated that the exposure time for a pinhole photo is about the same as the length of a song.
Buzz: Many things can happen in the time it takes to shoot a pinhole photograph. Bos's images retain ghostly, unsettling traces of events that happen to or walk past her camera. One print has five repeated ghost traces of a single leg. In another, the same horse appears twice. The alteration of the image over time raises questions about memory.
Imaging A Shattering Earth: Contemporary Photography And The Environmental Debate
Edward Burtynsky, John Ganis, Peter Goin, Emmet Gowin, David T. Hanson, Jonathan Long, David Maisel, David McMillan, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, John Pfahl, Mark Ruwedel.
Where/When: MOCCA (Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, 952 Queen West), to May 28. 416-395-7430.
What: A big show of work by a dozen photographers documents sites of environmental damage, from Burtynsky's Three Gorges Dam series to Maisel's Lake Project, in which aerial shots of the ground look like microscopic views of organic matter.
Why: The disastrous human footprint on planet Earth has scientists and politicians scrambling for answers to our problems and new ways to lie about them. Environmental photography that renders human-created ugliness beautiful is becoming a cliché, but if it effects positive change, bring it on.
Buzz: The show echoes last year's Disaster Topographics exhibition, but with more of an environmental spin. The ParkeHarrisons' poetic approach - a man tethers the sky to the earth to keep it from floating away, and other quixotic efforts using 19th-century-looking techniques - is a refreshing change.
Where/When: Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art (401 Richmond West, #124) to June 10. 416-591-0357.
What: Eritrean-born photographer Petros focuses on black identity and the way a culture produces images of itself. Portraits of Eritrean families and black youth play with various photographic codes, from the snapshot to the carefully constructed image, with intriguing results.
Why: Curator Pamela Edmonds writes, "The series refigures traditional representations of the artistic portraiture genre (notoriously void of black images) and also mocks blackness' as a marketing device."
Buzz: Theory aside, these images work in a very immediate way. One print of nine young men gazing back at the lens from the shadows of a dark alley asks the very reasonable question "Just what do you think you are looking at?"