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Proof 21 - Opening Reception

Proof 21 - Opening Reception

Exhibition runs JUNE 20, 2020 - JULY 26, 2020

Proof is Gallery 44’s annual exhibition of photo-based work by Canadian emerging artists reflecting a range of current concerns and practices in contemporary photography from across the country. Proof is often one of the first exhibitions in a professional context for an emerging artist as was the case for artists such as Karin Bubas, Janieta Eyre, Isabelle Hayeur, Germaine Koh, Nicholas Pye, Althea Thauberger, and Andrew Wright.

In celebration of WorldPride 2014, Proof 21 is taking on a thematic focus for the first time. In keeping with WorldPride 2014 Toronto’s mission, Proof 21 provides a platform for highlighting human rights issues and activism, while exploring identity, gender and sexual politics and constructs and the politics of representation.

The featured artists in Proof 21 offer unique approaches to the thematically centred exhibition. Brett Gundlock explores activism and resistance through documenting the small town of Cheran (just west of Mexico City) the residence of which drove out corrupt, exploitative loggers using fireworks and rocks, inciting revolution and social change. While Michelle O'Byrne traces the surplus value contained in images and objects through revealing widely held social mythologies and addressing representation in pop culture. Megan Morman takes a celebratory turn with her large-scale portraits made of thousands of fusible, plastic beads. The bead portraits are based on photos of notable queer artists, through which Megan designs her fantasy art party. Finally Aidan Cowling and Lindsay Fisher turn their attention to the Internet. Lindsay recreates, and in the process reclaims, on-line video blogging and instructional 'how-to' videos that perpetuate standard notions of beauty and normalcy. While Aidan explores abstract ways desire and the queer experience are visualized and represented via digital ephemera. Whether overt or subtle each artist is deeply committed to exploring representation and identity; subversion of heteronorms; and the questioning of widely held social codes.

Proof 21 Jury: Steven Beckly, Noa Bronstein, John G Hampton, Morris Lum

Artist Biography

Aidan Cowling is a Toronto-based artist and curator who works in a variety of media including, photo, installation, maps and web based projects. His work explores the intersection of queerness and materiality and attempts to uncover the landscapes and language of sexual liberation. He is a part of various collectives and has been shown in galleries internationally including Yogiga Gallery, Hangram Design Museum, Gallery 44, YYZ, and Xpace.

Based in Toronto, Canada, Brett Gundlock is a freelance photographer and is a founding member of the Boreal Collective. After working for three years as a staff photographer at National Post, Gundlock struck out on his own. He now divides his time between assignment work and personal photographic interests. Gundlock’s images explore the subcultures that exist in tandem with mainstream culture. Skinheads, 2010 G-20 detainees, and recent immigrants are several of the marginalized groups Gundlock has worked with. In 2014, he will continuing to create work in Mexico and the Alberta Oilsands. The intersections of journalism and conceptual art are a continued focus for Gundlock’s photography. Blurring the arbitrary boundaries between these photographic styles is one of his frequent explorations.

Lindsay Fisher is a visual artist with various practices in digital media, photography, illustration, textiles and graphic arts. Her work often reflects an investigation into identity, the body, and notions of difference. Her recent work in digital media and embroidery explores representations of gender and sexuality within the context of online media with an interest in how individuals negotiate, interact and experience different understandings of sex and gender. Lindsay holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University and a Bachelor of Graphic Design from OCAD University. She currently works in Toronto.

Michelle O'Byrne was born in Dublin, Ireland and currently resides in Vancouver. She holds a BFA in Photographic Studies from Ryerson University and is currently completing an MA in Visual Arts at Emily Carr University of Art & Design. Her work has been exhibited in various galleries across Canada and internationally.

Megan Morman’s transdisciplinary visual practice explores the roles of gossip, storytelling, and play in establishing the professional identities of artists and cultural workers. Her portraits and text-based installations have shown in solo exhibitions at galleries across Canada, including the Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton), Stride (Calgary), Neutral Ground (Regina), Artspace (Peterborough), & Galerie Sans Nom (Moncton). Morman grew up in rural Minnesota, and spent 15 years working in queer/arts non-profits in Saskatoon before moving to Lethbridge in 2012.

The forethcoming Proof 21 publication is co-presented with KAPSULA Magazine.


For more information contact:

or visit: www.gallery44.org/proof21

• All ages welcome
• Free to attend event
• Accessible space

Event Date: JUNE 20, 2020
Event Start Time: 6:00 PM
Event Location: Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography 401 Richmond St. West Unit #120, Toronto

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