MAY 1 – JUNE 1, 2014

2014 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

Shaped by ancestry, society, and history, material belongings and body embellishments have always served to communicate an individual’s sense of self; clothing and possessions are the fundamental elements through which self-image is expressed. As an outward expression of one’s inner most sensibilities and subjectivities, people perform their identities and position themselves in relation to the world around them. Influencing how the self is represented and seen, photography plays a significant role in the social and cultural construction of identity.

Material Self: Performing the Other Within brings together photo-based works by eight artists from the four corners of the world, all of whom explore the potential of clothing, costume, uniform, and props to communicate character and to draw a bridge across distances. They fuse cultures, traditions, and customs, linking the past to the present through performative gestures that reveal breakdowns in cultural boundaries and the cross-pollination of identities. While many of them reflect upon their heritage, rituals, and the country in which they live, some seek to examine distant mythologies and internal experiences. Each of the artists make use of materials, props, and associated iconographies and signifiers to articulate shifting identities, while challenging stereotypes and fixed expectations. They bring light to the other within, an entity of the self that emerges from their images.

David Favrod/ Charles Fréger/ Hendrik Kerstens/ Namsa Leuba/
Meryl McMaster/ Dominique Rey/ Tomoko Sawada/ Mary Sibande

Curated by David Liss and Bonnie Rubenstein
Organized by MOCCA and Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

Image: Dominique Rey, Winter Green, C-print, 2011.

Installation Shots

Image Credit: Toni Hafkenscheid

Opening Reception

Friday, May 2, 7-10 pm


Artist’s Talk
Saturday, May 3, 11:30 am
Artists Namsa Leuba, Dominique Rey, and David Favrod will present talks on the work featured in Material Self: Performing the Other Within.

Curatorial Talk
Wednesday, May 14, 6 pm
Curators David Liss and Bonnie Rubenstein will lead a public tour of the CONTACT exhibitions on view at MOCCA.



Contact Festival

Yasumasa-Morimura-NGCLuminato 2014 - Paradisiacal Rites