Monday, January 22, 2024

Photos and BS

The Image Centre 
Number 84 of the 111 Places in Toronto That You Must Not Miss is the Ryerson Image Centre, and as I work my way through the book this was one attraction I wanted to do. It is only about 10 minutes away from the condo, and I have always been interested in Photography. It did take me four and a half months to actually get there though. 

The Image Centre is an art gallery displaying photographs. It is home to the “Black Star Collection” of photojournalism photography which consists of almost 300,000 photographs used in magazines such as Time and LIFE, but it also features photographs from students and other photographers. 

Apparently, like Mr Alexander Wood, who you read about in a previous post, Mr. Ryerson has also been disgraced due to involvement in the Residential Schools, so Ryerson University has been renamed “Toronto Metropolitan University”, and the

Ryerson Image Centre is now called just “The Image Centre”. 

I finally decided to go visit and looked the location up on Google Maps, only to discover that it was now closed as they were organizing and setting up their 2024 Winter season, so I set the opening evening into my calendar and on a cold January night we went to their Grand Opening for appetizers and drinks as well as finally getting to see some of their photographs. 

The grand opening was actually a pretty swanky event, with a cash bar and servers circulating with delicious appetizers all evening. The clientele was a mix of local dignitaries, ordinary folk like us and lots of arty people out to see and be seen. 

We made the mistake of buying a couple of glasses of wine (To support the Image Centre of course), but discovered that drinks were not allowed in the various galleries displaying the photographs. This meant we had to set our wine on tables outside the galleries but being very protective of my drink, I did not want to leave it unattended, so we went into the galleries one at a time while the other waited with our drinks. Fortunately this provided an opportunity, for one of my favourite activities, people watching. 

It was very interesting to stand and watch and listen to the people attending the event, and both of us found the amount of BS that was being thrown around completely entertaining. The local dignitaries were all “Glad-handing” in their suits

and moving through the crowd finding other “important” people to chat up. The “arty crowd” in their unique and inspired attire were making sure that everyone knew that they were part of “The Scene” . . . . “Oh, yea, I was there in 2006 when that photo was taken!”, “I worked with them back in 2004”, etc, etc etc
. . . .

I really enjoyed the Grand Opening, and found some of the photo exhibitions really interesting, but I think I will go back and visit when it is just the photos without the BS.

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