AGYU Winter 2019: The Future Imperfect
This is the Future Imperfect.
Looking back, AGYU’s 2018 programming year moved across borders and thresholds with artists whose work navigated a terrain of identity from the point of view of the Americas. Operating under the overarching concept of The Beyond, Beyond, we looked to Édouard Glissant’s Poetics of Relation and its related ideas of the Tout Monde, the Right to Opacity, and Give-on-and-With as a way of thinking about contemporary cultural production in the Americas— be that through collaboration across cultures (Betsabeé Romero), the constitution of new traditions (Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca), or the transgression of national borders and socio-political borderlines (Postcommodity).
We navigated 2018 through movements that crisscrossed, relayed, and relinked. Yet we also embraced detours, interludes, and delays as productive trajectories for curatorial thinking. As we turn to 2019, we are in many ways disoriented by these movements and trajectories. But this becomes the point. The point is now a juncture—not unlike a pivot. Only now we pivot on a point that moves, too. So, 2019 is a moment of transformation at AGYU and a time for us to push at our own institutional borders and thresholds. By bringing together individuals and groups with no (apparent) natural affinity, AGYU has become known for its long-term collaborative projects that explore what might constitute forms of hybrid expression and aesthetics. The AGYU will now fully embrace its own hybrid identity as a university-affiliated-public-gallery with a program that commits to learning from what a syncretic point of view might holistically impart as an institutional practice. We will be moving through our 2019 program with an understanding that hybrid identities are forms of cultural kinship and survival. Hybrid identities give rise to new forms of visual culture and aesthetics, challenge popular culture and its universalisms, and innovate models of communication between and across cultures and geographies.
This year we will move beyond the beyond—admittedly a cheeky proposition that goes nowhere and potentially anywhere all at the same time—to consider new forms of hybrid identities beyond traditional post-colonial frameworks and beyond historical conditions of plurality, conquest, displacement, and appropriation. Beyond official practices of citizenship and other earth-bound formations, too. By fall 2019, we project ourselves into the cosmos but not without acknowledging along the way the tangible effects of globalization on our lives, lands, and localities. What kinds of aesthetico-political gestures might constitute new kinds of social and political alliances? Could these gestures move us into trans-historical, intra-local, and inter-traditional spaces of hybrid potential? We believe that this potential is already emerging in Canada’s new cultural landscape.
In 2019, we wonder: Can hybrid identities perform as political gestures of hegemonic resistance? Can the kind of projects we’ve undertaken over the last decade move beyond being projects to becoming a practice—an institutional practice at AGYU, in fact? Next: the Present Continuous.
—Emelie Chhangur, Interim Director/Curator
Ready Player Two
Brendan Lee Satish Tang and Sonny Assu
17 January – 17 March 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 17, 6 – 9 pm
In Ready Player Two, British Columbia-based artists Brendan Lee Satish Tang and Sonny Assu combine elements from science fiction, comic book, and gaming cultures to consider how these forms alternately reinforce and transcend racial boundaries in suburban youth culture.
In their individual practices, Tang and Assu frequently negotiate the material and conceptual dynamics of culture and ethnicity. Informed by their mixed-race backgrounds and experiences of Canadian life in the 1980s and 1990s, Ready Player Two brings together found objects, selections of previous works, and new collaborative pieces to create immersive spaces that evoke the sanctuaries of the artists’ adolescence: the basement, the arcade, and the comic book store.
Ready Player Two creates space for sensitive and critical conversation about race at a time of heightened tension in both contemporary art discourse and the wider geopolitical milieu. Familiar references from the artists’ youth, both the beloved and the troubling, illustrate the complicated representations of race that existed, and continue to exist, in popular media. Racist rhetoric in board games, video games, television shows, comic books, and magazines from this era is sabotaged by the artists’ witty subversion. The exhibition casts a critical lens on these seemingly pedestrian objects, asking questions about similar trends in popular culture today.
Organized and circulated by The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford. Curated by Laura Schneider. This project is made possible through generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts. The AGYU’s presentation of Ready Player Two is supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage, Museums Assistance Program through the Exhibition Circulation Fund component.
Sonny Assu was raised in North Delta, BC, over 250 km away from his ancestral home on unceded Liǥwildaʼx̱w territory (Campbell River, BC). Along with his extensive exhibition record, Assu has been long-listed for the Sobey Art Award three times and his work can be found in numerous collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, Seattle Art Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Burke Museum at the University of Washington. He holds an MFA from Concordia University.
Brendan Lee Satish Tang was born in Dublin to Trinidadian parents of Chinese and South Asian descent and lives in Vancouver, BC. He received his formal art education on both Canadian coasts and the American Midwest. Tang has participated in residencies and exhibitions internationally and was a nominee for the 2017 LOEWE Craft Prize, an annual international award celebrating excellence in craftsmanship. He has lectured at conferences and academic institutions across the continent and is currently a sessional instructor at Emily Carr University.
For her AGYU Vitrine commission, York MFA Candidate Naz Rahbar evokes the ease and fluidity of how she created images as a child to express her contemporary milieu. She harnesses the urgency of child-like honesty and mark-making to record difficult emotions and tell tales of belonging and becoming. In a chaotic overlapping of drawings, each vitrine speaks to the construction of a transnational queerness which exceeds the boundaries of gender, sexuality, and place.
Naz Rahbar graduated OCAD University in 2009 with a major in drawing and painting and a minor in printmaking. She has been working in the field of education since 2005, earning a Bachelor of Education with a fine arts focus at York University in 2012. She lives and works in Toronto as an artist and co-founder/director of ArtCave, an art collective focused on equitable and creative art education and community art projects.
Audio Out: Lanterns at Guantánamo
To arrange a media tour of the detention camps at Guantánamo Bay takes around a year and a lot of paperwork. It turns out that the same is true for a poet’s tour of the camps. We know this because Jordan Scott began the process to visit in 2014 and was granted permission—the first to obtain such as a poet—in April 2015.
His visit coinciding with the Freddy Gray-inspired Baltimore protests, Scott toured the sites of Guantánamo Bay for five days, recording as much as he was able and allowed. If there was any question about what would be considered allowable, a minder accompanied him on his tour and all audio-visual material would be audited—and edited—by the US Army to ensure compliance.
Any recording of and any direct interaction with those detained was forbidden. For a poet who has been researching dysfluency (a state of transgressing language) for years, this particular restriction became the focus of his research. The redacting of language has been an important topic in poetics for a few years now; the redaction of people, however, is something altogether different.
Searching for proxies for the detainees, Scott turned his attention to the ambient sounds of Guantánamo Bay (particularly the sounds of Camp X at night), to the presence of traces of the redacted prisoners found in interviews with camp employees, and to prosaic photographs of the surroundings which offer little clue as to their origins. Bypassing the censors thanks to their seeming innocuousness, these audio and visual recordings are key components in this thoughtful and quiet contemplation of the state of redaction-as-foreign-policy. The source sounds, edited by Vancouver-based composer, teacher, and critic Jason Starnes, capture “the room tone of a once-held violence or a never-heard pastoral. The sounds belong to the disappeared and the indefinitely detained, their calls for rights and home flung out only to evaporate in the impossible sea air that surrounds.”
To bring together these sights and sounds, we’re also bridging the Audio Out series with our artists’ book series for the first time, and publishing a very modest book of photographs of Guantánamo by Scott to accompany the audio pieces.
Jordan Scott is the author of Silt (2005), and from Coach House Books: blert (2008), Decomp (2013, a collaboration with Stephen Collis and the ecosphere of British Columbia), and Night & Ox (2016). He has been featured at international literary festival, was the 2015/16 Writer-in-Residence at Simon Fraser University, and recently won the Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize.
Jason Starnes is a composer, teacher, and critic living in East Vancouver. His latest musical release as Bells Clanging is titled Momentum Conservatory.
Wednesday, January 23 & 30 @ 5 – 8 pm | AGYU
Ready Player Two hosts two game nights by Toronto-based artist Golboo Amani with her interventionist board game, Unsettling Settlers. Built as an addition to the classic Settlers of Catan, Golboo’s iteration changes the stakes of the game. Players band together to build a community-oriented future rather than focusing on individualistic competition. Engage in critical discussions on how a decolonial language can interrupt the ideologies of land-domination-based games. Come break normative gaming rules and build a new Catan!
Multi-disciplinary artist Golboo Amani is best known for her performance and social practice works. Amani often relies on familiar social engagements as a point of entry into her practice. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, including at Creative Time Summit, AGO, Articule, XPACE Artist-Run Centre, Encuentro: Hemispheric Institute, Union Gallery, Blackwood Gallery, Rats9 Gallery, Rhubarb Festival, FADO Emerging Artist Series, TRANSMUTED International Festival of Performance Art, 221A Artist-Run Centre, and the LIVE Biennial of Performance Art.
Student Tour Series
Wednesday, 13 February @ 6 – 7 pm | AGYU
Join York University Digital Media student Andrew Sidsworth on a visit to AGYU’s Ready Player Two exhibition to discuss the impact of gaming culture on a new generation of players and programmers.
Mixed Messages: spoken word poets re-present mixed-race identity
Thursday, March 14 @ 6:00 – 8:00 pm | AGYU
Featuring performances by Britta Badour, Paulina O’Kieffe, and Patrick Walters
Can spoken word poetry play a role in the construction, understanding, and performance of mixed-race subjectivity? How can artists of mixed parentage contribute to the deconstruction and dismantling of essentialist identity formations? Britta Badour, Paulina O’Kieffe, and Patrick Walters consider these questions and propose new models for identification and belonging in this spoken word showcase.
Research & Residencies
ruangrupa: An Imagination Tool for Institutional Operations
To mirror the AGYU trip to Jakarta of last summer, members of the Jakarta-based art collective ruangrupa make their way across the globe this March/April to visit us here in Toronto. Additional members will come in the summer, and more in the fall, and so it will continue through fall 2020 when our project will emerge. The exchange is the very beginning of what we hope to be a long engagement with reciprocal benefit—both artistically and administratively—as we introduce each arriving group to a different aspect of AGYU, our surrounding communities, our local context, and, of course, York University. It is not by coincidence that we are embarking on this long-term project with ruangrupa as they too advance as an organization by transitioning to the new formation of Gudskul, a fully-functioning school conceived and structured with two other Jakartan collectives: Serrum and Grafis Huru Hara. Members of Serrum and Grafis Huru Hara will also be travelling to Toronto over the next year and a half and—we suspect already—some of the first graduates of Gudskul’s inaugural year (November 2018 to August 2019). Each mini-residency will be tailored to the time of year collective members visit (fall, spring, summer, etc.) and their particular research trajectory will be shaped by the operative role they play in Gudskul. Our exchange over the next few years will also be shaped through AGYU’s continued visits to Jakarta and our own transformation as an institution.
At present, the main interest developing in these oscillating interactions—in Jakarta and in Toronto— is the correspondence, and the lack thereof, in understandings of what constitutes a collective practice in the Indonesian sense (a place defined by the phrase, “doing things together”) and in the Canadian one (and the jury is still out on how to define how we approach that very distinct concept). From here we build something at the intersection of both and the next set of residency visits will move our research further afield: to our local neighbourhood, to the GTA, etc., etc., onward and outward and, eventually, inward.
Over the course of the next two years, we will be pushing forward our project until, eventually, Gudskul X, a collective of collectives, will take over the AGYU, putting our institution into residency and advancing a new chapter of AGYU’s pedagogical role within York University and Toronto at large, modelled on the Gudskul and informed by the collectives’ in-situ research.
Waging Culture: the Numbers are In!
We just spent the last eight months begging visual artists from across the country to give us their deets. Demographics. Income. Expenses. We were asking all the questions, and they answered our calls. We can now move into the analysis phase. Right now, as you read this, we’re putting our abacus into overdrive, counting and adding and subtracting and computing. This part is quiet, done under low light, and without much fanfare. That’s ok. We know that we’re going to be able to come to some new understandings of the motivations behind all the art that’s art-ed here in Canada. And when we get to the point where we can start telling you about it, we will. Loud and clear.
In the meantime, you can listen in on Mass Culture’s podcast series, where the Mass Culture team interviews individuals involved in cultural research in Canada. The first in this series of podcasts is none other than the person behind Waging Culture, Michael Maranda.
Caecilia Tripp: Even the Stars Look Lonesome
At AGYU, we’ve been thinking about other planets for a while now. Especially Trappist-1, those seven perfectly tuned planets discovered in 2016 to be a mere 40 billion light years away from earth. It’s all speculative at present but the implications have us wild with wonder: the imaginative possibilities enormous for our contemporary art minds. We’ve also been talking a lot about relations here at AGYU, in particular vis-à-vis Édouard Glissant (see AGYU’s 2018 program), and something lurking in the background has started to click: Caecilia Tripp. Tripp returned for a month this fall for her second residency to make a film in York University’s Observatory—to tune into the cosmos in a more relational fashion and to bring into deep focus the celestial and the terrestrial (a.k.a. our lofty conceptual and imaginative speculations and the on-the-ground work we are forever foregrounding). Together with professor Paul Delaney (Department of Physics and Astronomy), York undergraduate film student Andrei Pora, undergraduate astronomy students Jared Carlson and Joshua Parsons, Toronto-based sound designer Matt Beckett, Toronto-based Congolese spoken word poet Borelson, and Jane–Finch-based MC Zak’isha Brown, we produced one aspect of a larger five-screen film installation (also featuring performances by David Hamilton Thompson, musical score by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe & Nicolas Becker, and costumes by Rick Owens) that stems from our research with astrophysicists from the Dunlap Institute at the University of Toronto that initiated in fall 2017 during Tripp’s first AGYU residency. Even the Stars Look Lonesome premieres in March at the Sharjah Biennial 14 (as part of Look for Me All Around You curated by Claire Tancons) but will circle back to AGYU in our fall exhibition, where we will relate, relink, and relay much more information about the piece and the working process that gave rise to it.
Curatorial Residency: Amy Malbeuf & Jessie Ray Short
It’s been a little over a year now that we began discussions with artists and curators Jessie Ray Short and Amy Malbeuf around developing a second iteration of Li Salay—the landmark exhibition of contemporary Métis art that opened at the Edmonton Art Gallery in May 2018. This winter, we bring the two artist-curators to Toronto to conduct further research on this project and make connections along its continuum with the many Métis scholars here at YorkU for an AGYU exhibition in 2020.
In Between Wor(l)ds
31 January – 28 March | Thursdays @ 5:00 -7:00 pm | AGYU
Facilitated by Patrick Walters, In Between Wor(l)ds is a free, spoken word poetry program that is open to both community members and York University students. Taking place at the AGYU, these workshops invite participants to use writing and performance as a means of investigating themes that revolve around diasporic identity and mixed-race subjectivity.
Jane Street Speaks
Tuesday, February 5 @ 7:00 to 10:00 pm | A-2 Conference Space, Second (New) Student Centre (between Osgoode and Atkinson buildings)
The AGYU teams up with Nathan Baya again to present another iteration of the west-end performance platform, Jane Street Speaks. Following the success of our last joint event, we are co-presenting another open mic featuring some of the best up-and-coming rappers, spoken word poets, and singers, with exciting feature performances by Dynesti Williams and Ruben Esguerra.
Known as a fierce entertainer with a contagious energy that can raise the vibration of any space she performs in, Dynesti Williams is a rebellious hip hop soul artist who stands out for her reggae-influenced jazzy singing and tough-love rap flow.
Born in Colombia, JUNO Award Nominee Ruben ‘Beny’ Esguerra is a multi-instrumentalist, lyricist, arts educator, and community worker. Esguerra is currently the music director of several programs based in Jane–Finch and is also a YorkU PhD candidate in Musicology/Ethnomusicology specializing in traditional and urban music.
Research Associate Report by Katarina Veljovic
“There is something strange happening at the AGYU. Strange in the sense of curatorial space. Strange in the sense of temporality of projects. Strange in the sense of engagement with their audiences.
“Over the past year, I had the opportunity to experience this strangeness firsthand. As the Curatorial Research Associate for the AGYU from January to June 2018, I worked alongside the nimble and resilient gallery team. I was mostly working toward the AGYU’s film commission of Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca’s (now completed) film RISE. Under the mentorship of Interim Director/Curator Emelie Chhangur, I experienced the eccentric ways of the AGYU, diverging from institutional norms and developing their own unique path in how they relate to the space they are situated and with whom they engage. This divergence—which is unfortunately strange—should be considered closely as a case study for the potential of meaningful exhibition-making and connection to institutional communities.
“Time and space operate in a different structure at AGYU: the team allows for change and for growth of their projects. While working with Wagner and de Burca on the film RISE, the team allowed the project to continuously shapeshift. Along each step it was incredible to watch how Chhangur moved roadblocks to allow for these changes and for the project to evolve. And to see how a decade of public programming with the local community can provide as an outlet for curatorial activity. This aberrant exchange allowed for the coalescence of the film, artists, and local community to find the right voice to work together. These spatial-temporal strange activities at the AGYU have allowed it to complete projects differently. A space to watch in rethinking the meaning of supportive curatorial structures and community outreach.”
Swinging Hearts with our Hands on our Maternal Belly
Betsabeé Romero gift to the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation
Swinging Hearts with our Hands on our Maternal Belly is a work commissioned for our fall 2018 exhibition Braided Roots by Mexican artist Betsabeé Romero. The installation piece transforms the artist’s signature use of recycled tires into hand-stretched, deer-hide drums (developed in collaboration with Jordan and Cathie Jamieson of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation in summer 2018). We are in the process of developing a protocol to gift these six altered tractor tires to the six nations of the Mississauga, namely, the Mississauga First Nation at Mississagi River 8 Reserve, Mississaugas of Alderville First Nation, Mississaugas of Curve Lake First Nation, Mississaugas of Hiawatha First Nation, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, and, of course, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, in what MNCFN Chief Stacey LaForme calls a legacy piece. The concept of the legacy piece performatively enacts the concept of the work, too. In Indigenous culture, drums have a material resonance—they are a heartbeat and a calling. The drum is the material manifestation of a subconscious melody or inherent rhythm, one that we know in the womb of our mother, even before birth. The drum is a medium that channels this connection. If the drums are a symbol of birth, through this re-gifting we rebirth these tire-drums into lives beyond the exhibition.
RISE Comes Full Circle
On November 26, R.I.S.E. (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere) and AGYU co-presented a special screening of Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca’s AGYU-commissioned experimental documentary RISE at Burrows Hall in Scarborough. This screening brought the project full circle, as it allowed us to celebrate where the project first began, on a cold November night in 2017. R.I.S.E.’s weekly open mic event in Scarborough was the site where Wagner and de Burca first built relationships with Randell Adjei and many of the Toronto rappers, poets, singers, and dancers featured in the film. It’s only fitting that we screen the film at R.I.S.E.’s home base, honouring the artistic inception of this transformative collaborative undertaking, and bringing our film commission full circle.
Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca: Toronto on the international map
We worked intimately, intensely, and passionately with Brazil-based artists Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca for over a year. If you haven’t noticed (see our last four newsletters), we love them—a lot. We got engaged at Niagara Falls and honeymooned in the Alagoas! “B&B” became integrated in all aspects of the AGYU and lived in Toronto for five months while we researched, commissioned, and produced their most complex film to date: RISE. Completed at the Wexner Centre for the Arts in late June 2018, the film has now been shown as part of a program for FRONT INTERNATIONAL Triennial of American Art in the USA; in Brazil as an installation at Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel during the 33rd São Paulo Biennial (where Frieze Magazine called it the best show across São Paulo; and Jayne Wilkinson of Canadian Art said it was where she found the social and affective affinities lacking at the Biennial); in Toronto at CONTACT Gallery as part of our Communities of Love exhibition with Anthony Gebrehiwot; at Scarborough Nuit Blanche; and at the Burrows Hall Community Centre in Scarborough during R.I.S.E (all presented with equivalent care, importance, and value, we must add). We are very proud to announce that the film will now travel to Berlin for its International Film Festival Premiere at the Berlinale! As Wilkinson writes, “It is a film of voices, of collaboration, and demonstrates what is possible when a project is produced through finding affinities, not made about them.” SNAP.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you should—somewhere in the world or in Toronto’s suburbs. JEEZE.
AND! AGYU is delighted to announce that Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca will represent Brazil at the Venice Biennale this year! (Do we have our finger on the pulse or what?!)
Student Cash! Writing Award
AGYU has two cash awards for undergraduate critical writing! Send us your review or essay on one of our 2018/19 exhibitions and we will send you AGYU CASH—$150 for a review and $200 for a thematic essay. The review discusses the exhibition and offers a brief critical analysis of its content (word count: 500-1000) and the thematic essay thoroughly explores one or two underlying themes of the exhibition (word count: 1500-2000). Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday May 3, 2019.
News & Reports
OAAG AWARDS: Welcome to the Suburbs!
AGYU was proud to take home the Ontario Association of Art Galleries Award for Best Exhibition (thematic) for our pathbreaking fall 2017 exhibition Migrating the Margins. Not only an important exhibition that took a bold stance on exploring the future of Toronto’s visual culture, Migrating the Margins was also a special exhibition in that it was the last collaborative project at AGYU between long-time colleagues Emelie Chhangur and Philip Monk—the co-curators of the exhibition. The OAAG jury commented:
“The monumental commissioned work and bold exhibition design are balanced with exceptional community partnerships and programs… As the title of the exhibition suggests, Migrating the Margins reclaims suburban space while also demonstrating the strength of curating exhibitions for suburban audiences.”
AGYU thanks all the artists, without whom this exhibition could not have happened: Nep Sidhu, Anique Jordan, Tau Lewis, Erika DeFreitas, Rajni Perera, Sister Co-Resister, Otherness (Pamila Matharu + Marilyn Fernandes), and Farrah Miranda.
Goodbye? WHAT! NOOOOOOO …
It is with mixed emotions that AGYU says goodbye to one of its ilk, Suzanne Carte. Suzanne joined the AGYU’s powerhouse team as an Assistant Curator in late 2008 and for the past decade has contributed significantly to all aspects of the gallery’s growth, in particular in the area of student engagement through her innovative Creative Campaigning series. While at the AGYU, Suzanne was a fierce exhibition coordinator, organizer, multi-tasker, and producer, and she grew as a curator, presenting exhibitions of US-artists Rashaad Newsome and Postcommodity as well as commissioning projects for AGYU Vitrines by local artists and YorkU MFA students. And this is why we are so proud and happy for her in her new role of Senior Curator at the Art Gallery of Burlington. We hope that North York and Burlington can find ways to collaborate in the near future J. Good luck Suzanne! With love, us. XO
Hello! AGYU welcomes new interim assistant director/curator
AGYU is pleased to announce the appointment of Alissa Firth-Eagland to the position of Interim Director/Curator. A curator, writer, and arts administrator who deeply values the sharing and decentralization of culture, Alissa has developed a range of local and international projects over the past 15 years in contemporary art, community development, multimedia, equity practices, cultural mediation, critical writing, publishing, and alternative forms of learning. She has held positions as Project Manager, Isuma Distribution International (Igloolik, NU/Montréal, PQ); Curator, Musagetes (Guelph, ON); Director/Curator, Western Front Media Arts (Vancouver, BC); and most recently Curator at Humber Galleries, where she established the organization’s first five year strategic plan for targeted polytechnic programming and organizational development in 2017. Welcome to AGYU Alissa!
We occupied our table at Edition/3, Toronto’s art book fair, with copies of our Public Studio book, The Long Now. Lauren Wickware really did some stunning work, bringing the included essays (by T.J. Demos, John Greyson, Susan Schuppli, and Jayne Wilkinson) and interview (by curators Emelie Chhangur and Philip Monk) forward in an elegant and understated manner. We’d really like you to see, and read, this one, so get on over to our website to purchase a copy for yourself. We are pleased to acknowledge the financial help of the Jack Weinbaum Foundation and David and Yvonne Fleck in seeing this book to print. Thank you ever so much for your commitment to print culture!
We really wanted to launch this book properly. Thus, on November 29 we called together writers, artists, designers, and friends to properly fete The Long Now, as well as The Sophie La Rosière Project publication. Thanks are due to Type Books for hosting, as it made the evening perfect.
We weren’t only working on launches and book fairs, though. We will be bringing out in short order a co-publication with the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) a catalogue for Derek Liddington’s exhibition at the AGYU and the SAAG. This book includes essays by curator Emelie Chhangur, critic Fabien Maltais-Bayda, and an interview with Ryan Doherty, former director of SAAG. We so much enjoyed working with Zab Design previously, that we just had to work with her again.
We’re also chipping away at Inside Killjoy’s Kastle: Dykey Ghosts, Feminist Monsters, and Other Lesbian Hauntings, the peer-reviewed/art-book mashup we’re co-publishing with UBC Press and One Archive from California. The subject is, of course, Allyson Mitchell’s KillJoy’s Kastle, a fun-house/haunted house/critical journey-to-the-heart-of-lesbian-feminist-greatest-hits that we presented a few years back one hallowe’en. It’s an incredible journey, learning lots about the goings-on of academic publishing, and having fun with our designer, Cecilia Berkovic.
Then there’s the big one: funded by the RBC Foundation with the support of the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts (TFVA), our upcoming Migrating the Margins book is a suitable follow-up to the scene-changing exhibition of the same name from last fall. This one presents the work of the artists from that exhibition at the same time as it functions as a manifesto for a new direction to understand contemporary art in Toronto. Artworks by Erika DeFreitas, Anique Jordan, Tau Lewis, Rajni Perera, and Nep Sidhu, as well as public artworks by Farrah-Marie Miranda, Sister Co-Resister, and Otherness (Pamila Matharu + Marilyn Fernandes), serve as counterpoints to a series of essays by Emelie Chhangur and Philip Monk which build the argument for a disassembling of the centre, and a recognition of the suburb-to-suburb conversations that are restructuring our culture in real time. We needed the perfect designer for this work, and we think we found him in Sameer Farooq (who designed our beautiful Oliver Husain book back in 2012).
Stay tuned for the launch of this one, you want to be there when we redefine the conversation.