Want to be the first to know about upcoming exhibitions, events and contests at the RIC? Sign-up for our monthly eNews to stay in the loop!

Skip Navigation

Collaboration. A Potential History of Photography

January 24 – April 8, 2018
Main Gallery, Ryerson Image Centre
Presented with Jim Goldberg: Rich and Poor

An exhibition and collaborative laboratory at the Ryerson Image Centre
A project by Ariella Azoulay, Wendy Ewald, Susan Meiselas, Leigh Raiford and Laura Wexler
A partnership of Brown University, University of California, Berkeley, Ryerson University and Yale University

This experimental exhibition reconsiders photography through the lens of collaboration, suggesting that the medium—traditionally understood as one dominated by singular creative adventurers—is in fact defined by collaboration and interaction. For Collaboration, a team of artists, scholars, and curators have come together to create an exhibition, installing a gridded repertoire of approximately ninety photographic projects from different places and moments. These projects exemplify various types of collaboration—whether friendly and cooperative, or antagonistic and coercive—between photographers, photographed persons, and other participants. Designed to be open-ended, Collaboration invites visitors to participate in the reshaping of photographic meanings through an active program of conversations, encounters, and workshops. Further programming will be announced in the near future.

The Ryerson Image Centre’s presentation of this exhibition is supported by The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York.

This exhibition is also accompanied by an active and extensive program of special events - all of which are free and open to the public.





Event(s):

Opening Party
Wednesday, January 24
6:00–8:00 PM

Exhibition Tours
Daily 2:30 PM

---

The following events are curated by Ilana Shamoon with Christine McLean. All take place at the Ryerson Image Centre, unless otherwise noted*. Events are subject to change and new ones will be added, so please check back often:

In Conversation with Leigh Raiford*
Thursday, January 25
7:00 – 9:00 PM
Location: Gallery 44 (401 Richmond Street West, Suite #120)

The Potential of the History of Photography: A two-part exhibition walk-through and workshop with Leigh Raiford and Laura Wexler
Friday, January 26
1:00 – 1:45 PM and 2:00 – 3:00 PM

In Conversation with Karla McManus
Join McManus and her Ryerson class (Curation and Exhibition) in the exhibition
Wednesday, January 31
3:00 – 6:00 PM

In Conversation with Vicky Moufawad-Paul
Join Moufawad-Paul and her Ryerson class (Curatorial Practices in Toronto) in the exhibition
Thursday, February 1
3:00 – 4:00 PM

In Conversation with Blake Fitzpatrick
Join Fitzpatrick and his Ryerson class (Documentary Media) in the exhibition
Thursday, February 15
4:30 – 6:30 PM 

Position paper by Brian Sholis
Join Sholis, Executive Director of Gallery TPW, as he presents a position paper on the exhibition, followed by a Q&A and discussion 
Thursday, February 22
12:00 PM

In Conversation with Karla McManus
Join McManus and her Ryerson class (Curation and Exhibition) in the exhibition
Wednesday, February 28
3:00 – 6:00 PM

In Conversation with Karla McManus
Join McManus and her Ryerson class (Theories of Photography – Contemporary Topics) in the exhibition
Thursday, March 1
5:00 – 6:00 PM   

In Conversation with Matthew Brower
Join Brower and his University of Toronto class (Curatorial Practice) in the exhibition
Tuesday, March 6
1:30 – 3:30 PM

In Conversation with Vid Ingelevics
Join Ingelevics and his Ryerson class (Idea of Photography) in the exhibition
Tuesday, March 6
3:15 – 6:00 PM

In Conversation with Karla McManus  
Join McManus and her Ryerson class (History of Photography II) in the exhibition
Friday, March 9
12:00 – 1:00 PM

In Conversation with Dayna Danger
In partnership with the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, artist Dayna Danger will discuss her practice with 6 of her ongoing collaborators featured in the series Masks
Sunday, March 11
3:00 – 4:30 PM
Indigenous peoples’ sexualities are frequently equated to histories of sexual violence, commodified and institutionalized by settlers seeking to dominate, discipline, and control Indigenous bodies. Danger’s use of the leather BDSM mask references the kink community as a space to explore complicated dynamics of sexuality, gender, and power in a consensual and feminist manner. Danger engages with her own medicine, beading, in order to mark kink as a space for healing colonial trauma. There is no shame in this action. Here the models’ gender expressions and sensual lives are integral to their resurgent identities as Indigenous peoples.
— Quoted from Lindsay Nixon, “Visual Cultures of Indigenous Futurism” in GUTS Magazine, Issue 6, 2016.

Artist talk with Alia Youssef
Wednesday, March 14
6:00 PM
In partnership with Gallery 44, Youssef will present her talk "Can I have a say in this narrative"
In her presentation Alia Youssef will discuss the representation of Muslim women from pre-9/11 to present in western media. Specifically, the role of Muslim women in that narrative, and the steps Muslim women are now taking to change that image through artistic collaboration. She will focus on her involvement in the 2017 Muslim Girl x Getty photography campaign and her personal photographic, video, and text series titled The Sisters Project. The series counters negative stereotypes of Muslim women by showcasing the inspiring stories of women across Canada.

Gallery talk and workshop with Wendy Ewald, Susan Meiselas, Laura Wexler and Eric Gottesman
Sunday, March 18
12:00–5:00 PM
Artists Wendy Ewald, Susan Meiselas and Eric Gottesman, and scholar Laura Wexler will discuss, with invited participants, how the concept of collaboration can reframe the history of photography, and how the exhibition’s squares, grids and clusters were conceived and produced. They will also conduct a workshop to brainstorm ideas for additional projects that should be added into the project’s archive. Please note: this event is limited to registered participants, but all general visitors are welcome to listen in on the workshop.

RUDE Collective Panel Discussion moderated by Hana Jama
Photography As Collaboration
Wednesday, March 21
6:00 PM
Hana Jama of The Rude Collective will be joined by panelists photographer Riya Jama, Staff writer/critic at Canadian Art Merray Gerges, and Director of Programming at Whippersnapper Gallery Joshua Vettivelu to discuss images, the internet, ownership, photography as inherently collaborative, whether it is intentional or unintentional, and the Western history of photography. Topics will include how marginalized photographers, image creators, and collaborators can navigate the art and internet world as well as exploring who really owns and can benefit from an image. What does it mean to ask for representation without control over images? Should data be thought of as currency? Should subjects ask to co-own the rights to a photographers image? Should photography always be thought of as collaborative?

BAND Panel Discussion Part I*
A Great Day for Blacktography
Sunday, March 25
2:00 – 5:00 PM
Location: BAND Gallery (19 Brock Ave)
Using their work as a point of reference Al Peabody, Jim Russell + Jules Elder will discuss the inherent collaboration between Black photographers and the Black community. Moderated by Keesha Chung, this conversation will dissect the photo-documentation of Black people, Black culture + Black history in Toronto while centering the importance of Black ownership. Attending photographers are asked to bring one image created in Toronto that demonstrates this collaboration with Toronto’s Black community for interactive observation + analysis.

In Conversation with Gabrielle Moser
Join Moser and her OCAD University class (Screens and Digital Imagery) in the exhibition
Tuesday, March 27
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

BAND Panel Discussion Part II at the RIC
A Great Day for Blacktography
Wednesday, April 4
6:00 – 7:30 PM
While looking through the Contrast archive we will reflect on photography by and for Black people. We will dissect the white gaze as it pertains to the telling of Black history and Black stories through photography. Featuring the voices of  Al Peabody, Jim Russell + Jules Elder, they will speak to the inherent collaborative engagement conducted by Black communities when creating imagery. Expect engaging live critique and bouts of collaboration during this interactive meeting of minds.

Media sponsor

Programming partners

A collage of text and photographs in a square grid
Fig. 1

Wendy Ewald, American Alphabets (Arabic), Students at PS231, 2003, included in Collaboration: A Potential History of Photography, research project led by Ariella Azoulay, Wendy Ewald, Susan Meiselas, Leigh Raiford, Laura Wexler, 2017

A grid of images and text
Fig. 2

Project excerpts, Collaboration: A Potential History of Photography, research project led by Ariella Azoulay, Wendy Ewald, Susan Meiselas, Leigh Raiford, Laura Wexler, 2017

A collage of text and photographs in a square grid
Fig. 3

W.E.B Du Bois, “American Negro Exhibit” (Atlanta’s African-American middle class), Universal Exhibition, Paris Exposition, 1900, included in Collaboration: A Potential History of Photography, research project led by Ariella Azoulay, Wendy Ewald, Susan Meiselas, Leigh Raiford, Laura Wexler, 2017

A collage of images and text
Fig. 4

Jim Goldberg, Rich and Poor, 1977-85, included in Collaboration: A Potential History of Photography, research project led by Ariella Azoulay, Wendy Ewald, Susan Meiselas, Leigh Raiford, Laura Wexler, 2017

Installation Shots

Fig. 1

Collaboration. A Potential History of Photography (installation view), 2018 © James Morley, Ryerson Image Centre

Fig. 2

Collaboration. A Potential History of Photography (installation view), 2018 © James Morley, Ryerson Image Centre

Fig. 3

Collaboration. A Potential History of Photography (installation view), 2018 © James Morley, Ryerson Image Centre

Collaboration.

Media sponsor

Programming partners