Home » The Archive of Modern Conflict: CONTACT Photography Festival, Toronto

The Archive of Modern Conflict: CONTACT Photography Festival, Toronto

This year’s CONTACT photography festival kicked off with a bang at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) in Toronto. I was pleasantly surprised by this year’s show, Collected Shadows: Archive of Modern Conflict (AMC).

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An arrangement of images on the deep purple wall at MOCCA: Image: VoCA

I had never heard of the AMC, even though it is Toronto and London UK-based. And there are over 4 million images in its collection. The archive and its founders seem elusive, but from what I can tell they are an independent publisher of photography and art books.

AMC2 is a journal, and its fourth issue comprises the photographs from the MOCCA exhibition, which was originally an exhibition curated for the photography fair Paris Photo in 2012 and then on view at the Grand Palais in Paris.

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The crowd at MOCCA for the opening of Collected Shadows. Image: VoCA

From a writeup about the book:
The works span a period from the early 1850s to the present day and are by photographers both known and unknown, amongst them Bertha Jaques, Gustave Le Gray, Robert Frank, Willi Ruge, Paul-Émile Miot, Johann Böhm, Ferdinand Quénisset, Mario Giacomelli, Eugene Atget, Josef Sudek and many others, while subjects include earth, fire, air, water and ether as well as divinity, astronomy, meteorology, flight and dance.

It’s a wonderful exhibition, and refreshing. The works are small, and hung closely together in groups. It’s an intimate experience – polar opposite to the large-scale, highly coloured, lightbox-mounted contemporary photography that is so common.

If you can’t make the show, which is on for the month of May, click HERE for a slideshow of some of the images, including the ones below:

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Image from Amc2 journal Issue 4. Image: amcbooks.com

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Image from Amc2 journal Issue 4. Image: amcbooks.com

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Image from Amc2 journal Issue 4. Image: amcbooks.com

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Image from Amc2 journal Issue 4. Image: amcbooks.com

One Response to “The Archive of Modern Conflict: CONTACT Photography Festival, Toronto”

  1. Bianca Hlywa says:

    Loved this exhibition.

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