Scotiabank CONTACT: De/Generative
The Queer-Jewish Photography of Oscar Wolfman
All Photographs by Oscar Wolfman
Curators: Mahrokh Ahankhah & David Townsend
Queen Gallery, Toronto
May 2- May 26, 2017
Tuesday to Saturday 3:30-7:30 p.m., Sunday & Monday by appointment only
The photographer, teacher, dancer and mensch, Oscar Wolfman (1965-2011), was a devoted and much-cherished member of Shir Libeynu for five full years before his untimely death. Many of us remember when we first saw him, as part of the 2007 panel at the shul’s first Holocaust Education Week co-sponsored event, “Gay Sons of Holocaust Survivors,” and then his subsequent appearance at our Pride service a few months later. Reclaiming his Judaism in a shul he could call home, Oscar became an active volunteer and participant for the rest of his life, while he also was establishing his legacy as a brilliant and innovative photographer. Now, long-time member David Townsend, and Mahrokh Ahankhah, a good friend to our community and owner of Queen Gallery, have curated a show of his work that is also part of this year’s Contact Photography Festival.The retrospective focuses on Oscar’s transgressive yet deeply reverent queering of Jewish spirituality and culture. Large-format archival prints reference the the Italian settecento, in lush reimaginings of biblical scenes. Meditations on Jewish ritual practices provocatively emphasize their homoerotic valence. The deeply humane relation of Wolfman’s camera to the inner life of his subjects is perhaps the purest distillation of his spirituality.
Please honour Oscar’s memory by attending the show, where you will see an array of images that include portraits of several Shir Libeynu members. Many photographs will be available for purchase.
More Information: 416-900-6383