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Jeremy Cooper, Andrew Danson, Gary Hall, H.P. Marti, Michael Mitchell, Roger Schip, Ron Hunt, George Whiteside, Eunice Champion
From April 1st 1980 to April 26th 1980
Toronto Photo-Coop

Suggested by Suzy Lake.

Toronto Photographers' Co-Operative:
The Toronto Photographer's Co-operative was formed in November of 1977 with the intention of providing the opportunity for Canadian photographers to meet and exchange ideas and information.
Since that time, the co-op has produced several successful shows and the informal meetings have become a forum for the more than forty members to discuss new work and plan future exhibits and projects.
The co-op will be bringing to its new gallery, located at Toronto's Harbourfront complex, shows from other co-ops and centers across Canada, as well as establishing a slide library and providing workshops and lectures.
The co-op meetings are held at 641 Queen St. E, Toronto, Ont. M4M 1G4.

Exhibitors At Optica:
Eunice Champion – Heremy Cooper – Andrew Danson – Gary Hall – H.P. Marti – Michael Mitchel – Roger Schip – George Whiteside – Ron Hunt

Jurors For This Exhibit:
Judy Gouin, Renée Van Halm and Gabor Szilasi.
- Press release (Optica)

"As you enter Optica Gallery, you are confronted by 39 color portraits lining one wall. There is an innocent, a sophisticate, a dandy, an aesthetic, a clown, a madman, and a host of other personae. Yet what makes the series so fascinating is that the faces all belong to the same individual—photographer Hans Pieter Marti.

Marti, one of nine Toronto Photo Co-op members currently exhibiting at Optica, sometimes uses simple props—hats, glasses, panels painted with funny faces which are reminiscent of cartoonist Saul Steinberg's paper bag masks—in order to transform himself. But mostly he relies on the sheer expressiveness of his face and upper torso. He smiles, he frowns, he threatens, he beckons, he relaxes, he tenses. Thus he playfully- and skillfully- unleashes the cast of characters that most of us keep locked inside.

In contrast to Marti's pyrotechnics, Andrew Danson pursues a much more restrained, traditional form of portraiture. Working in black and white with a square-format camera, he photographs his subjects on their own environments but always presents them with a certain formality. Perhaps the most intriguing of Danson's five portraits on view shows a family of three. The image is pervaded by a sense of incongruity. The father, who has the sunken chest and stance of someone in his seventies, is dressed in old-fashioned cap, shirt, and loose-fitting pants held up by suspenders. He looks like he should be in an old farmhouse rather than the more modern surroundings- with hotel-like furnishings and two outsize calendars- in which he lives. The mother, who appears young enough to be the man's daughter rather than his wife, has a curiously disconnected look about her. She holds a protective arm around her son, a bright-eyed boy of 9 or 10. As it happens, there is a poignant story underlying the photograph. The social welfare courts tried to take the child away from his parents, who are both slightly retarded; but they fought and won the right to keep him at home. In a simple, honest way, Danson has conveyed the vulnerability- and solidarity- of the family.

George Whiteside also surveys human condition- but in a very different manner. He makes huge black and white photographs of figures drawn from the world of transvestism and punk; colors and scratches the prints, then inserts smaller photographs at the bottom of the tableaux. However, his attitude towards his subjects remains unclear: He seems both to mock and celebrate the subcultures they represent.

Gary Hall's color photography is invested with some of the irony of Whiteside's but with less theatrics. In fuzzily defined, almost painterly prints likely produced by an instamatic-type camera, he records ambiguous, frequently amusing scenes.

The Toronto Photo Co-op exhibition continues at Optica Gallery, 1029 Beaver Hall Hill, 5th floor, until April 26."
- Abbott, Louise, «Group Shows varied exhibit», The Gazette.

- Abbott, Louise, «Group Shows varied exhibit», The Gazette.
- Toupin, Gilles, «Le Toronto Photo-coop – Des hauts et des bad photographiques», La Presse, 12 avril 1980, p.D19.