Arts

Jeff Bierk takes portraits of his friends and prints them — on blankets

Photographer Jeff Bierk speaks about his collaborative series of portraits printed on blankets for Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.
Photographer Jeff Bierk speaks about his collaborative series of portraits printed on blankets for Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. 4:28

We can't tell you where or when you can see Jeff Bierk's Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival installation "10 Blankets," because his portraits aren't located in an exhibition space or set location. Bierk himself doesn't know where his works have ended up — he has come across them in a bus shelter, and crumpled up in the empty lot behind his apartment. But that's all a part of his project.

There will be a sort of dance or exchange where I'll give the blanket to my friend, we'll photograph it and let it exist in the world and see what happens. 

Bierk created "10 Blankets" in collaboration with his friends "Jimmy" James Evans, and Carl Lance Bonnici. The works are portraits of Evans and Bonnici printed on fleece blankets, resulting in images that ripple and move with the softness of the fabric.

After he re-photographed Evans and Bonnici with the blankets, Bierk gave the blankets to his collaborators, and they've ended up in unexpected places.

( Jeff Bierk, in collaboration with "Jimmy" James Evans, and Carl Lance Bonnici)

In this video, we caught up with Bierk at his apartment working with Evans on a collaboration, and spoke to Bierk about his growing discomfort around the practice dubbed 'street photography.'

In addition to the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival installation, you can catch an exhibition of Jeff Bierk's work at Mulherin until June 12, and see more of his work on Instagram.

Jeff Bierk in collaboration with "Jimmy" James Evans, and Carl Lance Bonnici. May 1–31 at Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, The Annex Neighbourhood and Queen E at Victoria and Church. Toronto. 

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