for:GROUND by Zun Lee

Zun Lee, Ekow’s Helmet, Toronto, 2009

for:GROUND by Zun Lee

May 3 – 29, 2024
Opening Reception: May 2, 2024, 5-7 pm | Register here
Goethe Space, Toronto

Presented by the Goethe-Institut with CONTACT Photography Festival & Art Metropole

Core exhibition CONTACT Photography Festival 2024

Interest in flâneurism in street photography is on the rise, but it is criticized for its white male-centric view of urban life. In an exhibition for the Goethe-Institut, Guggenheim Fellow Zun Lee rethinks his street photography to move beyond wandering. Instead, Lee advocates for lingering and loitering as strategies to challenge how modern urban spaces control marginalized bodies. This reframing of street photography aims to actively disrupt urban dynamics, offering new perspectives for both photographers and subjects.

Zun Lee’s exhibition for:GROUND, curated by Jutta Brendemühl, evolves and expands through collaborative efforts during its duration: Contextualising programming including immersive workshops and portfolio reviews (by invitation only), public talks with international artists and culture workers, a reading room, a soundtrack, a commissioned essay, a film screening, and other engagement opportunities will offer audiences the opportunity to experience the fluid and participatory nature of Lee’s practice firsthand. Local artists Kalmplex, Sarah Espedido, Ammar Bowaihl, and isi bhakhomen will explore and expand Lee’s leitmotif of loitering as public space reclamation and add works.

About the Artist

Zun Lee is a multi-hyphenate artist, physician, and educator, born and raised in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and currently living in Toronto, Canada. Lee has been an independent photographer since 2014 and has exhibited, spoken, and taught at numerous institutions in North America and Europe. His works are widely published and represented in public and private collections around the world. Honours and awards include: Mellon Foundation Practitioner in Residence, Knight Foundation Grantee, Magnum Foundation Fellow, Paris Photo/Aperture Photobook Awards Shortlist, Photo District News’ 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch.

Free Public Programs at the Goethe Space:

May 2, 2024, 5-7 pm
Opening with the artist & guests | Register here

May 15, 2024, 5-6 pm
Hybrid (Zoom/Goethe Space) conversation with Zun Lee and Berlin artists and programmers Karina Griffith, Michael Götting and Noah Anderson on wayward bodies in the public space.

Followed by…

May 15, 2024, 6-8 pm
Screening of “We Almost Lost Bochum,” a documentary about one of the first German hip-hop bands that never made the leap into the collective consciousness. MC Aphroe, Pahel, and Galla plus DJ and producer Mr. Wiz –two white, two black German artists together known as RAG– left their mark on the first German rap boom of the 90s. The film follows the former band members from West Germany’s Ruhr area to Washington D.C. and New York and lets them ruminate on friendship, home, belonging, and fame. The film title is a reference to the Gil Scott-Heron classic “We Almost Lost Detroit.”

May 29, 2024, 5 – 7 pm
Closing with the artist | Register here

Exhibition Hours: Wednesday – Friday, 11 am – 5 pm

Goethe-Institut Toronto
100 University Ave, North Tower, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M5J 1V6

Chef Craig Wong’s JunePlum store & Patois restaurant are creative partners of the Goethe-Institut. Visit JunePlum at Dundas & Palmerston for our storefront satellite photo presentation.

Thank you to Toronto Image Works for the prints.

Follow and tag the Goethe-Institut on Facebook, Instagram #GoetheTO #forGround @zunleephoto


Program & Media Contact:
Jutta Brendemühl
Program Curator
Goethe-Institut Toronto

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