ViewPoint Gallery, 1475 Bedford Highway, until Oct 31
ViewPoint Gallery, the city’s lone photography-only exhibitor, celebrates two decades of putting the frame in focus with this retrospective show, on view until October 31. The gallery’s whopping 240-exhibit back catalogue has been mined for Looking Back. “We're in a very interesting time with photography,” says fine art photographer and ViewPoint founding member Eric Boutilier-Brown, adding the show is also a snapshot of the medium’s evolution, “because it has changed so much over the last 20 years, and it’s still changing. And to be a place where you can have interested parties— be they photographers or consumers of art, people who are interested in the art world—gather with that question: What is photography becoming in this day and age? is a very interesting thing to do.”
As the pervasiveness of phone cameras and rise of social media continues to immeasurably alter the medium (Boutilier-Brown says photography’s “biggest change is democratization”) ViewPoint remains in study of its craft, hanging iPhone shots alongside hand-processed film images.
A feeling of triumphant nostalgia develops while viewing the show, since ViewPoint has successfully navigated the current venue crisis. After a decade on lower Barrington Street—“rent increases caught up with us”—the gallery temporarily scooted to nearby Brenton Street in 2018. During the pandemic, another move was required—this time, a more permanent relocation to 1475 Bedford Highway. “It ticked lots of boxes,” Boutilier-Brown says of ViewPoint’s new home. “Like accessible parking, a very nice space that was really appropriate, and a landlord we worked with getting in there for a sustainable period of time.” He adds that the former tanning salon’s high ceilings, open concept and “long, thin profile” translates well into a gallery space. Good news, since they’ve got the gallery worthy works to hang there.