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Ryerson Image Centre, 2020 © Larissa Issler, Ryerson Image Centre

Artists Stephen Waddell and Mohamed Bourouissa headline the RIC’s fall online programs

Sep. 10, 2020

Media Previews: By appointment
Contact: kristendobbin@ryerson.ca

September 10, 2020, Toronto — The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) is pleased to open three new exhibitions on September 16, including Scotiabank Photography Award: Stephen Waddell, Mohamed Bourouissa: Horse Day, and Ethan Murphy: Front & Back. Visitors are encouraged to read the RIC’s reopening FAQ to learn more about the operational changes that have been made to ensure a safe and enjoyable gallery experience for all.

This season’s exhibitions are accompanied by a series of online talks featuring celebrated artists and emerging photographers:

  • On Wednesday, September 30, 7 pm, Vancouver-based artist Stephen Waddell presents the Tanenbaum Lecture in conjunction with his Scotiabank Photography Award exhibition. Waddell is renowned for his urban scenes made in Canada and Europe.
  • Palestinian-Canadian artist Rana Nazzal Hamadeh offers insights into 1/1000th of a Dunam, her multimedia exhibition exploring Palestinian assertions of belonging through soil. Exhibition opens Wednesday, October 28; virtual artist talk at 7 pm.
  • Algerian/French artist Mohamed Bourouissa gives a talk about his two-channel video installation, Horse Day, created in collaboration with young Black horsemen belonging to a Philadelphia non-profit equestrian society. Wednesday, November 4, 12 pm.
  • On Wednesday, November 25, 7 pm, RIC Outreach Programmer soJin Chun moderates a panel featuring Toronto-based emerging photographers in discussion about Mohamed Bourouissa’s Horse Day and how BIPOC communities are represented in western culture.

All events are free and take place online via Zoom. Pre-registration is required. Visit ryersonimagecentre.ca/events for full details and registration.

Exhibitions on view:

Scotiabank Photography Award: Stephen Waddell
September 16–November 28, 2020

This exhibition celebrates the career of 2019 Scotiabank Photography Award winner Stephen Waddell, renowned for his urban scenes made in Canada and Europe. This survey highlights the Vancouver-based artist’s experiments with various photographic techniques and processes, and brings into focus his careful attention to scale and light. Waddell’s elegiac images—colour street compositions of workers and pedestrians, along with more recent black-and-white photographs of caves and grottos—reveal the artist’s painterly sensibility, as well as a found and uncanny theatricality. In a newly-created video for the RIC’s Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall, Waddell revisits his earliest experiments with film from the late 1990s. This silent, non-narrative arrangement of Super-8 films focuses on one of his central photographic motifs: anonymous figures on the street seen walking from behind, followed stealthily as they circulate in various urban environments.

A primary exhibition of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Mohamed Bourouissa: Horse Day
September 16–November 28, 2020

Horse Day is the culmination of an eight-month collaboration between Algerian/French artist Mohamed Bourouissa and young Black horsemen belonging to a non-profit equestrian society in Strawberry Mansion, an impoverished Philadelphia neighbourhood. Centring the narrative on the group’s preparation and presentation of a celebratory riding competition and pageant, Bourouissa’s video examines the visual stereotypes and misrepresentations associated with “cowboy culture” in the United States.

Ethan Murphy: Front & Back
September 16–October 17, 2020

In Front & Back, Ethan Murphy explores the relationship between photography and loss. While searching in the basement of his childhood home for objects belonging to his father, the artist found deteriorating 4×6 inch colour prints that were wet and adhered together in layers. While most of the images were destroyed, abstract fragments revealed glimpses of a deceased loved one. In his photographs and video, Murphy washes and detaches the prints in an act of recovery that transforms the decaying family pictures into precious objects.

Rana Nazzal Hamadeh: 1/1000th of a Dunam
October 28–November 28, 2020

This multimedia exhibition explores Palestinian assertions of belonging through soil. Displaced peoples often collect and cherish soils from their place of origin; here, soil collected in Palestine takes on new meaning and form as it travels from one occupied place to another. Examining the multidimensional significance of land under settler-colonialism, this virtual recreation is acknowledged as incomplete.


Ryerson Image Centre
33 Gould Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Tours by appointment
Wednesday: 12–6 pm
Thursday: 12–6 pm
Friday: 12–6 pm
Saturday: 12–6 pm
Sunday: Closed

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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.

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