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Nine electrifying new Visual Arts Exhibitions at Harbourfront Centre for Spring 2007

TORONTO, March 5, 2007. Harbourfront Centre is pleased to announce nine new visual arts exhibitions featuring a wide range of compelling works. The Mechanics of the Medium explores processes and properties of the moving image and The Cooked Book is an eight channel DVD installation, both of which are presented in conjunction with the 20th Annual Images Festival, April 5 - 14, 2007. The photographs comprising The Immigration Series and Animal Kingdom/Wish are part of CONTACT 2007 Toronto Photography Festival, May 1 – 31, 2007; and the Vest Collective investigate the principles of objects affecting positive change in the object of Objects.

The free Public Reception for Spring Exhibitions will be held Friday, March 16, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. These nine exhibitions will be on display from March 17 to May 13, 2007. For information the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com

Complete description of exhibitions below.

Exhibition Hours for the Main Gallery, York Quay Centre at Harbourfront Centre: Tuesday. 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday through Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays. Regular Hours for the Craft Studio: Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Mechanics of the Medium is curated and presented in conjunction with the 20th Annual Images Festival, to be held April 5 - 14, 2007. Featuring Angélica Chio(Germany), Kelly Egan (Canada), Sandra Gibson & Luis Recoder (USA), Sabrina Gschwandtner (USA), Joe Kelly (Canada) and Joel Schlemowitz (USA).

Exploring the process by which moving images are made and projected, the film based works in The Mechanics of the Medium exhibition reveal the inherent tangibility of film as a medium and explore the physical properties of time-based media. The moving image is always on the brink of exposing its inner workings, and these seven artists each dismantle this illusion in various ways. Projectors are altered, take-up reels removed, replicas are made of the film with yarn and quilted with the strips of celluloid together. Most of the artists in this exhibition use film based media, although Angélica Chio’s work fuses video and simple drawings.

A special event will accompany this exhibition, as part of the Images Festival Off Screen programme, Saturday, April 14. Reception in the Main Gallery, York Quay Centre, from 4 to 6 p.m. followed by artist talks and performances by Mauricio Ancalmo, Bruce McClure, John Porter and Kelly Egan in the Studio Theatre, 6:00 p.m.Admission is free. The public can call 416-973-4000 for information.

Also part of the 20th Annual Images Festival is Dean Baldwin’s The Cooked Book (2007). This 17-minute looped DVD installation will run over eight channels which function as chapters of a dysfunctional whole. Part cooking show, part obstacle course, the process of a meal preparation is continually sabotaged by external tensions. Baldwin lives in Toronto and works for the Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Gallery TPW and is represented by Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects.

For more information about the 20th Annual Images Festival visit www.imagesfestival.com

Jennifer Long’s The Immigration Series photographs are part of the CONTACT 2007 Toronto Photography Festival. Long’s large scale photographs of couples portray the complicated and often turbulent Canadian immigration experience.

“Within my close circle of friends,” explains Long, “four couples have recently dealt with Citizenship and Immigration Canada in order to legally gain residency for their partners. For some it was quick and relatively painless, for others, it was and continues to be a long tearful wait.” The photographs in The Immigration Series explore the turbulent time spent waiting for an application that may end up being rejected.

To assist the government in making their decision, the subjects of the photographs were required to provide proof of their relationships. The Immigration Series is Long’s contribution to the justification of these relationships - a constructed embrace performed for public consumption. “A kiss of hope for the future”, says Long.

Julia Dault’s Animal Kingdom/Wish photographs are also part of CONTACT 2007. Animal Kingdom is a series of natural history illustrations from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, including prints from voyages taken by explorers James Cook, Maria Sibylla Merian, and Henry Walter Bates, among others. Each photograph is interfered with – the artist’s hand is inserted into the frame and is active in various ways, petting an antelope in one, trying to catch bugs in another, clutching a lizard in yet another. The interference can be read on several levels: grasping at the past, a statement on nature’s illusiveness, a play between photographic time and real time, and a twice-removed mediation of history and desire. Dault’s second series Wish is a photographic study of wishbones, objects of hope and desire that insinuate action on the part of the viewer.

Julia Dault is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. She publishes regularly in the National Post, Border Crossings and Walrus Magazine. She is currently pursuing her MFA at Parsons in New York City.

The Mechanics of the Medium, Jennifer Long’s The Immigration Seriesand Julia Dault’s Animal Kingdom/Wishare part of CONTACT 2007 Toronto Photography Festival and explore the fusion of practices that have transformed the nature of photography – a topic raised in this year’s festival theme: The Constructed Image. For more information on CONTACT 2007 visit www.contactphoto.com

the object of Objects offers works from the Vest Collective featuring Matthew Birtch, Sally McCubbin, Katy Chan, Jennifer Graham, Jessica Lertvilai, Shannon McLeod, Jordan McDonald, Erin Neal, Marta Marie Pietrzyk and Jonathan Sabine.

Vest Collective is a loosely knit group of designers and craft practitioners based in Toronto. Works produced under the Vest Collective moniker, including furniture, ceramics, glass and textiles; adhere to the principle that objects can affect positive change on the people and other objects with which they come in contact. Equal emphasis is put on the quality and longevity of the work produced, and its relevance to contemporary culture. With an appreciation for different disciplines, Vest Collective produces work demonstrating that design is full of the potential to communicate a wide range of ideas.

In A season and a day, Heather Goodchild continues to explore her fascination with the dark and mysterious forest described in both folk songs such as "In the Pines" and fairy tales. Using sculpture, screen printing and moving projection, an uncertain landscape forms where danger and desire can be one and the same.

Norah Deacon and Thea Haines use the hat to express longing, nostalgia, veiled thoughts and the darker traits within the wearer in Shadows and Veil in the Craft Studio.

Kate Jackson and Suzanne Carlsen explore fantasy professions through symbols and heroic archetypes in Last Night I Dreamt I Was… also on display in the Craft Studio.

At the Service Canada building Liz Parkinson’s My Garden Paradise (Contained)is a
collection of biscuit tins assembled over a number of years “[That] grew from a recognition of desire, a conscious choice made, and the subsequent realization that other such choices had been made in the past and would be sought again in the future,” says the artist. The gathering and arrangement of these collected objects parallels Parkinson’s concern with imagery in her artwork. “My desire for order in my home and studio means each tin contains other collections.” explains Parkinson. The tins contain buttons and threads, spices and recipes, plant and animal specimens, floral and animal costume jewellery, as well as collections of postcards and other objects and images from Parkinson’s studio. As a whole, the collection speaks of the artist’s desire for an ordered and contained, eternally blooming garden paradise of the living and working life.

Parkinson’s print and mixed media collections have been shown in Canada for many years. In 2006 she received a Canada Council Research/Development Grant to further explore collections of nature inspired objects.

Continuing through May 12, 2007, is Geneviève Jodouins’s If These Walls Could Talk at the Premiere Dance Theatre, a screen-print on mixed media that explores the intimacy between people and the spaces they live in, as well as the memories within these spaces. The viewer is invited into a personal space - the domestic setting, the banal motions, the comfort of home and the safety of routine. Access for ticket holders only.

For information on Harbourfront Centre Exhibitions at the York Quay Centre, Service Canada or the Premiere Dance Theatre, the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com

Media Contact:
Cary Mignault, Publicist
tel: 416-973-4655
email: cmignault@harbourfrontcentre.com

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Harbourfront Centre questions all that you DESIRE.

Every act of creation begins with a desire. But is desire by its very nature unattainable? Are you careful what you wish for? If it feels right, is it wrong?

Through May 2007, Harbourfront Centre invites you to satisfy your cultural cravings. Immerse yourself in the sometimes bitter-sweet nostalgia of memories, kindled by the exhibition Animal Kingdom/Wish; plunge into the void between truth and fiction in Hume Baugh’s play The Girl in the Picture Tries to Hang Up the Phone; or confront the impossible erotic ideals explored in Unbound by Vancouver's Wen Wei Dance — these are just a some of the many facets of desire we are offering in the coming months.

Culture you have longed for.

DESIRE is part of an ongoing focus on ideas in programming at Harbourfront Centre. January through May 2007. Our Lens. Your View.


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