I continue to shape (Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Toronto ON, upcoming) I continue to shape is an exhibition that considers how the extra-rational capacities of art can support interruptions of history such that new kinds of stories become possible to tell. Recognizing that history is subjected to distortion by those with the power to represent it, I continue to shape looks to the practices of artists as a means of working toward futures otherwise, futures made legible through artworks that disobey the strictures of the art histories and the political histories that (falsely) appear self-evident or inevitable. Featuring Maria Thereza Alves, Cathy Busby, Justine Chambers, Nicholas Galanin, Lisa Myers, Mickalene Thomas, Joseph Tisiga and Charlene Vickers.
No Person’s Land (SFU Galleries, Vancouver/Burnaby BC, 2018) Co-curated with Amy Kazymerchyk, this day-long retreat utilized listening, reading and writing methodologies to explore shared desires for the Otherwise, a concept that encompasses the possibility for social, political and institutional relations to take new forms through collective imagining. This project is a continuation of research began with Amanprit Sandhu through DAM Projects, and this iteration included contributions by Derya Akay, Simranpreet Anand, Roxanne Charles, Tarah Hogue, Vanessa Kwan, Steffanie Ling, Pablo de Ocampo, cheyanne turions and Kurtis Wilson.
FUSE: Transcendence/Destruction (Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, 2018) Co-curated with Tarah Hogue, FUSE: Transcendence/Destruction traverses the heights and depths of human experience through absurd, mundane and political gestures. Featuring performances by Margaret Dragu, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Elisa Harkins, Khan Lee, Steffanie Ling, Guadalupe Martinez, Bridget Moser, Kathy Slade and Brady Cranfield, and See Monsters.
No Person’s Land (DAM Projects, London England, 2018) Co-organized with Amanprit Sandhu, this residency project used joint research to enact how alternative structures might be formed between peers based on shared commitments and support; mapping a terrain between practice, thinking and being.
The Lonely Letters: On the Hammond B-3 Sense and Sound Experience (SBC galerie d’art contemporain, Montréal QC, 2017) The Lonely Letters is an in-progress text of autobiofiction in which writer and philosopher Ashon Crawley collectively considers the relationship of quantum theory, mysticism and blackness through an engagement with the noisemaking practices of Blackpentecostal spaces. Co-curated with Pip Day.
FUSE: A Conjuring (Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, 2017) FUSE: A Conjuring considers the sources and origins of art, and how personal experience comes across through the materials and processes that artists draw into their service. By casting a desirous and contemplative gaze to the space between idea and form, or vision and flesh, we find ourselves collectively conjuring new ways of being. Featuring Simranpreet Anand, Stacey Ho, Tsēma Igharas, Kelly McInnes + Rianne Svelnis, Stephen Murray and acts from the Genero label.
Wood Land School: Kahatènhston tsi na’tetiátere ne Iotohrkó: wa tánon Iotohrha (SBC galerie d’art contemporain, Montréal QC, 2017) Contemporary civic institutions and social structures are built upon systems that have silenced, ignored and destructively classified Indigenous people, ideas and objects. In response to this history, Wood Land School calls upon institutions to give intellectual and physical labor, philosophical and physical space, time, and funds to support Indigenous ideas, objects, discursivity and performance. The Wood Land School was established in 2011, originating in Duane Linklater’s North Bay studio. It is an experimental space where Indigenous thought and theory are centered, embodied, mobilized, and take shape as practice through exhibition and pedagogy. Wood Land School does not seek to summarize Indigenous identity, but rather to honour specific, embodied expressions of inheritance and becoming. For the duration of 2017, SBC galerie d’art contemporain has been renamed and will operate as the Wood Land School. Kahatènhston tsi na’tetiátere ne Iotohrkó: wa tánon Iotohrha is conceived as a single exhibition unfolding over the course of the year. For this project, Wood Land School’s members are Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin Linklater and cheyanne turions, with Walter Scott.
What is one to do with such a clairvoyant image? (Gallery 44 and Trinity Square Video, Toronto ON, 2017) This two-venue exhibition, presented as part of the Contact Photography Festival, explores questions of sovereignty, nationhood and identity through strategies of speculative fiction and alternative histories of land and landscape. Through works that explore the political demands of image-making, the exhibition ask how images might produce resistance to power structures, and how the narratives of history can be written, or re-written, by artists. Featuring Dana Claxton, Stephanie Comilang, Kapwani Kiwanga, Dylan Miner, Martine Syms and Tania Willard.
I am the Organizer of My Own Archive (Dazibao, Montréal QC, 2017) This screening exhibition presents a range of tactics for coming into relation with the remnants of personal and social histories, emphasizing the interpretive liberty at play in any project that aims to coax sense from isolated objects or recollected experiences. Featuring Stephanie Comilang, Sara Cwynar, Maria Lassnig, Dylan Mira, Krista Belle Stewart and Martine Syms.
In Describing Relationships, Rhythm is Important (Museum London, London ON, 2016) This screening program focuses on the work of Montréal-based moving image artist Nika Khanjani. Produced over the course of nearly a decade, these works present portraits of her relations, exploring how distance can be a measure of place, as much as it can be a measure of intimacy. Presented by the London Ontario Media Arts Association.
The Fraud that Goes Under the Name of Love (Audain Gallery, Vancouver BC, 2016) This group exhibition, co-curated with Amy Kazymerchyk, explores how singular and social bodies are affected by the entwinement of love and work. Featuring Billy-Ray Belcourt, Hannah Black, Rebecca Brewer, Anne Boyer, Maggie Groat, Johanna Hedva, Hanna Hur, Dylan Mira, Skeena Reece, Mika Rottenberg and Rachelle Sawatsky.
How a Living Day is Made (Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto ON, 2016) An exhibition about survival strategies that stake a claim for the vibrancy of being recovered from the banal, systemic or heroic struggles of making a life in the world today. Featuring Aisha Sasha John, Rachelle Sawatsky and Walter Scott.
Singular Metabolism (Blackwood Gallery, Mississauga ON, 2015) As part of the Blackwood Gallery’s Running with Concepts: The Geologic Edition symposium, this performance event will explore how discourses around the Anthropocene can obscure social and political structures of power, offering instead complex interpretations of the historical link between ecological plunder and social injustice. Featuring the work of Francisco-Fernando Granados, Onyeka Igwe, Julie Joosten and angela rawlings.
Feeling Otherwise (Gallery TPW, Toronto ON, 2015) A presentation and discussion with Dr. Ashon Crawley that expands upon his multi-year project elaborating the concept of otherwise possibilities. Mapping the ways that feeling otherwise is connected to the ongoing projects of settler colonialism and racialized capitalist logics, Crawley explores how feeling and being otherwise can function as a critical analytics.
Poetry (C Magazine, Toronto ON, 2015) Fall 2015 issue of C Magazine, guest edited with Kari Cwynar and Danielle St-Amour. In assessing the current relationship of poetry and visual culture, this issue focuses in on how the agency embedded in the world of appearances, alongside the strange compositional possibilities of language, renders perceptible a politics of world-making. Featuring the work of Aisha Sasha John, Nasrin Himada, Lisa Robertson and Fan Wu, among others.
Talking Back, Otherwise (Jackman Humanities Institute, Toronto ON, 2015) Exploring the Jackman Humanities Institute’s 2015-2016 research theme of Things that Matter, Talking Back, Otherwise proposes that one way that things can talk to us is by talking back—in operating counter to our expectations, they provoke our ire, desire or surprise. By turns playful and serious, the exhibition utilizes this shifting perception of value to provoke a critique of the normative world. Featuring the work of Marvin Luvualu Antonio, Valérie Blass, Bethany Collins, Jérôme Havre, Maryse Larivière, Jennifer Rose Sciarrino and Nicole Kelly Westman.
Eating Bodies: Towards a Consummate Consumption (8–11 and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto ON, 2015) Co-curated with Leila Timmins, this salon series focused on the social and aesthetic aspects of food, where eating is considered as act with repercussions beyond the fulfillment of a basic need and taste is understood as conditioned by class, gender, culture and history. Featuring the writing of Jonah Campbell, Carol Goodden and Kyla Wazana Tompkins, among others.
Talk Show (SBC galerie d’art contemporain, Montréal QC, 2015) Curated by Pip Day, this exhibition focuses on the art and politics of conversation. Exploring the shifting political subjectivities, modes of address and the complexities between “you” and “I,” my contributions to the project happen alongside James Baldwin and Jackie Wang.
Brew Pub (Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto ON, 2014) Publication and performances with Aja Rose Bond and Gabriel Mindel Salomon, in collaboration with Gina Badger and Eric Emery. As part of the exhibition TBD, curated by Su-Ying Lee, at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.
Matter Made Feeling (Videofag, Toronto ON, 2014) As part of Xenia Benivolski + Danielle St Amour’s curatorial residency at Videofag, entitled How To Live Together, this group listening and screening event was organized around the setting sun and explored love as a perverted, fanatic and manic phenomenon.
Canadian Ecstasy (Gallery TPW, Toronto ON, 2014) A series of events with poet and translation Ariana Reines including the performance Mortal Kombat, which was mounted with Jim Fletcher. Co-curated with Kim Simon and presented at Gallery TPW.
A Problem So Big It Needs Other People (SBC galerie d’art contemporain, Montréal QC, 2014) This exhibition attempts to think through the ways that sovereignty manifests as processes of negotiation on the level of the subject—but not a subject sovereign in solitude; a subject sovereign through contact, intimacy and sociality. Featuring Basil AlZeri, Daina Ashbee, Maggie Groat, Susan Hiller, Maria Hupfield, Tiziana La Melia, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Annie MacDonell, Gabrielle Moser and Chelsea Vowel.
An Imprecise Repetition of Gestures (SBC galerie d’art contemporain, Montréal QC, 2014) All-night screening presented as part of Montréal’s Nuit Blanche events. Featuring Sharon Hayes and J.P. Kelly.
Other Electricities (Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor ON, 2013) This exhibition poses a question to the Art Gallery of Windsor’s permanent collection, which has been acquired over a period of 70 years: Is it possible to look at the works in a way that performs an aesthetic or cultural decolonization? What can decolonization be as a set of actions? Featuring Carl Beam, Dominique Blain, Edward Burtynsky, Charles Comfort, David Craig, Aganetha Dyck, Etidlooie Etidlooie, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Rafael Goldchain, Betty Goodwin, Lawren Harris, Barry Jones, Janet Kigusiuq, Napachie Pootoogook, Andy Warhol, Joyce Weiland and Janet Kigusiuq,
Nearness (Art Metropole, Toronto ON, 2013) A performative lecture hosted by designers/artists Anni Puolakka and Jenna Sutela, in collaboration with fashion designer K.I. Kinnunen.
What We Talk About When We Talk About History (Gallery TPW, Toronto ON, 2013) Organized by Pablo de Ocampo as a series of discursive screenings departing from documentation of a speech given by civil rights activist Queen Mother Moore at Green Haven prison in 1972, a number of respondents offered programming in response. As my contribution, I screened documentation of Chris Burden’s iconic performance Shoot (1971).
No Theory, No Cry (Art Metropole, Toronto ON, 2013) Working with the form of the suffrage and union banner—a graphic combination of image, text, scale and urgency—the exhibition No Theory No Cry presented an account of how the emotional mind engages the critical. A solo exhibition featuring the work of Hazel Meyer (Canada).
This Story Begins and Ends with Us (A Space, Toronto ON, 2012) Co-curated with Erik Martinson. A solo exhibition of the work of Basma Alsharif. With a skillful play between moving images, text, translation and voice, the media work of Alsharif calls out the viewer’s position of watching, asking us to reconsider the certainty with which we know the world. Alsharif’s practice evinces an interest in how people relate to and internalize geo-political shifts that occur within their lifetimes, and those they carry with them from past generations. Weaving structural visual codes with material archives, her aim is to decentralize content and produce work that operates through a multi-vantage perspective, thereby transforming information into a visceral experience.
What Goes Around Comes Around Reference Library (Xpace, Toronto ON, 2011) What Goes Around Comes Around is an emergent exhibition that offers a glimpse into artistic trends that utilize collectivity as not only the means of production, but a platform for political and social interaction. In compliment to the exhibition, the Reference Library collects contemporary texts that interrogate participatory art practices.
Speaking Difference (Gallery TPW, Toronto ON, 2011) A discussion about what is at stake when artworks attempt acts of translation, be it between one person and another, or between different ways of knowing the world. Featuring Gina Badger, Lucas Freeman, Franscisco-Fernando Granados, Nika Khanjani and Kika Thorne.
The Normal Condition of Any Communication (Gallery TPW, Toronto ON, 2011) Considering the potential of participating in conversations that extend beyond a person’s particular subject position, the works in this exhibition perform acts of translation between individuals and across cultures. Featuring works by Ayreen Anastas + Rene Gabri, Neil Beloufa, Keren Cytter, Claire Fontaine and Reza Haeri.
All Our Memories Significant in Retrospect (Images Festival, Toronto ON, 2011) Presented as part of the 24th annual Images Festival. Organized around a formal consideration–the use of text in cinema–these films explore the possibility of reconfiguring the authority of language by setting text in motion. Featuring works by Basma Alsharif, mounir fatmi and Beatrice Gibson.
The Permanent Longing for Elsewhere (Gallery TPW, Toronto ON, 2011; Pacific Cinematheque, Vancouver BC, 2011) Works in this screening use frustration to explore the ways that paradigms of nationalism are breaking down. Understanding displacement as a common, contemporary experience, these films attempt to articulate how one’s origins figure into a self-positioning that is constantly in flux. Featuring works by Rainer Ganahl, Bouchra Khalili, John Smith and Daniela Swarowsky.
The Future Trilogy (VIVO Media Arts, Vancouver BC, 2010) Presented as part of the 10th annual Signal + Noise Festival Media Art Festival. In November 2005, IKEA announced a new store opening in Edmonton, London to be accompanied by an offer of a significant price reduction on leather sofas. When 6000 people arrived to compete for the discount, a riot ensued, injuring 16 shoppers. The Pil + Galia Kollectiv’s The Future Trilogy takes this event as the starting point for a speculative history of a fictional future.
Kamal Aljafari (Pacific Cinematheque, Vancouver BC, 2010) Co-curated with Amy Lynn Kazymerchyk and Cinema Project, and presented as part of DIM Cinema, a monthly short-form, experimental film series. Using the lens of experimental documentary, Palestinian filmmaker Kamal Aljafari draws on the lived experience of his family based in Ramallah and Jaffa, now part of Israel, to explore the architecture of identity, place and present pasts.
Afternoon School (VIVO Media Arts, Vancouver BC, 2010) Co-curated with Lois Klassen and presented as part of Safe Assembly, a series of programming responding to states of exception created by the 2010 Winter Olympic games. Afternoon School addressed the two week gap in post-secondary education by providing an opportunity for dialogue that started with criticality and resistance. Speakers included Angela Piccini, Kristina Lee Podevsa and Rob Stone.
what remained to complete a circumnavigation of the planet (Pacific Cinematheque, Vancouver BC, 2009) Expanded cinema performance commanding lightening surges of luminescence and thunderclaps of sine waves to create visceral experiences on the screen and in the body. Bruce McClure conducted four unique performances: You Know My Methods, Christmas Tree Stand – Part 1, Evertwo Circumflicksrent Page 298, Cong In Our Gregational Pompoms.
Letters to the President (Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society, Vancouver BC, 2009) The Iranian habit of writing letters to President Ahmadinejad is the focus of Petr Lom’s documentary Letters to the President. Artist, curator, writer and activist Mohammad Salemy engaged Lom in discussion about politics, propaganda and the possibilities for personal response in Iran.
Cinematic Cartographies (Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society, Vancouver BC, 2009) An exploration of the places where individual lives intersect the abstract maps of global capitalism. Co-curated with Roger Beebe. Featuring works by Bill Brown and Jacqueline Goss, and Randy Lee Cutler, Nelson Henricks and Steve Reinke.
The Enduring (VIVO Media Arts, Vancouver BC, 2009) Highlighting a tendency to privilege mental realities over physical ones, this short program of short films revealed a fragility in the distance that separates memory from its referent. Featuring works by Marianna Milhorat and Monique Moumblow.
suddenly everything changed (VIVO Media Arts, Vancouver BC, 2009) Presented as part of the 9th annual Signal + Noise Festival. Looking back, the clues were clear. But by the time the emergency crew took flight it was too late. Things will never be the same. Installation work by Christina Battle.
The Soft Revolution (Interurban Gallery, Vancouver BC, 2009) A three-channel, interactive installation that challenges the frame of traditional cinema by relying on the audience’s involvement, and the philosophic principles of the I-Ching, to reveal the narrative of a vibrant, complicated Gulf Islands family. Created by media artists Brian Johnson and Anthony Roberts.
Ghost Dialogues (Western Front, Vancouver BC, 2008) Selected works from the Western Front Media Archive featuring the films of Cioni Carpi, Kate Craig, Dalibor Martinis and Tom Sherman. Part of the Perspectives on an Archive group residency.
Art + Activism: World AIDS Day (Pacific Cinematheque, Vancouver BC, 2008) A series of screenings highlighting the ongoing need for awareness, action and education around the subject of AIDS, recognizing that art often is a creative conduit for raising awareness about important social and political issues. Featuring Derek Jarman’s Blue, Wrik Mead’s Deviate, and Annette Mangaard’s General Idea: Art, AIDS and the fin de siècle.
Dana Claxton in Conversation with Mike Hoolboom (Pacific Cinematheque, Vancouver BC, 2008) A discussion between author/filmmakers Mike Hoolboom and Dana Claxton about her artistic practice.
Gastown Drive-In (Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society, Vancouver BC, 2008) Co-curated with Peeroj Thakre. Featuring short and feature films that have been shot in part or wholly within the Metro Vancouver area, the provocative venue for the film series demonstrated the potential of functional infrastructure to be re-imagined as a social and cultural resource. Featuring the work of Mark Lewis, Natasha McHardy, Marina Roy and Yun Lam Li.
Who Will Give Up Their Distinctions? (Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society, Vancouver BC, 2008) Presented as part of the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres’ SWARM. An installation of video responses to the question “Who will give up their distinctions?” featuring the work of Clint Enns and Debashis Sinha.
Optical Allusions (Pacific Cinematheque, Vancouver BC, 2008) A program of experimental film works that have been made using optical printer manipulations. Featuring work by Christina Battle, John Behrans, Amanda Dawn Christie, John Kneller and Matthias Mueller.
Encouraging Diversity Behind and In Front of the Camera (Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society, Vancouver BC, 2007) A discussion about the importance of and challenges to realizing cultural diversity in film products and practices, focusing on possible ways to encourage both. Featuring filmmakers Jim Finn, John Jeffcoat and Michael V. Smith.
Riot in Vancouver (Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society, Vancouver BC, 2007) Co-curated with Colleen Langford. Commemorating four cornerstone years in the history of Canada, the program drew together a special collection of films confronting and questioning notions of displacement, family, language, race and culture, contemplating both the historic and contemporary forces at work in the global movement of Asians to Canada. Featuring work by Dorothy Christian, Ann Marie Flemming and Rick Shiomi, and Tadashi H. Nakamura.