Unnamed Park, Weston/Mount Dennis, 2010. C-print
Garett Walker: Toronto Souvenir part of Tracing Toronto and DocNow Festival
June 1–June 16, 2011
Friday, June 10, 6.30-9.30 pm
Toronto Souvenir explores photography’s role in memory and history. It is about revisiting sites of memory In Toronto containing little or no visible traces of their public and private significance. Using the public library and archives, and consulting regional historical societies, Walker collected stories warranting inclusion and perpetuation in the community’s living memory. The sites and stories range from early aviation history and Hurricane Hazel to the marginalized history of women’s efforts in World War II and the neglected cemetery site of an early Toronto psychiatric hospital. By photographing these sites and re-presenting them with their hidden histories, this project intends to provoke dialogue about the intangible place of memories and their relationship to photographs and documentary studies. Using the postcard as a vehicle furthers this project’s intent to be distributed and absorbed into the personal archives of the audience. The souvenir postcards reproduced from the photographs are intended to activate the possessor’s faculty of memory along with personal and collective narratives at a later point in the ritual of remembering and story-telling. Toronto Souvenir encourages a deeper exploration of place, beyond the visible landscape into the living memories of people and their geographic imagination.
Garett Walker is an artist and photographer. Having earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Ryerson University, he has traveled extensively across Canada, using his camera to document the country’s varied regional cultural heritage. He is a recipient of many private and public artistic development grants, which help to fund his work. Walker is an active participant in the Toronto arts community and his work is collected by various private collectors and public institutions in Canada. Walker lives and works in Toronto.