Four new exhibitions

Four new exhibitions

Ryerson Image Centre at Ryerson University

Bob Fitch, Martin L. King (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America, December 1965. Reproduction from the Black Star Collection, Ryerson University.
February 21, 2013
Four new exhibitions

Lecture by Alfredo Jaar: February 28, 2013

Ryerson Image Centre
33 Gould Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Admission is free

T 416 979 5164
[email protected]

Human rights is the focus of four exhibitions at the Ryerson Image Centre. More than 300 original photographs from the Black Star Collection on view. Alfredo Jaar discusses his recent work at Kodak Lecture. Clive Holden invites public nominations of photographs for UNAMERICAN UNFAMOUS.


Four new exhibitions are currently on view at the Ryerson Image Centre: HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN WRONGS; Alfredo Jaar: The Politics of Images; Clive Holden: UNAMERICAN UNFAMOUS; and Dominic Nahr: Captive State. In addition, Alfredo Jaar will discuss his most recent projects around the world at a Kodak Lecture entitled “It is Difficult” on Thursday, February 28, 2013.

Featuring 316 original prints from the prestigious Black Star Collection, HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN WRONGS uses the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a point of departure to examine whether images of political struggle, suffering and victims of violence work for or against humanitarian objectives, especially when considering questions of race, representation, ethical responsibility and the cultural position of the photographer. Curated by Mark Sealy, Director of Autograph ABP in London, England, and named a 2012 Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to photography, HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN WRONGS begins circa 1945 and includes well-known Civil Rights Movement events such as the Selma to Montgomery March and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The exhibition also features images of the independence movements in African countries including Kenya, Algeria, Chad, and Congo; portraits of Nobel Peace Prize winners Lester B. Pearson, Yasser Arafat, and René Cassin; images of protests in locations such as Berkeley, Chile, and Argentina; and war and conflict from the Vietnam War to the Rwandan Genocide in 1994.

Through HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN WRONGS, we see the wide dissemination of photographic images of humankind in abject, euphoric or violently explicit conditions, and examine how these images assist us in understanding the case for human and civil rights. Viewer discretion is advised. HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN WRONGS is made possible by the generous support of TD Bank Group, with additional funding from the Paul J. Ruhnke Memorial Fund, the Howard and Carole Tanenbaum Family Charitable Foundation and Ryerson University. The exhibition is a collaboration with Autograph ABP (supported by Arts Council England) HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN WRONGS will be on view in the Ryerson Image Centre Main Gallery until April 14, 2013.

Alfredo Jaar: The Politics of Images, curated by Dr. Gaëlle Morel, exhibitions curator at the RIC, addresses political concerns and the relationship between ethics and aesthetics. The Chilean-born, New York-based, artist highlights ignored contemporary tragedies such as genocides, epidemics, and famines, to promote cultural change. In his works Searching for Africa in Life (1996) and From Time to Time (2006), Jaar displays covers of news magazines to analyze the lack of visibility and the visual clichés about Africa disseminated in Western culture. The artist’s three-channel video We Wish to Inform You That We Didn’t Know (2010), his most recent project on the genocide in Rwanda, acts as an epilogue to The Rwanda Project, 1994–2000, a series of twenty-five artworks developed to critique the world’s indifference and inaction to that mass murder. Alfredo Jaar: The Politics of Images will be on view in the Ryerson Image Centre University Gallery until April 14, 2013.

The Ryerson Image Centre and the School of Image Arts are pleased to present Alfredo Jaar in a Kodak Lecture entitled “It is Difficult,” in which he will discuss his most recent projects around the world. The Kodak Lecture will take place on Thursday, February 28, 2013, 7pm, at Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, LIB-72. Admission is free.

Clive Holden invites people from all over the world to nominate a photograph of someone who is both “un-American” and “unjustly un-famous” for inclusion in UNAMERICAN UNFAMOUS. Holden asks, “Is it un-American to be un-famous? Are Americans failures if they die without fame?” Drawing from the Black Star Collection at Ryerson University, he creates UNAMERICAN UNFAMOUS using the “un-famous” as an organizing principle in his selection of one hundred image details and faces. Plucked from obscurity, these people can be found in the backgrounds of famous photographs, or simply hidden in the depths of a photographic archive. At times they are literally seen over the shoulders of celebrities in the iconic photographs that capture the “American Century”. The work’s media tile construction is made with a hybrid adaptation of photographic, cinematic, and web tools. It also uses film leader as raw material (the beginning and end pieces of film reels). With a complex series of randomizing algorithms, these film loops are juxtaposed and continually remixed with the “unsung human leaders” found in the Black Star Collection, as well as with photographs of local un-famous un-Americans nominated by members of the public. The work will evolve over the course of the exhibition as community-nominated images are added. Nominations of photographs are being accepted until March 15, 2013. Nominations are being accepted at Clive Holden: UNAMERICAN UNFAMOUS is curated by Dr. Gaëlle Morel, and will be on view on the Ryerson Image Centre’s Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall until April 14, 2013.

Captive State is an exhibition of photographs taken by Dominic Nahr during two trips to Somalia. In August 2011, Nahr traveled to Mogadishu with Alex Perry (TIME‘s Africa Bureau Chief) to document the famine in Southern Somalia. They found overwhelming suffering and death; approximately 150,000 of the 2.8 million Somalis affected eventually starved to death. Almost as appalling was the knowledge that a US anti-terrorism policy unwittingly blocked aid to the famine areas for years. Perry writes, “If drought set the conditions for last year’s famine in East Africa, it was man who ensured it.” When Nahr and Perry returned to Mogadishu the following year, the improvements were tangible, but as Perry states, “If Mogadishu was enjoying its longest sustained peace in 21 years of civil war, you couldn’t mistake that for a return to normality.” A TIME Contract Photographer and Magnum Photos Nominee, Dominic Nahr graduated from the photography program at Ryerson University in 2008. Dominic Nahr: Captive State will be on view in the Ryerson Image Centre’s Student Gallery until March 10, 2013.

These exhibitions have been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.

Media contact

Heather Kelly, Director of Marketing and Communications, Ryerson Image Centre,

Ryerson University: T 416 364 5701 / [email protected].

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February 21, 2013

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