by Ken Tsui | Living in a digital age where most of our daily photo intake is experienced in squares via cellphone, the Capture Photography Festival re-focuses our expectations and awareness for the possibilities of a picture. Starting April 1st and running until the 28th, the annual photography fest is back for its 4th year. Boasting over 100 free exhibitions, public art projects and events throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, it’s one of the largest festivals of its kind in Western Canada. With a little less than a month to see it all, we suggest taking an afternoon or two for some venue hopping, leaving a little time in-between each for a drink or a bite to process what you’ve been looking at. From our cheatsheet to yours…
Song of the Open Road | Apr 1 – Jun 18, 2017
Contemporary Art Gallery | 555 Nelson Street
The Capture Festival’s feature exhibition and opening reception, “Song for the Open Road”, is an international and Canadian group show at the entire Contemporary Art Gallery space this year. The diverse show features artists exploring a wide range of topics including “photographic histories, engaging ideas such as veracity, recollection, remembrance, belonging, staging, and how the image documents and records these or is evidence of differing realities.” After checking out the show – since it was inspired by the Walt Whitman poem of the same name (the writer was known for his love of oysters) – we suggest heading over to the Blue Water Cafe for a few bivalves and a glass of wine before moving on to the next.
The Capture Speaker Series | April 4th, 11th, 18th & 25th
Inform Interiors | 50 Water Street | All talks take place from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. RSVP online to make sure you nab a seat.
This year, Inform is home to a series of free talks featuring 4 artists on view at this year’s Capture. Some talks will be moderated by local creatives such as Vancouver photographer Christos Dikeakos, who will be chatting with artist Alex Morrison on the disjointed history of the city; and director of HCMA Architecture + Design, Mark Busse, who will be in conversation with architectural photographer Ema Peter on the relationship between design and photography. In the spirit of perfect pairings, we suggest you stop in at PiDGiN around the corner for some cocktails and a snack or three, not to mention some post-lecture discussion.
The Vancouver Photo Book Fair | April 22nd – 23rd, 11am – 6pm
Western Front | 303 East 8th Avenue
The Vancouver Photo Book Fair at the Western Front is your chance to take some of Capture’s photography home with you. The photo book is one of the earliest forms of spreading photography and continues to be one of the essential ways of experiencing the art. A first of it’s kind, each table at the Fair will feature an array of local and international publishers and artists. If wandering through the Fair has built up an appetite, we suggest you grab a seat at the nearby Federal Store. It’s the perfect place to have a sandwich and a coffee as you peruse the haul of photo books you just bought. Also check the daily menu at Dock Lunch via Instagram.
FotoFilmic ’16 | Apr 6 – May 20, 2017
Burrard Arts Foundation | 108 East Broadway
In the age of digital photography, FotoFilmic ’16 is a show that champions the analogue and a far-reaching view of film-based photo-making. In an intense process, the curators of the show shortlisted over 90 from around the world for a show that celebrates the current state of film-based images telling a global story. In keeping with the theme, stop in at Chicha, the modern Peruvian restaurant that is just a stones throw from the gallery. Dig into one of our favourite chicken skewer dishes – pollo antichuchos – before moving on to your next stop.
Rock, Paper, Scissors | Feb 4 – Apr 30, 2017
Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre | 6688 Southoaks Crescent
Cindy Mochizuki’s multimedia Rock, Paper, Scissors pushes the boundaries of photography and was an unexpected addition to Capture. With video, animation, radio drama and sculpture, Mochizuki’s immersive experience is a trilogy of short stories that bridges Canada and Japan by way of migration and natural resources. With the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre being a hub of Japanese programming, make sure to extend your cultural experience by taking a trip next door to Hi Genki. Located right next to the Centre, the restaurant is a great place for authentic, home-style Japanese dishes in a no frills cafeteria setting.
Public Installations at Capture | Apr 1 – Sep 1, 2017
This is an incredible year to experience public photographic art at Capture. With partnerships including InTransit BC and Pattison Outdoor, there are two,large-scale, multi-location, outdoor projects that will keep you bouncing from artwork to artwork. The Capture Canada Line Project will feature multiple artists on the theme On and Off the Road installed on the exteriors of seven Canada Line stations, from Waterfront to Marine Drive while The Capture Billboard Project invites public art installations by Barb Choit, Anne Collier, Annette Kelm and Evan Lee throughout billboards in Vancouver. With a wide range of styles on view for both projects, we suggest you pack a lunch as you pinball your way through the city. Or better yet, plan a trip that ends with checking out Matthew Brook’s public artwork, The Telephone Salesman, in New Westminster, grabbing a Pad Thai lunch at chef Angus An’s Longtail Kitchen along the way.
Hope in Shadows: Portraits of Our Community | Apr 7 – May 12, 2017
HiVE Vancouver Society | 210 – 128 West Hastings St.
Hope in Shadows is an incredible project that celebrates the artistic spirit of the Downtown Eastside. Each image gives voice to the inspiring, largely unheard stories of a neighbourhood through the eyes of its residents. The project begins as a photography contest with winners juried by community vote and a panel of artists before being published in the annual calendar, which is sold in a forward-thinking program with revenue going to support low-income vendors. Catch the latest batch of photos from the calendar with a chance to buy framed prints (proceeds supporting Megaphone Magazine) before slipping into Wildebeest for one of their newfangled Refashioned cocktails and some poutine.
Top image: Dawit Petros, Untitled (Epilogue III), Catania, Italy