Toronto specializing in contemporary photography

Alejandro Cartagena public installation for CONTACT

Alejandro Cartagena
Alejandro Cartagena, Carpooler #2 (detail) and Carpooler #1 (detail), from his Carpoolers series, 2011

Circuit Gallery is thrilled that gallery artist Alejandro Cartagena‘s work has been curated into an innovative and ambitious public art installation as part of the 2015 Scotiabank Contact photography festival. The exhibition takes over Warden subway station (google map).


Alejandro Cartagena’s work to take over Toronto’s Warden subway station as an official public installation for the Scotiabank CONTACT photography festival

Toronto, ON, April, 2015 — PATTISON Onestop and Art for Commuters are pleased to present Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities, featuring noted Mexican artist, Alejandro Cartagena’s images on 55 advertising posters, converting Toronto’s Warden subway station into a distinctive exhibition space. The exhibition also threads throughout the city’s subway system, via a series of videos by Kingston, Ontario art duo, Julia Krolik and Owen Fernley capturing the attention of more than one million daily commuters from May 1 to 31, 2015.

An official public installation of Scotiabank CONTACT, Toronto’s annual photography festival, the 9th annual Contacting Toronto addresses issues of transportation, suburban development and sustainability. Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities is curated by Sharon Switzer.

Cartagena’s series Carpoolers (2011–2012) adopts a bird’s eye view of construction workers and landscapers gathered together in the beds of pickup trucks. Travelling to the wealthy suburban communities outside of Monterrey, Mexico that they build and maintain, the men lounge together, nestled among the tools and detritus of their professions. His Suburbia Mexicana (2006–2010) series focuses on the rise of poorer suburbs. Tiny cookie-cutter homes spread across the horizon, while families pose in front of these simple dwellings, proud of their new neighbourhoods.

Intersection (2015) is a series of videos by Krolik and Fernley, shown non-stop on 5 TTC LCD screens throughout Warden Station and every 5 minutes at 62 other stations across the city. Aerial views of suburban homes, roads, and parking lots are revealed with map-like precision, through the use of government orthophotos. The artists created a custom image processor to randomly sample images from a suburban region north of the GTA. Appearing as a triptych of changing images, this expanse transforms continuously as unnamed communities replace one another, details blurring into a seemingly never-ending suburban landscape.

“The artwork in Expanding Cities asks viewers to think critically about suburban expansion and sustainability,” said Sharon Switzer, National Arts Programmer and Curator, PATTISON Onestop. “Warden station, at the eastern edge of Toronto’s subway system, may seem like an unlikely place to mount an ambitious art installation, but I believe the relatively remote location will enhance viewers’ appreciation of work.”

For artist’s bios and statements, and to view a selection of Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities images and an exhibition essay by Nives Hajdin, please visit

Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities is co-produced by PATTISON Onestop and Art for Commuters, in partnership with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, with financial support from the Ontario Arts Council and PATTISON Outdoor’s Art in Transit program.


Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival –
PATTISON Onestop – – @onestopmedia
Art in Transit – – @ArtTransit
Art for Commuters – – @art4commuters

About Onestop
Onestop is a world leader in the development and operation of Digital Out-of-Home Media (DOOH). Onestop creates and delivers uniquely engaging experiences that connect the physical and digital worlds, and provides audiences timely and relevant information in engaging spaces. Onestop leverages proprietary technology to deploy digital campaigns for mass transit, office, airport, residential, and retail environments, as well as being the exclusive media provider in the PATH – Toronto’s underground walkway connecting office towers and subway stations to over 1,200 shops and services. Onestop is a division of PATTISON Outdoor Advertising.

For more information contact:
Marie Nazar, Arts Publicist, PATTISON Onestop
416-762-7702 |



Circuit Gallery is pleased to support the following connected events.

Friday, May 8th at 6:00pm
Alejandro Cartagena: Learning from Latin American (Sub)Urbanism
OCADU, 100 McCaul Street, Room 230

Artist talk, followed by a conversation with author, Shawn Micallef.

This event is co-presented by CONTACT, Latin American-Canadian Art Projects Speaker Series (LACAP), the Faculty of Art at OCAD University (Photography Department), and Circuit Gallery, in conjunction with Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities.

Wednesday, May 6th – Thursday, May 7th
Alejandro Cartagena: The Photobook
Gallery 44 Centre For Contemporary Photography
401 Richmond St W, Suite 120

Cartagena will teach a two day workshop focused on photo book history, edit and sequencing methods. Cartagena’s recent self-published book carpooler was listed as one of the best photo books in 2014 by Time magazine.

This event is co-presented by Gallery 44, Centre for Contemporary Photography, CONTACT, LACAP and Circuit Gallery, in conjunction with Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities.

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