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Curious Anarchy: The Photographic Collection of Maia-Mari Sutnik

May 1 – June 1, 2014
Student Gallery, Ryerson Image Centre
Instructors: Sophie Hackett and Dr. Gaelle Morel

“Photography does not behave”
– Maia-Mari Sutnik, curator, photography – special projects, Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

Curious Anarchy displays a selection of photographic objects from the private collection of Maia-Mari Sutnik, who has played a pivotal role in the development of the photography collection at the AGO. Sutnik’s diverse and inclusive collection ranges from playful assortments of postcards to soberly mastered prints, framing the evolution of photography since its inception. In looking at photographic objects, we encounter what noted photographer and critic Geoffrey James calls a “curious anarchy that exists in the world of photography.” Sutnik’s vast and eclectic collection is similarly revealing.

This exhibition, its accompanying publication and digital component aim to reveal the inherently surreal qualities of photographs in Sutnik’s collection. The exhibition is conceived by second-year students in the film and photography preservation and collections management master of arts program at Ryerson University.




Event(s):

Opening Reception 

Wednesday, May 7
6:00 – 8:00 PM

Exhibition Tours
Daily 2:30 PM

All events take place at the Ryerson Image Centre, unless otherwise noted

Generously supported by the Howard and Carole Tanenbaum Family Foundation

A photograph of a man with goggles sits on a table
Fig. 1

Clarke & Hyde, Armour plated eyes, 1915, gelatin silver print. Collection of Maia-Mari Sutnik, Toronto.

Instructor Bios

Dr. Gaelle Morel

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.

Sophie Hackett

Sophie Hackett is the Curator, Photography, at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and adjunct faculty in Ryerson University’s master’s program in Film and Photography Preservation and Collections Management. She continues to write for art magazines, international journals and artist monographs, including “Queer Looking: Joan E. Biren’s Slide Shows” in Aperture (spring 2015) and “Encounters in the Museum: The Experience of Photographic Objects” in the edited volume The “Public” Life of Photographs (Ryerson Image Centre and MIT Press, 2016).

Installation Shots

Wide shot of the Student Gallery, a black bench in the centre of the space
Fig. 1

Curious Anarchy: The Photographic Collection of Maia-Mari Sutnik (installation view), 2014 © Eugen Sakhnenko, Ryerson Image Centre

A cluster of photographs in different sized frames on a grey wall
Fig. 2

Curious Anarchy: The Photographic Collection of Maia-Mari Sutnik (installation view), 2014 © Eugen Sakhnenko, Ryerson Image Centre

Gold brooches and pins in a display case
Fig. 3

Curious Anarchy: The Photographic Collection of Maia-Mari Sutnik (installation view), 2014 © Eugen Sakhnenko, Ryerson Image Centre

Sponsors

Generously supported by the Howard and Carole Tanenbaum Family Foundation