2016 – Humanitas

The tradition of an annual Third Year Show in the School of Image Arts developed after the establishment of an off-campus exhibition space in the downtown Toronto arts district. Humanitas is the fifteenth in this series of annual exhibitions. For 2016, the exhibition was installed in the Third Floor Gallery of the Gladstone Hotel on Queen Street West.

The title of this year’s exhibition is explained in the catalog Introduction:

In Latin, there is one word that embodies human nature, civilization, and human consideration: humanitas.

For this exhibition…third year Image Arts Photography students have come together as one collective to present Humanitas, a visual discussion of the human condition. The vast multitudes of work—from portraiture to documentary, 3D to large scale prints, and everything in between—explore notions of seeing others, seeing ourselves and engage with thoughts of memory, relationships and self-representation…. Here, the expressive possibilities of the photographic medium are examined from perspectives of identity, depiction, individuality, and selfhood.

The varying dimensions of the Gladstone exhibition spaces led to an interesting mix of approaches to image-making, and wide variation in the scale of work on display. Representation and dream, staged and symbolic imagery, the omnipresence of digital media and the ongoing question of reality in a digital environment were all explored in this exhibition, as was the very question of photographic portraiture itself. Even the title of this year’s assignment represented a shift in emphasis, as the assignment description was changed from the somewhat abstract idea of exploring “the human subject” to the more concrete and active challenge of “seeing others / seeing ourselves.”

Catalog Design: Andy Vathis and Emmett Charuk

Curation and Publication Directors: Kameron Payumo and Cassandrea Xavier

Introduction: Cassandrea Xavier

Thanks to Robert Burley, Hilary Roche, Katy McCormick and Michael Kim