WHO Youth from Toronto Community Housing
WHERE/WHEN Barbara Frum Atrium , CBC (250 Front West), May 23 to 29. 416-981-4344.
WHAT Like the film Born Into Brothels, My Window, My World proves that putting cameras in the hands of youths and letting them document their own lives can be a powerful and important exercise. For the second year in a row, young photographers with disposable cameras and a quick lesson from a few generous professionals share their visions. Kudos also to Downtown Camera, Toronto Image Works and Rex Digital Imaging Lab for helping to make the pictures.
WHY The way 13-year-old Hanif sees it, "Photography can make someone who they are." Lakeisha , also 13, adds, "I chose my photo because it has a lot of meaning. It reaches out, it sends a message."
BUZZ Letting kids tell us their own stories, whatever the medium, is empowering, and putting them behind the lens of a camera is especially so. Go, and let them dispel your illusions about being a kid in the city.
WHO Veronica Bailey
WHERE/WHEN Tartar Gallery (183 Bathurst, suite 200), to June 4. 416-360-3822.
WHAT 2 Willow Road is a series of Lambda digital prints portraying magnified, abstract edges of books from the private library of 1930s Austro-Hungarian Modernist architect Ernö Goldfinger and his English artist wife, Ursula Blackwell.
WHY Bailey says, "The 2 Willow Road family home in Hampstead, London, now owned by the National Trust, contains a treasure trove of 20th-century art, history and culture. During a spell as a volunteer guide at the house, I realized that the library held the key. The splayed book edges remind us of the everyday human interaction we have with the written word."
BUZZ These are not just any old books. They ask viewers to contemplate different levels within the work, the visual, intellectual and spiritual. This show won Britain's Jerwood Photography Award in 2003.
WHO Sara Angelucci
WHERE/WHEN Wynick/Tuck Gallery (401 Richmond West, # 128), to May 28. 416-504-8716.
WHAT Everything In My Father's Wallet, Everything In My Wallet, 100 neatly organized photographs showing the entire contents, item by item, of both wallets.
WHYAngelucci says: "The contents show generational differences, gender differences and, perhaps most importantly, the idea of a class/cultural shift resulting from my father's immigration and lack of formal education, while I was born, educated and raised in Canada."
BUZZ Anyone who's found someone's wallet knows the guilty pleasure of trying to piece together a stranger's life by examining club memberships, bank cards, IDs, receipts, business cards and family photos. This project allows you to do it twice and make intriguing comparisons.
WHO Damage Done
WHERE/WHEN Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art (401 Richmond West), to June 11. 416-591-0357.
WHAT Seven artists mess with the process of photography, producing images that proudly declare themselves fabrications in a medium that often claims to contain the truth.
WHY Says OCAD instructor Vid Ingelevics , "Damage emphasizes the material origins of the photograph and highlights the sheer vulnerability of the medium to which, since the 19th century, we have entrusted much of our individual and collective memory."
BUZZ Ingelevics admirably takes on the theme of this year's festival, questioning truth in photography. In fact, he seems to be the only one who's noticed that there is a theme. He curates an array of artists who refuse to let the technological process of making pictures alienate them.