No Looking After the Internet

No Looking After the Internet is a monthly “looking group” that invites participants to look at a photograph (or series of photographs) they are unfamiliar with, and “read” the image out-loud together. Chosen in relation to an exhibition, an artist’s body of work, or an ongoing research project, the looking group will focus on difficult images that present a challenge to practices of looking. If these images ask the viewer to occupy the position of the witness, No Looking offers the space and time to look at these photographs in detail: to return to these difficult scenes in another context where we can look at them slowly and unpack our responses to the image.

Premised on the idea that we don’t always trust our interpretive abilities as viewers, the aim of No Looking is to examine the differences between witnessing and looking. How does a slower form of looking allow us to be self-reflexive about our role as spectators? How do we look at these images differently when we interpret them with a community of others?

No Looking takes its inspiration and name from No Reading After the Internet, an out-loud reading and discussion group facilitated by cheyanne turions and Alexander Muir that meets regularly in Toronto and Vancouver (

Doug Ischar
co-facilitated with Jean-Paul Kelly
Monday, June 10, 7:30 pm
(1256 Dundas St. W.)

In dialogue with Undertow, a two-part presentation of Doug Ischar’s work currently on view at Gallery 44 and Vtape, No Looking After the Internet will examine how images of desire—and queer desire in particular—pose interpretive difficulties for viewers. Framing desire as a force that often exceeds the usual codes of photographic representation, No Looking will consider the personal and biographic force of feeling and its fundamental subjective bias against the possibility of reading an image through a lens of “affect” and its unstructured potential. Can photography or any form or representation–particularly documentary form–be considered through the theories of affect?

As Gallery 44 notes about the exhibition:

The photographs from Marginal Waters (1985) depict a seemingly edenic world of toned, sun-bathed bodies, behind which lurk the specters of AIDS and reaction. Video installation works subtly overlay scenes of violence and sexuality onto male artifacts and apparel.

Presented at Vtape, the films Alone With You (2011) and Tristes Tarzan (2012) explore queer desire in the folds of film and TV history, the former focusing on professional wrestling, the latter on Tarzan lore. With time, Ischar’s view grows increasingly melancholy and conceptually complex with the recent films attaining a formal and emotional density rare in contemporary art.

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Co-facilitator Biography

Jean-Paul Kelly is a Toronto-based artist born in London, Canada (1977). He creates drawings, photographs and videos that are often displayed together. His work has exhibited at Scrap Metal Gallery (Images Festival, Toronto, 2013), The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery (Toronto, 2012), Mercer Union (Toronto, 2010), Cambridge Galleries (2009), Gallery TPW (Toronto, 2005 and 2008), Tokyo Wonder Site (2006) and the University of Toronto Art Centre (2005). Screenings include the European Media Arts Festival (Osnabrück, 2013), International Festival of Films on Art (Montreal, 2013), International Film Festival Rotterdam (2013), Toronto International Film Festival (2012), Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen (2012), Migrating Forms (New York, 2010), Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art (Berlin, 2009), Rencontres Internationales (Paris, 2004 and 2006) and Pleasure Dome (Toronto, 2003). From 2009 to 2012, Kelly was Programming Director and Curator of Trinity Square Video (Toronto). He holds a Master of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto (2005).