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Annie MacDonell: Holding Still // Holding Together

May 4 — August 21 2016
University Gallery & Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall, Ryerson Image Centre

Curator: Dr. Gaëlle Morel

Annie MacDonell’s newly-commissioned, site-specific installation activates both the white-cube interior of the RIC’s University Gallery and the Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall. Holding Still // Holding Together originates in images of passive political resistance gathered from the RIC’s Black Star Collection and other sources. At times deceptively peaceful, the photographs express an imbalance and struggle between the police officers and the limp bodies of protestors being forced to move. Despite the variety of circumstances, political situations and historical moments documented by these images, they demonstrate a clear continuity in the distorted postures of dissidents as they are taken down.

Working with choreographer Ame Henderson and six contemporary dancers, the Toronto-based artist studied and dissected these scenes of passive resistance in order to reproduce them using performance and video. MacDonell notes that “in imitating these complicated configurations of bodies … the intention is to hijack and rewrite the power relations described within them.”




Event(s):

Opening Party
Wednesday, May 4
6:00 – 8:00 PM

Artist Talk
Annie MacDonell
Wednesday, May 18
6:30 PM
School of Image Arts, Ryerson University
122 Bond Street, IMA–307

A primary exhibition of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

A large photograph displayed in a wood-panelled room, with people's arms and legs poking out underneath
Fig. 1

Annie MacDonell, video still from Holding Still // Holding Together, 2016. Multi-channel installation © Annie MacDonell. Courtesy of the artist

5 people crouch barefoot over two photographs laid on the floor
Fig. 2

Annie MacDonell, video still from Holding Still // Holding Together, 2016. Multi-channel installation © Annie MacDonell. Courtesy of the artist

Photograph of a man being carried by police is seen through the cut-out silhouettes of five people
Fig. 3

Annie MacDonell, video still from Holding Still // Holding Together, 2016. Multi-channel installation © Annie MacDonell. Courtesy of the artist

Three people wearing blue and black link arms to carry a man in a white shirt and jeans
Fig. 4

Annie MacDonell, video still from Holding Still // Holding Together, 2016. Multi-channel installation © Annie MacDonell. Courtesy of the artist

7 semi-transparent people holding each other in a large empty room
Fig. 5

Annie MacDonell, video still from Holding Still // Holding Together, 2016. Multi-channel installation © Annie MacDonell. Courtesy of the artist

https://youtu.be/-6dbyCcI0mg
Fig.

Artist and Curator Bios

Annie MacDonell
Artist

Annie MacDonell's work draws attention to how still and moving images are used and misused, and how they are staged in galleries, cinemas and beyond. MacDonell received a BFA from Ryerson University, and completed graduate studies at Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains, France. Recent solo shows and performances have been held at Mulherin New York, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. She has participated in group exhibitions at The Power Plant in Toronto, MOCA Cleveland, the Daegu Photo Biennale in South Korea, and Le Grand Palais in Paris.

Dr. Gaelle Morel
Curator

Dr. Gaelle Morel is an art historian and Exhibitions Curator at the Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto, Canada. She received her PhD in the History of Contemporary Art from Universite Paris 1 – Pantheon-Sorbonne, France. Her research and recent work deal with the figure of the artist as author in French contemporary photography. She also works on the artistic and cultural recognition of the medium in the United States in the 1930s. She was, until 2013, a member of the board of the Societe francaise de photographie, and a member of the editorial committee of Etudes photographiques, a bilingual peer reviewed journal on the history of photography. She edited Les Derniers Tableaux. Photojournalisme et art contemporain (Paris: Editions des Archives Contemporaines, 2008) and co-wrote with Thierry Gervais La Photographie published by Editions Larousse in France (2008, 2011). She was a recipient of a Terra Foundation for American Art Travel Grant in 2007, for her work on the American art dealer Julien Levy who closely worked with Berenice Abbott in the 1920s and 1930s.

Installation Shots

Video still of a man and woman holding each other in the centre of a room, while four people stand along the walls
Fig. 1

Annie MacDonell: Holding Still // Holding Together (installation view), 2016 © Larissa Issler, Ryerson Image Centre

Two video stills side by side. On the left, a woman in a black t-shirt. On the right, two hands holding a photograph.
Fig. 2

Annie MacDonell: Holding Still // Holding Together (installation view), 2016 © Larissa Issler, Ryerson Image Centre

Video still of four people holding each other in the middle of a large empty room
Fig. 3

Annie MacDonell: Holding Still // Holding Together (installation view), 2016 © Larissa Issler, Ryerson Image Centre

Sponsors

A primary exhibition of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival