Wed, Sept 25, 7 pm — Curators in Conversation: Sandrine Colard and Julie Crooks. 

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Black and white photo of a woman walking between cars amidst tall apartment buildings.
Fig.

Sabelo Mlangeni, Woman and City, from the series Big City, 2012 (printed 2017), gelatin silver print © The artist. Courtesy of the artist and The Walther Collection

Women in African photography the focus of new exhibition at the Ryerson Image Centre, opening September 11

Sep. 10, 2019

This fall, the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) is pleased to present a major exhibition exploring African photographic portraiture through the perspectives of women, both as sitters and photographers. The Way She Looks: A History of Female Gazes in African Portraiture features contemporary works by female artists alongside 1950s studio portraits and nineteenth-century colonial images and albums. The exhibition, along with a new season of shows, opens with a free public party on September 11, 6–8 pm.

Also launching this fall is Sightlines, the RIC’s new podcast, produced in collaboration with The Walrus Lab, which explores the representation of African women in photography through interviews with artists, curators, and collectors. Listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
 

Exhibitions on view: 

The Way She Looks: A History of Female Gazes in African Portraiture
Photographs from the Walther Collection
Drawn from the extraordinary holdings of The Walther Collection, The Way She Looks revisits the history of African photographic portraiture through the perspectives of women, both as sitters and photographers. Spanning the beginnings of colonial photography on the continent to the present day, the exhibition features contemporary works by female artists, including Yto Barrada, Jodi Bieber, Lebohang Kganye, Zanele Muholi, Grace Ndiritu, and Nontsikelelo “Lolo” Veleko alongside 1950s studio portraits by such important historical figures as Malick Sidibé and Seydou Keïta, and nineteenth-century prints, cartes de visite, postcards, and albums. 

Syrus Marcus Ware: Ancestors, Can You Read Us? (Dispatches From The Future)
Toronto-based artist Syrus Marcus Ware imagines a world where racialized people have survived the “Black death spectacle” writ large on the nightly news; survived the catastrophic impact of the Anthropocene; and survived the crushing effects of white supremacy. Commissioned by the Toronto Biennial of Art and the RIC, the artist draws on the shared language of speculative fiction and political activism to transform the Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall into a portal through which the next generation of racialized activists communicate with us, their ancestors, and offer us insights into the future.

Lucy Lu: Da Pi Yuan
In Da Pi Yuan, artist Lucy Lu explores the complexities of growing up with a mixed identity. Returning to her childhood home in Xi’an, China, to the gated apartment community where her grandparents still live, Lu documents the places and people that have remained vivid in her memories in order to understand what it means to be Chinese-Canadian. Through images and words, Da Pi Yuan examines notions of home, belonging, and the fragmented nature of memory.


Upcoming events, talks and tours:

Wednesday, September 11, 6–8 pm
Fall Exhibitions Opening Party

Thursday, September 19, 12 pm
A Transformative Acquisition: The Gift of Mira Godard
Noon Time Collection Talk with Peter Higdon
Peter Higdon Research Centre, 122 Bond Street, Toronto, RIC–241 (second floor)

Wednesday, September 25, 7 pm
Curators in Conversation: Sandrine Colard with Julie Crooks

Wednesday, October 9, 6 pm
Special exhibition tour of The Way She Looks: A History of Female Gazes in African Portraiture with Gaëlle Morel and Marieme Lo

Thursday, October 24, 12 pm
Bombs, Beaches, Bunkers: Looking at Life in a Nuclear Mode, 1945–90 
Noon Time Collection Talk with Philippe Depairon
Peter Higdon Research Centre, 122 Bond Street, Toronto, RIC–241 (second floor)

Wednesday, October 30, 6–8 pm
Opening party for Grayson James: After Alexandria in the Student Gallery

Wednesday, November 13, 6 pm
Special exhibition tour of The Way She Looks: A History of Female Gazes in African Portraiture with Gaëlle Morel and Michèle Pearson Clarke

Thursday, November 21, 12 pm
Boys in Dresses and Other Fashions of the Victorian Age
Noon Time Collection Talk with Ingrid Mida
Peter Higdon Research Centre, 122 Bond Street, Toronto, RIC–241 (second floor)

Wednesday, November 27, 7 pm
Tanenbaum Lecture with Syrus Marcus Ware
Ryerson University School of Image Arts, 122 Bond Street, Toronto, IMA-307 (third floor)

Wednesday, December 4, 6 pm
Special exhibition tour of The Way She Looks: A History of Female Gazes in African Portraiture with Gaëlle Morel and Kenneth Montague

All events take place at the Ryerson Image Centre (33 Gould Street) unless otherwise noted. A full schedule of events is available via ryersonimagecentre.ca/events.

On view from September 11 to December 8, 2019The Way She Looks: A History of Female Gazes in African Portraiture is organized by the Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto, Canada, in collaboration with The Walther Collection, Neu-Ulm, Germany and New York, USA. The exhibition is guest curated by Sandrine Colard. The show is supported by media sponsors the Toronto StarThe Walrus and ByBlacks.com, with additional support from the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund. With generous funding from The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York. Promotional support provided by Allan Slaight and Emmanuelle Gattuso. 
 
Ryerson Image Centre
33 Gould Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

FREE ADMISSION
Free exhibition tours daily at 2:30 pm

ryersonimagecentre.ca
416-979-5164
ric@ryerson.ca
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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 ryersonimagecentre.ca
 
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 www.ryerson.ca

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Media Contact:
Kristen Dobbin, Ryerson Image Centre, kristendobbin@ryerson.ca / 416-979-5000 x7032 @RICgallery