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Activist Communique: G20 'Prisoners' exhibition

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Serious props to photographer Brett Gunlock (bio here), a National Post photographer who was arrested during the G2O demonstrations in late June, 2010. He held his ground and did his job.

Beginning tomorrow, Gunlock's photo exhibition of portraits and expressions of fellow G20 arrestees can be seen at Communications Gallery (see below) for free.  

In his bio, his artistic raison d'être is described: "Brett's personal work revolves around exploring subcultures and marginalized groups that exist in our larger society. He continues to investigate the relationship of both his journalistic and conceptual artistic work, and hopes to push the boundaries that he has encountered between these photographic styles.

So yes, as a fellow street journalist/documentarian, I would be happy to stand back to back, keeping each other six, as we recorded the events of an unfolding protest. I had a brief chat with him last night, good guy.

Here are the deets:

Prisoners chronicles individuals from Canada's largest mass arrest at Toronto's G-20 Summit.

Friday, March 11, 2011 to Thursday, March 31, 2011

Open Monday to Friday 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Weekends 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

@ Communication Gallery

209 Harbord Street

Toronto, ON



His exhibit is "a portrait series chronicling the individuals that were part of the largest mass arrest in Canadian history, surpassing 900 people, at the G20 Summit this past summer in Toronto. These photographs, taken outside the first court appearance for those accused, are a narrative of those arrested during the Summit, creating a record of the aftermath.

Ironically resembling police arrest photos, the portraits are mixed with written accounts of the subject's experiences with the statements telling a story different from the official police record largely presented to the Canadian public."

The whole time Gunlock was arrested and detained at the infamous Eastern Avenue Detention Centre, he yearned for his camera.

It is true that we artists think about art and truth in the most unlikely places. Chalk it up to the same ridiculous impulse Che described when talking about about being guided by love.  

Initially charged with obstruction of an officer and unlawful assembly, he had his charges later dropped like the majority of other G20 arrestees.

In a related Toronto Star article, Gunlock explained: "I knew I wanted to do a project on what happened," he said. "Then I realized that everyone who was with me in that detention centre was going to be in court that day. So I brought my camera and set up to take portrait shots of the people who were arrested."

Regarding the captions -- written by the arrestees themselves -- at the bottom of his portraits, he said: "Initially I wanted those two lines to be a caption for their portraits. Then I realized that their handwriting was a portrait in itself."

So my fellow rebellions, check it out!

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