Festival Archive

Alessandra Sanguinetti, The Necklace, 1999 © Alessandra Sanguinetti, courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery

Between Memory & History

The enormous impact of the ever-evolving technologies of photography has been an overriding concern at CONTACT in recent years. We have questioned photography’s ability to represent the truth, explored rapidly increasing global interconnections and celebrated constructed imagery within photographic culture. Throughout these explorations we found that the fundamental nature of the medium – its ability to preserve our individual memories and collective histories – at least for the moment, remains unchanged.

Photography has been associated with memory since its invention and memory has long been described as a continuous exchange of images. As we experience the global shift from film to digital technology, will photographic images merely become “memories made easy”? Through our primary exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), an array of public installations and 29 feature exhibitions, this year’s festival will reveal how photography remains central to our understanding of the world around us. As the increasing participation in CONTACT demonstrates, photography is prevalent throughout our lives, now more then ever before, and wields a complex relationship to human experience.

We are very grateful for the continued support of Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co., our premier sponsor and our partner in presenting public installations throughout the city. Our gratitude also goes to Scotiabank for their support of our exhibition at MOCCA and the new Scotiabank Scholarship and Prize. Sincere thanks go to our official media sponsors – Fashion Television Channel and enRoute magazine – and to our official daily newspaper the Toronto Star. Thanks also to Tourism Toronto and The National Gallery of Canada.

Our appreciation goes out to everyone involved in CONTACT 2008 – including exhibition venues, education and exhibition partners, our funders, sponsors and advertisers, CONTACT’s board of directors, staff and volunteers and, especially, the participating artists and photographers. Of course their photographs are not actual memories or events in history, but they elaborately communicative the complexity of the past, from somewhere in between.

—Darcy Killeen, Executive Director
—Bonnie Rubenstein, Festival Director and Editor