Peter MacCallum: Yonge Street / Rue Du Faubourg Saint Denis

Yonge Street / Rue Du Faubourg Saint Denis is a featured exhibition of photographer Peter MacCallum’s work, part of the 2012 CONTACT Photography Festival. The exhibition runs from May 10, 2012 until August 10, 2012 at the Eric Arthur Gallery, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto.

Documenting the streetscapes of different cities has proven to be one of the most useful tasks photography has performed throughout its history. Artists associated with this tradition include Charles Marville, Thomas Annan, Eugène Atget, Bernice Abbott, Gabriele Basilico and Thomas Struth. 

This exhibition aims to contribute to this ongoing examination of urban form by setting up a direct comparison between streetscapes in two very different cities: Toronto and Paris. The photos in the exhibition date from 2007 to 2011.

Downtown Yonge Street can be seen as a typical North American urban canyon. MacCallum’s photos show a streetscape that includes a bit of everything, from 19th-century row buildings to the latest megastructures supporting gigantic signage at Dundas Square. 

A former main thoroughfare of Paris, the Rue du Faubourg Saint Denis begins at the Porte St. Denis, a major Paris landmark, and spans the 10th arrondissement from south to north. The photos in this series show the street’s 19th-century row buildings and arcades, now occupied at ground level by a range of new businesses serving the city’s immigrant communities.

MacCallum has tried to represent his immediate subject in a comprehensive manner, while striving toward objectivity. It will be up to the viewer to decide what his photos of these two streets say about the underlying urban philosophies of their respective cities.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Morden S. Yolles, the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council and The Gilder.

The opening reception takes place on Thursday, May 10, 2012 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Eric Arthur Gallery, located at 230 College Street in Toronto.

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