Photography is often considered a solitary pursuit, but the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) in Toronto, Canada hopes to overturn this conception with a research project led by artists, scholars, and curators such as Ariella Azoulay, Wendy Ewald, Susan Meiselas, Leigh Raiford, and Laura Wexler. Now an exhibition at RIC called Collaboration: A Potential History of Photography is putting their work on view.
Featuring approximately 90 photographic projects the work on show demonstrates some of the many ways photographers have collaborated with their subjects and other participants. It includes Wendy Ewald’s Reciprocating in Arabic installation, which combines image and text in an attempt to show the experience of walking through the Arabic language, and WEB Du Bois’ The Potential of the Archive I, a look into the history and present challenges of black America, among many other projects.
Organised by guest curator Ilana Shamoon and Christine McLean, the accompanying events programme involves talks, tours and workshops presented in partnership with community organisations such as the Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue (BAND), The RUDE Collective, the University of Toronto, and more.
Coinciding with the show is an exhibition of Jim Goldberg’s seminal project Rich and Poor, in which the Magnum photographer invited San Francisco residents at both ends of the economic spectrum to write comments on the portraits he had taken of them. Shot between 1977-1985, and first exhibited at New York’s MoMA in 1984, the project marked a milestone in Goldberg’s career. He has now become known for his collaborative work, often involving neglected communities. “My only agenda,” says Goldberg, “is to bring attention to otherwise ignored and shunned lives.”
Collaboration. A Potential History of Photography and Jim Goldberg: Rich and Poor run until 08 April at the Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto, Canada ryersonimagecentre.ca. For the full event program, visit ryersonimagecentre.ca/exhibition/collaborate/