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Alejandro Cartagena lecture video online

LECTURE VIDEO

Learning from Latin American (Sub)Urbanism

Alejandro Cartagena

Friday, May 8, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
OCAD University
Toronto


For the past decade Alejandro Cartagena has been investigating the relationship between Mexico’s urban centres and the suburbs built around them, examining the ways in which explosive growth has altered the landscape and affected the lives of residents.

In this talk, Cartagena discusses the development of his photographic projects including Suburbia Mexicana, Landscape as Bureaucracy, Carpoolers, and his latest work, Outgrowing.

Through these projects, Cartagena creatively sheds light on the complex issues surrounding the ‘ideal’ of homeownership and its recent boom in Mexico. He intimately observes many of the spaces and people involved, including buyers, public bureaucrats, and labourers. He illustrates how Mexico’s social and political context has proved to be both a benefit and a threat to many new buyers, opening up both new opportunities and challenges.

Cartagena’s work looks at the larger implications of the region’s rapid suburban expansion, from urban gentrification and inner-city ‘ghettoization,’ to the seemingly unplanned and unhampered suburban sprawl emanating from many of Mexico’s fast growing cities, and its environmental consequences.

His approach to photography is not overtly polemical; rather, he seeks to tell, from multiple points of view, the complex story of growth and development in Latin America in the context of an increasing globalization and the ongoing influence of its northern neighbour(s) and ‘North American dreams’.


BIO

Alejandro Cartagena lives and works in Monterrey, Mexico. Cartagena’s work has been exhibited internationally and is in public and private collections in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, and the United States, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Harry Ransom Center, Austin, the Portland Museum of Art and the Museo de Arte Moderno in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He has received the Photolucida Critical Mass Book Award, the Lente Latino award in Chile, and the Premio IILA-Fotografia 2012 award in Rome. He has been named a FOAM Magazine Talent and one of PDN’s 30 International Emerging Photographers to watch. Cartagena’s work has been published internationally in magazines such as Newsweek, The New York Times Lens blog, Nowness, Domus, The Financial Times, View, The Guardian, le Monde, PDN, The New Yorker, The Independent, Monocle and Wallpaper. His monograph Suburbia Mexicana was published in 2011 (Daylight/Photolucida) and his latest book Carpoolers was released in 2014 (Fonca – Conaculta). He is represented by Circuit Gallery (Toronto).


The Learning from Latin American (Sub)Urbanism lecture is co-presented by CONTACT, LACAP, the Faculty of Art at OCAD University (Through the Photography Department), and Circuit Gallery. Special thanks to Shawn Micallef, Tamara Toldeo, Tara Smith, Rita Leistner, April Hickox and Sharon Switzer.

This event was held in conjunction with Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities, a CONTACT Public Installation. Curated by Sharon Switzer. Co-produced by PATTISON Onestop and Art for Commuters.

Alejandro Cartagena to give public talk

Alejandro Cartagena
Alejandro Cartagena, Escobedo, from the series Suburbia Mexicana, 2008

Learning from Latin American (Sub)Urbanism

Alejandro Cartagena lecture & conversation with Shawn Micallef

Friday, May 8, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
OCAD University
100 McCaul St., Room 230
[ Google Map ]

Free and open to the public.

Join us for a lecture by noted Mexican artist Alejandro Cartagena, to be followed by a conversation with author and urban columnist Shawn Micallef.


For the past decade Alejandro Cartagena has been investigating the relationship between Mexico’s urban centres and the suburbs built around them, examining the ways in which explosive growth has altered the landscape and affected the lives of residents.

In this talk, Cartagena will discuss the development of his photographic projects including Suburbia Mexicana, Landscape as Bureaucracy, Carpoolers, Roma-Roma and his latest work, Outgrowing.

Through these projects, Cartagena creatively sheds light on the complex issues surrounding the ‘ideal’ of homeownership and its recent boom in Mexico. He intimately observes many of the spaces and people involved, including buyers, public bureaucrats, and labourers. He illustrates how Mexico’s social and political context has proved to be both a benefit and a threat to many new buyers, opening up both new opportunities and challenges.

Cartagena’s work looks at the larger implications of the region’s rapid suburban expansion, from urban gentrification and inner-city ‘ghettoization,’ to the seemingly unplanned and unhampered suburban sprawl emanating from many of Mexico’s fast growing cities, and its environmental consequences.

His approach to photography is not overtly polemical; rather, he seeks to tell, from multiple points of view, the complex story of growth and development in Latin America in the context of an increasing globalization and the ongoing influence of its northern neighbour(s) and ‘North American dreams’.


BIOS

Alejandro Cartagena lives and works in Monterrey, Mexico. Cartagena’s work has been exhibited internationally and is in public and private collections in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, and the United States, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Harry Ransom Center, Austin, the Portland Museum of Art and the Museo de Arte Moderno in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He has received the Photolucida Critical Mass Book Award, the Lente Latino award in Chile, and the Premio IILA-Fotografia 2012 award in Rome. He has been named a FOAM Magazine Talent and one of PDN’s 30 International Emerging Photographers to watch. Cartagena’s work has been published internationally in magazines such as Newsweek, The New York Times Lens blog, Nowness, Domus, The Financial Times, View, The Guardian, le Monde, PDN, The New Yorker, The Independent, Monocle and Wallpaper. His monograph Suburbia Mexicana was published in 2011 (Daylight/Photolucida) and his latest book Carpoolers was released in 2014 (Fonca – Conaculta). He is represented by Circuit Gallery (Toronto).

Shawn Micallef is a Toronto Star columnist, co-owner and an editor of Spacing magazine, co-founder of the mobile phone public space documentary project [murmur], and instructor at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto, The Trouble with Brunch: Work, Class, and the Pursuit of Leisure, and was the Toronto Public Library’s non-fiction writer in residence in 2013.


RELATED EVENTS

Alejandro Cartagena
Alejandro Cartagena, Carpooler #15 (detail) and Carpooler #17 (detail), from his Carpoolers series, 2011

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities
May 1 – 31, 2015
Warden subway station
Warden St and St. Clair Ave W
Toronto M1L 4R7

A CONTACT Public Installation curated by Sharon Switzer. Co-produced by PATTISON Onestop and Art for Commuters.

Through the photographs of Mexican artist Alejandro Cartagena and videos by Kingston, Ontario art duo Julia Krolik & Owen Fernley, Toronto’s subway corridors are transformed with images addressing suburban transportation, development, and sustainability.

Cartagena’s images are shown on 55 posters throughout Warden station, the penultimate stop on the eastern edge of the system. This station serves as a primary destination for many suburban commuters. The artist’s series Carpoolers (2011–2012) portrays a different kind of commute, adopting a bird’s eye view of construction workers and landscapers in the beds of pickup trucks traveling to build and maintain the wealthy suburban communities outside of Monterrey, México.


WORKSHOP

Alejandro Cartagena will be offering a workshop as part of the Contact Photography Festival on ‘The Photobook’

Alejandro Cartagena: The Photobook – workshop
May 6, 12:00 pm
Gallery 44 Centre For Contemporary Photography
401 Richmond St W 120
Toronto M5V 3A8
416-979-3941
www.gallery44.org
info@gallery44.org

Alejandro will teach a two-day workshop focused on photobook history, and edit and sequencing methods. It is geared towards artists with work in progress who are looking for direction and guidance to create a book. His projects are primarily documentary-based and employ landscape and portraiture as a means to examine social, urban, and environmental issues in Latin America. Cartagena’s recent self-published book Carpoolers was listed as one of the best photo-books in 2014 by Time magazine. Students are asked to bring up to three projects to work on with 20 to 30 image printed at approximately 4×6. $160/$140 for Gallery 44 members and CONTACT Portfolio Reviews participants.

Co-presented with Circuit Gallery, CONTACT, Gallery 44 and LACAP.

Visit www.gallery44.org/workshops/photobook to register.
Contact soJin Chun at sojin @ gallery44.org for more information.

This event is in conjunction with Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities, a CONTACT Public Installation at Warden subway station. Curated by Sharon Switzer. Co-produced by PATTISON Onestop and Art for Commuters.


The Learning from Latin American (Sub)Urbanism lecture is co-presented by CONTACT, LACAP, the Faculty of Art at OCAD University (Through the Photography Department), and Circuit Gallery. Special thanks to Tamara Toldeo, Tara Smith, April Hickox and Sharon Switzer.

This event is in conjunction with Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities, a CONTACT Public Installation. Curated by Sharon Switzer. Co-produced by PATTISON Onestop and Art for Commuters.

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Alejandro Cartagena photo-essay in Maclean’s

Circuit Gallery artist Alejandro Cartagena has a nice photo-essay in Maclean’s Magazine, as lead-up to a pubic installation as part of the Contact Photography Festival

Alejandro Cartagena
Alejandro Cartagena featured in Maclean’s Magazine, April 19, 2015

Keep truckin’: Portraits of Mexico’s morning commuters

Alejandro Cartagena spent a year photographing workers on their morning commute

by Aaron Hutchins, Maclean’s
April 19, 2015

When Alejandro Cartagena moved to Monterrey, Mexico, as a teenager in 1990, he was put to work as an assistant on his grandfather’s construction crew for a few months. His grandfather would pick up employees, who filled the back of his truck, and off they went to the work site. What Cartagena learned, he says, is “how hard it is to work for a living.”

Cartagena has since turned to photography for a living, while life in Monterrey is hard in itself. Sometimes still alive, victims of the drug war were hanged from bridges or beheaded, then dumped in the city. But in the midst of the chaos and the deaths, there are locals trying to make an honest living.

During a housing boom 10 years ago, blue-collar residents were encouraged to become first-time homeowners in a suburb north of town. Construction jobs, meanwhile, were at least an hour’s drive from where the workers now lived. For an entire year, Cartagena waited on the same bridge between 7 and 9 a.m. as the pick-ups went by. The bird’s-eye view gave him an intimate look into their private lives. During their commute, some read the newspaper. Others listened to music. Many simply slept. “The culture here is very much of the macho cowboy,” Cartagena says. “So when you see the guys spooning each other, [it shows] we’ll do whatever it takes [to survive].”

The trucks weren’t always filled with people—an illegal practice, after all. And if someone died after flying out the back during a collision, police would patrol for a few weeks, but the commuters inevitably came back. “They’re having to risk their lives to keep their houses,” Cartagena says. “They inspire me.”

View original article and see more images: Keep truckin’: Portraits of Mexico’s morning commuters

Alejandro Cartagena’s work is part of Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities an official public installation for the 2015 Scotiabank Contact photography festival. Curated by Sharon Switzer. Co-produced by PATTISON Onestop and Art for Commuters.

Learn more about this and related events.

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).

NEWS RELEASE

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 www.contactingtoronto.ca


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.

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Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival – www.scotiabankcontactphoto.com
PATTISON Onestop – www.pattisononestop.com – @onestopmedia
Art in Transit – www.artintransit.ca – @ArtTransit
Art for Commuters – www.art4commuters.com – @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.
www.pattisononestop.com

For more information contact:
Marie Nazar, Arts Publicist, PATTISON Onestop
416-762-7702 | marie.nazar@bell.net

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CONNECTED EVENTS

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.