Proof 23

Hannah Doucet, I Never Recognized Her Except in Fragments, 2015

Agnes Wong, Fragments, 2015

Noah Spivak, They Know When It Rains, untreated photographic darkroom paper, sensitized concrete, 2016

Anique J Jordan, Fish Market, "Salt" Series, 2015

Jeneen Frei Njootli, CHUGLIFE video still, collaboration with Corey Bulpitt, 2015

Anyse Ducharme, que l'espace s'effondre, image 1.9, 2015

Proof 23 installation view. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

Anique J. Jordan, "Salt" Series. Proof 23 installation view. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

Proof 23 installation view. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

Proof 23 installation view. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

Proof 23 installation view. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

Proof 23 installation view. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

Proof 23 installation view. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

Proof 23 installation view. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

Proof 23 installation view. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

Proof 23

Friday, June 3, 2016 to Thursday, June 30, 2016
Opening Reception:
June 3,
6:00PM to 8:00PM
Walk through with the artists
June 3,
5:00PM to 6:00PM
About the Exhibition: 

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 and has featured work by Karin Bubas, Janieta Eyre, Isabelle Hayeur, Germaine Koh, Laurie Kang, Nicholas Pye, Althea Thauberger, and Andrew Wright. 

This year, Proof 23 takes a comprehensive look at the practices of six emerging artists whose work reflects diverse issues explored in contemporary photography in poignant and nuanced ways. Anique J Jordan’s black and white series, Salt: A Still Performance, investigates colonial histories by exploring spaces in San Fernando Trinidad that are central to her ancestral history. In her powerful self-portraits, Jordan appears as a spectre, haunting domestic spaces with an expressionless gaze, referencing the legacy of slavery, while also pointing to the resilience and collective strength of Trinidadian women. Similarly contesting and reimagining colonial histories, Jeneen Frei Njootli's work confronts negative stereotypes used against Gwich'in, First Nations. Njootli's He Has No Middle Name questions the offensive term “Loucheux” by inscribing it across a family photograph of a recent hunt, while the video CHUGLIFE explores stereotypes associated with substance abuse within First Nations communities, both creating a space for self-determination. 

In contrast, Anyse Ducharme's work is concerned with the altering and corrupting of photographic data and how that can be manifested in material form. In fusing spaces through reflections in photographic data, Ducharme creates digital negative prints on acetate, addressing digital photography's immateriality. Hannah Doucet explores anxieties experienced in relation to the inaccurate representations of the female figure by creating a photo-sculptural work that speaks to the relationship between what is being represented in the photograph and how the photograph functions as material object. Doucet further renders the female figure by printing on fabric, allowing for representation of the body to take on sculptural connotations through its material presence. Noah Spivak similarly explores the materiality of photography by foregrounding a concern for spatial relationships between the photograph/object and the environment in which it resides. Spivak is also interested in addressing the processes involved in photography and how the photographic print becomes vulnerable to its environment over time. This is demonstrated through use of chemistry to produce an image subject to rapid change through concrete’s sensitivity to photographic paper. The sculptural remains from the concrete will also be exhibited alongside the images. 

Finally, Agnes Wong, explores spatial relationships, focusing on the void between subjects and objects within the photograph itself. Wong relates the spatial relationship in her images to growing up Chinese in Toronto and feeling disconnected from both cultures. Wong communicates a sense of isolation by placing both herself and the objects in her images at the very edge of the frame. The artists of Proof 23 exemplify the diverse practices taking place in contemporary art in Canada and how each artist’s background has shaped the distinct yet nuanced perspectives in their work.

-Jordan Browne, Exhibitions Intern 2015/16

Artist Biography: 

Agnes Wong is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, photographer, and filmmaker based in Toronto. She is currently attending the Design Academy Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Anique J Jordan employs photography, performance, poetry and installation to draw attention to the black body as a sight of futuristic imagining. Her current auto-biographical work looks at family history, survival of black women and the use of cultural production in gravely intimate, yet global journeys. She has worked in South Africa, Barbados and Ecuador as a creative and has been recognized locally and internationally for her work through awards, residencies and fellowships including representing Canada at the first World Afro-descendent Youth Summit.  Her recent photography exhibitions include the Art Gallery of Ontario, Crossroads Art Space and the Watah Gallery.

In her work, Anyse Ducharme is interested in the computer, the Internet and the circulation of digital imagery.  She has obtained an MFA in Studio Arts from the University of British Columbia and a BFA in Visual Arts from the University of Ottawa.  She also has college diploma in 3D Animation from la Cité collégiale.  She has exhibited both in group and solo, including (Arti)fiction at la Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario in Sudbury, Digital Alterities at InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre in Toronto, and as part of the Flash Forward festival for emergent photography in Boston.

Hannah Doucet is a photo-based artist from Winnipeg, Canada. Her practice is rooted within the medium of photography, with material explorations also extending to video, textile, sculptural, and installation based processes. Her work explores the body, representation, materiality and failure within the medium of photography. She received her BFA Honours from the University of Manitoba in 2015. Hannah has exhibited in alternative spaces and artist-run centers throughout the city of Winnipeg, with a solo exhibition, Present Absence at C Space in 2015. She has also exhibited nationally, at Art Mur (Montreal) and Avenue (Vancouver), with upcoming participation in a group exhibition Proof 23 at Gallery 44 (Toronto) and a solo exhibition at The New Gallery (Calgary) in 2016.  She is a co-founder of SCAN, a contemporary art publication based in Winnipeg as well as a committee member for Flux Gallery a newly initiated gallery project for early-stage emerging artists. 

Jeneen Frei Njootli is a Gwich'in artist and a founding member of the ReMatriate collective currently based on unceded Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver. In 2012, she graduated from Emily Carr University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and went on to hold a Visual Art Studio Work Study position at The Banff Centre. Frei Njootli’s practice concerns itself with Indigeneity-in-politics, community engagement and productive disruptions. She has worked as a performance artist, workshop facilitator, crime prevention youth coordinator, hunter/trapper and has exhibited across Canada. Her works are in the permanent collections of the Yukon Art Collection and the Aboriginal Affairs and Northen Development Art Collection. 

Noah Spivak is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University for Art & Design, who majored in photography and sculpture but retains heavy interests in installation and curatorial practices. Born and raised in Vancouver, Spivak’s works offer no personal autobiography. They do not reference photography’s most commercially embraced and socially trusted function: to preserve moments, to invest in memories. Noah’s current processes isolate, break and reconstitute the materials that compose photographs, producing versions of the photographic that present audiences with the distance that can exist between a physical object and a study of visual re-presentation. Spivak has exhibited both nationally and internationally.

Writer: 

Since the mid-90s, Shani K Parsons has pursued a multidisciplinary practice focused initially through the lenses of architecture and urban planning, then installation and graphic design, and most recently through research, writing, curation, and collaboration. In the process she has produced an eclectic body of work ranging from intimate artist’s books to immersive exhibitions for venues including the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Rhode Island School of Design, the Museum of Chinese in America (MoCA NY), and Mixed Greens, a contemporary art gallery in Chelsea. After moving to Toronto, she established TYPOLOGY Projects as a way to provide opportunities for curators and artists to mount fully realized exhibitions within a critical framework. Through a wide-ranging annual program of exhibitions supported by the production of original publications, editions, and related events, TYPOLOGY is an open platform for diverse curatorial and artistic practices and perspectives, and a forum for the exchange of ideas on exhibition-making as a way to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life.