Dr. Matthew Ryan Smith is a freelance writer, independent curator, and sessional
professor (University of Toronto, Mississauga) based in London, ON. 

He completed his Ph.D. in Art and Visual Culture at Western University in 2012. His
current research addresses affect, trauma, and the ethics of spectatorship in
contemporary photography and video practices with special attention to Indigenous
perspectives. In 2012 he was named by Artinfo Canada in their "Top 30 Under
30," a list of Canadians under 30 showing promise in the art world. 

Matthew has published extensively on art and culture in publications including Canadian
Art, Prefix Photo, ESSE, Briarpatch, Blackflash, C Magazine, Alternatives Journal, First
American Art, Artinfo Canada, Magenta, artUS, Contemporary Canadian Glass, Visual Arts
News, and FUSE. 

He has also published in several academic journals including (forthcoming) Biography: An
Interdisciplinary Quarterly, (forthcoming) Photography and Culture, (forthcoming)
Intersection: Canadian Journal of Music, (forthcoming) Journal of Curatorial Studies,
Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, The Senses
and Society, TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Canadian Journal of Native
Studies, Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Criticism, WRECK: Graduate Journal of
Art History, Visual Art & Theory, and Shift: Queen’s Journal of Visual and Material

For guest lectures, panel presentations, and other speaking engagements, e-mail:

Book Chapters

(Forthcoming) Tell-Tale Signs: Unsanctioned Graffiti Interventions in Post-Apartheid Johannesburg (2016)

My chapter for the edited anthology Public Art in South Africa: 1999-2014 engages the much-neglected...


Edited Journals


Unorthodox Autobiographies, Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture (2015)



(Forthcoming) The Archive in Contemporary Indigenous Art, First American Art Magazine (2016)


7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc., First American Art Magazine (2015)


(Forthcoming) Jeff Bierk: Curtains (2017)

Art Gallery of Grimsby



Gyan Chauper (2014)

Nuit Blanche (Toronto)



Some Things Last a Long Time (2012)

This exhibition investigates the manner in which our private lives precondition the act of seeing....



(Co-Curated) 42° 59' 81° 14' Mapping London's International Legacy (2012)

London, Ontario has often been described as a city that nurtures a rich vein of...


Conferences, Symposia, Invited Presentations


Image Stories: Comix Otherwise, Art Gallery of Ontario (2015)

Upload: The Impulse to Recreate Contemporary Artworks and their Circulation in the Digital Sphere, Universities Art Association of Canada (UAAC) National Conference (2014)

Amateur artists and artist-professionals recreate and upload intermedial artworks by visual artists Bas Jan Ader,...


Point and Shoot: The Ethics of Tourist Photography, Grimsby Art Gallery (2014)

Matthew's current research addresses the ethics of spectatorship in contemporary art and visual culture. His...



Bill Burns: Dogs and Boats and Airplanes, BRAFFTV Film & Media International Conference (2013)

Bill Burns's recent series "Dogs and Boats and Airplanes" represents a profound immersion in the...


Us and Them: Jacques Rancière and the ‘Ethical Turn’ in Autobiographical Photography, Culture, Policy, Urban Space and the City, Department of Media and Information Technologies, Western University (2012)

Larry Clark’s Tulsa and Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency share a close conceptual...


Other Writings


Roadside Markers of Loss, The Silo (thesilo.ca) (2012)

Indeed, the prevalence of roadside memorials has increased significantly over the past several decades and...



Daniel Johnston and the "Dead Dog's Eyeball", The Silo (thesilo.ca) (2012)

Daniel Johnston is not a secret anymore. In 2005 director Jeff Feuerzeig released the Sundance...



Artist's Texts (et. al.), Adaptation: Between Species, exhibition catalogue, (curated by Helena Reckitt, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery) (2010)

Invited Presentations


Indigenous Video Art Now, Yukon School of the Arts (2015)