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Check out 18 striking photos from Toronto's CONTACT photo fest for 2013 Add to ...

Photography rules the image world, okay? And it will dominate Toronto’s art scene next month, courtesy of the 17th CONTACT Photography Festival, the lineup for which was released on Tuesday. As ever, the festival, running from May 1 through May 31, promises to be exhaustive and exhausting: 10 primary exhibitions in venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and TIFF Bell Lightbox, plus nine public installations, 32 featured exhibitions and 134 open exhibitions scattered across the city. All are being gathered under the rubric “Field of Vision” – an exploration of “the ability to conceive an exceptional idea, image, object or circumstance through photography.”

Of course, there are many must-sees but among the most must-see of them are Food, a two-part exhibition of 235 large-format, full-colour images of (yes) cuisine, much of it shot in Toronto locales by renowned British lensman Martin Parr (at Pearson Airport, April 24-Aug. 30; Metro Hall, Apr. 30-June 1); Genesis, a selection of 245 superbly reproduced black-and-white photographs of landscapes, wildlife and humanity by the legendarily peripatetic Sebastiao Salgado (ROM, May 4-Sept. 20); and 24hrs in Photography, the North American premiere of Dutch advertising director Erik Kessels’s installation of 350,000 images he downloaded and printed out from the online photo-sharing site Flickr in the fall of 2011. The heap o’ photographs – the title derives from the number of pictures that are usually uploaded to Flickr in a single day – will sprawl and spill through the confines of the CONTACT Gallery, located at 80 Spadina Ave. (May 1-June 15).

Details on exhibitions, programs, workshops and lectures at www.scotiabankcontactphoto.com

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