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Curator David Campany photographed in the exhibition, A Handful of Dust.
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Curator David Campany photographed in the exhibition A Handful of Dust: From the Cosmic to the Domestic, 2020 © Clifton Li, Ryerson Image Centre

Acclaimed curator David Campany and renowned French photographer Sophie Ristelhueber headline the RIC’s winter public programs

Jan. 20, 2020

This winter, the Ryerson Image Centre presents A Handful of Dust: From the Cosmic to the Domestic, an exhibition by acclaimed curator and critic David Campany focused on the visual representation of dust in photography, both as an element of the everyday and as poetic allegory. The exhibition and a new season of public programming kicks off with a free party on January 22, 6–8 pm.

This season’s public programs feature celebrated curators, collectors, and artists, including:


  • On March 25, 7 pm, renowned French photographer Sophie Ristelhueber presents the Tanenbaum Lecture in conversation with Marc Mayer, former Director of the National Gallery of Canada. For over 30 years, Ristelhueber has documented the traces of war and other upheavals to reflect on territory, history, and memory. Location TBA (check website for details).
  • Guest curator David Campany and writer and curator Sara Knelman come together for the RIC’s Curators in Conversation series on April 1, 7 pm.

Special Exhibition Tours

  • On February 12, 6 pm, Gaëlle Morel, RIC Exhibitions Curator, Gary Hall, Gallery TPW Founding Executive Director, and Nina Levitt, artist and Gallery TPW Founding Program Coordinator, offer a behind-the-scenes tour of Extending the Frame: 40 Years of Gallery TPW.
  • On March 18, 6 pm, RIC Director Paul Roth gives a special exhibition tour of A Handful of Dust: From the Cosmic to the Domestic.

Noon Time Collection Talks

  • On February 6, 12 pm, RIC Director Paul Roth and Exhibitions Curator Gaëlle Morel present on the making of the upcoming exhibition Stories from the Picture Press: Black Star Publishing Co. & The Canadian Press, on view at the RIC in fall 2020. Peter Higdon Research Centre, 122 Bond Street, room RIC–241.
  • On March 12, 12 pm, documentary photographer Vincenzo Pietropaolo discusses labour photographs in the Black Star Collection. Peter Higdon Research Centre, 122 Bond Street, room RIC–241.
  • On April 2, 12 pm, local collector and former art museum curator Christopher Varley and Paul Roth, RIC Director, talk about collecting Canadian photography. Peter Higdon Research Centre, 122 Bond Street, room RIC–241.

All events are free and take place at the Ryerson Image Centre (33 Gould Street) unless otherwise noted. For updated information on our public programs please visit

Exhibitions on view: 

A Handful of Dust: From the Cosmic to the Domestic
Guest Curator: David Campany

A Handful of Dust features a selection of modern and contemporary images from the last 100 years, focusing on the visual representation of dust in photography, both as an element of the everyday and as poetic allegory. Demonstrating photography’s ability to highlight quotidian details of life through the unlikeliest imagery, the exhibition touches on a wide range of subjects, including aerial reconnaissance, the American dustbowl, Mussolini’s final car journey, and the wars in Iraq. A Handful of Dust showcases photographic works by renowned artists Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Walker Evans, Sophie Ristelhueber, Xavier Ribas, Jeff Wall, and many others, alongside anonymous press photographs, postcards, magazine spreads, and films.

Extending the Frame: 40 Years of Gallery TPW
Extending the Frame: 40 Years of Gallery TPW celebrates 40 years of exhibitions and programs at Gallery TPW, the artist-run centre founded in 1977 as a platform for contemporary photography in Toronto. Drawing on archival materials from the Art Gallery of Ontario and artworks from the collection of the Ryerson Image Centre, the exhibition and accompanying publication highlight the gallery’s role in advocating for the cultural recognition of the medium in Canada. Organized by students of Ryerson University’s F+PPCM graduate program. In collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario and Gallery TPW.

Nir Evron: A Free Moment
Guest Curator: Brian Sholis
Israeli artist Nir Evron’s film A Free Moment (2011) draws together political history and formal exploration. Shot in the abandoned shell of the never-completed Jordanian Summer Palace in East Jerusalem, this four-minute film reveals a dizzying perspective on the structure’s concrete bulk and the city sprawling beneath it. Though silent and restrained, A Free Moment suggests that long-ago political conflicts can have persistent influence, disorienting lives and altering the meaning of public spaces far into the future.

Clea Christakos-Gee: A piece A seed A spread
A piece A seed A spread interprets the conceptual poetry of Yoko Ono through photography. The images are prompted by a selection of instructional texts sourced from Ono’s 1964 book and artwork Grapefruit. The poems draw connections between nature and our bodies, private and social consciousness, breathing and the senses. Following her lead, Christakos-Gee’s photographs are personal and intuitive, bringing into relationship available subject matter and people important to her environment. Ono’s instructions are translated through visualization, active collaboration, and the chance element of film photography. With this text–image exchange, A piece A seed A spread reflects the interplay and reciprocity that can exist across the production of both mediums.

A Handful of Dust is generously supported by media sponsors the Toronto Star and The Walrus.

Ryerson Image Centre
33 Gould Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Free exhibition tours daily at 2:30 pm
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The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) exists for the research, teaching and exhibition of photography and related media. We are an active partner within the academic fabric of Ryerson University, the cultural network of greater Toronto, and the national and international artistic community. We develop rigorous yet inclusive programs for students, faculty, artists, researchers and curators, as well as the general public. The RIC boasts three interrelated areas of activity. Our exhibition program addresses topics of social, cultural, aesthetic and historical concern from a variety of contemporary perspectives. Our Peter Higdon Research Centre conducts and facilitates inquiry into primary resource materials and offers workshops, lectures, symposia and publication programs. Finally, we maintain a collection of photography spanning the medium’s history, as well as several artist and journalism archives—including the renowned Black Star Collection of twentieth-century photoreportage. For more information, visit

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 41,500 students, including 2,400 master's and PhD students, 3,200 faculty and staff, and nearly 170,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past five years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit

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Media Contact:  
Kristen Dobbin, Ryerson Image Centre / 416-979-5000 x7032