Sara Cwynar, Umi, 2022. Courtesy of the Artist and Cooper Cole, Toronto. Photo: Jocelyne Junker, Capture Photography Festival.
WELCOME MESSAGE FROM EMMY LEE WALL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Photography is the common language of modern history. It’s everywhere; and everyone, in some way, understands it.” – Holland Cotter.
So begins Pulitzer Prize winning art critic Holland Cotter’s review of Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life at the International Center of Photography for the New York Times in 2012. A decade later, this statement is no less true. It is this ability to connect, unite and bring recognition – this transcendence – that makes the medium so potent. Welcome to Capture 2022!
We hope the exhibitions, public art installations, special projects, talks and events, and our catalogue will incite dialogue and offer engaging, and even challenging experiences. As a diverse array of local, national and international artists converge during the Festival, we are presented with a moment to consider the shape-shifting nature of the medium and it’s powerful ability to represent—as well as the responsibility that comes with that.
I am inspired daily by the growing community of artists, curators, organizations, donors and sponsors that are eager to support the work that we do. A sincere thank you to everyone who collaborates with us to make the Festival happen. I especially want to acknowledge TD Bank, Capture’s Presenting Sponsor, whose support cannot be overstated.
Capture is the culmination of the tremendous efforts of a small, dedicated staff and the leadership of our intrepid Board lead by Kim Spencer-Nairn. We all learn so much from each other and I’m truly thankful to work with you all.
We put this year’s Festival together during incredibly disquieting times; still, the work we do is exceedingly hopeful. Many artists in the Festival question the ways in which lens-based work can be used as a tool through which to engage with the issues of our times. In a text titled “A Gathering of Sous” in As we Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic on the Wedge Collection, Mark Sealy writes “Though photographs never provide the complete answers, they might, at times, adjust or reset our sense of reality. Most important, they can help us frame new questions, uncouple and delink us from harmful dominant narratives, and allow us to feel the presence of a past moment in the now of our time.” I am reminded time after time through the work that we do that the greatest possibility of art is that it allows us to imagine an alternative, speculative future; this is incredibly inspiring at this moment. I want to sincerely thank every artist, writer, cultural worker and curator who is participating in Capture this year – your commitment to sharing your work and vision during these most challenging of times is an act of bravery and we are grateful to you.
Emmy Lee Wall