Longing to See: Photography and In-Visibility

The Photo Program is pleased to present the exhibition "Longing to See: Photography and In-Visibility." The show marks the latest edition of an educational partnership between Capture Photography Festival and Emily Carr University.


Apr 3, 2024 – Apr 28, 2024

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On Campus

Michael O’Brian Exhibition Commons, 1st Floor (former Faculty Gallery)

520 E 1st Ave, Vancouver, BC, V5T 0H2 See on Map

Birthe Piontek |
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Opening Reception:
Friday, April 5, 6 – 8 pm

Vera Bode
Andrea M
Po-Hsi Huang
Julia Kerrigan
Charlie Mahoney-Volk
Paniz Mani
Maria Michopulu
Alize Tamturk
Eknoor Thind

In an image-saturated world, we keep photographing. Photographs, digital or analogue, give us the illusion of preserving time and often reveal the significance of the captured moment only later, when it has turned into a memory that is revisited in the image.

Asking what can be made visible in a photograph and what stays hidden, the artists in this exhibition investigate the human desires to see, save, and revisit. They explore photography’s close relationship to memory, longing, and belonging by working with personal archives, including photographs, objects, and materials charged with personal histories. Utilizing strategies of documentary photography and staged portraiture, some of the works make visible what is often simply felt or experienced and shine a light on what is overlooked or hidden: fluid identities; invisible mental health issues; desires informed by the subconscious mind as it is shaped by societal pressures; and the complexities of immigration, such as navigating cultural differences. Meanwhile, other works in the exhibition explore these themes from a different perspective, focusing instead on the close relationship between social media and photography. In these pieces, the artists investigate their own desires to see and be seen, challenging the contemporary display and consumption of fleeting digital images on social networks that reinforce the visibility of the desired while often hiding the undesired reality in plain sight.

Longing to See is an inquiry into the potentials and limits of a seemingly boundless and ubiquitous medium by a new generation of lens-based artists who address photography’s unique ability to show things as they are. These artists encourage us to feel, remember, and question what is visible and what is invisible – or unphotographable.