In On Photography (1977), Susan Sontag describes photography as “putting one’s self into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge, and therefore like power.” Capture Photography Festival, celebrating Metro Vancouver’s photographic community, reimagines power as empowering—sharing the work of established and emerging photographers in a slate of city-wide, multi-platformed programming. The not-for-profit kicks off its inaugural year this October with more than 50 exhibitions at museums, galleries, and artist-run centers. The festival also spills out into the streets with public realm installations: Pattison billboards feature new works by Edward Burtynsky and highly-curated installations at Canada Line stations include works by Karin Bubaš, Antoni Muntadas, Mungo Thomson, and the winner of the festival’s Capture in Transit competition. Programming also includes artist and curator talks, panel discussions, book signings, and films on photography.
Vancouver Association for Photographic Arts board member and Capture executive director Kim Spencer-Nairn, inspired by festivals in other major cities, observed that “Vancouver is brimming with photographic talent that deserves to be celebrated”. She enlisted Julie Lee and Capture was born. Lee has long been part of Vancouver’s creative community as founding board member of Vancouver-based DRAWN festival and past curator for Winsor Gallery.
Highlights include the festival launch event on October 1st at the Museum of Vancouver alongside the opening of The Evolution of Street Photography from Foncie Pulice to the 21st Century. From 1930s onward, Pulice captured the momentum of downtown Vancouver. Complementing the exhibition, Lincoln Clarkes, Angela Fama, Brian Howell, and John Goldsmith present work in the spirit of the famed street photographer’s oeuvre. The exhibition situates photographic practice in a digital, “social” world where conceptions of privacy, technology, and self-representation are ever-changing.
The new AHVA Gallery at the University of British Columbia opens with The Photo Show: 1969/2013—Exploring the Photo Conceptual Archive, which features works from Iain Baxter, Christos Dikeakos, Dan Graham, Douglas Huebler, Robert Smithson, Jeff Wall, and Ian Wallace.
Exhibitions run the gamut of commercial and conceptual traditions. Known for intimate celebrity portraits and evocative nudes, Greg Gorman’s exhibition at Pendulum Gallery curated by Lee and co-presented by Vancouver Photo Workshops is a rock ‘n’ roll tour de force of pop culture’s elite: Bowie, Hendrix, Waits, Warhol, and more. The Capture-produced Ensuing Pictures: The Peer-to-Peer Exhibition at Emily Carr University of Art + Design Concourse Gallery sees established artists Vikky Alexander, Jim Breukelman, Mark Lewis, Mark Ruwedel, and Jeff Wall nominate emerging Canadian and international photographic voices.
The festival runs October 1st to November 15th, 2013 and is open to the public, free of charge.