Post-Capitalist Architecture-TV, episode 6: On the ravines, 2022
Joar Nango and Ken Are Bongo
co-commissioned by the Art Gallery of York University, Evergreen Brick Works, and the Toronto Biennial of Art.
Toronto/Tkaronto’s ravine system is both location and subject for the sixth episode of Post-Capitalist Architecture-TV by Joar Nango and Ken Are Bongo, jointly commissioned and presented by the Art Gallery of York University, Evergreen Brick Works, and the Toronto Biennial of Art. Set in the Don River Valley, the episode continues the series’ variety show format, featuring interviews with local knowledge holders and those invested in the ravine’s ecosystems, including local and international architects, scholars, activists, writers and artists: Adrian Blackwell, Bonnie Devine, Ange Loft, Thomas Holland Eriksen, Lorraine Lam; Thomas Juell Christensen, Amish Morell as well as artistic contributions from Kuzy Curley, Dayna Danger, Fortunato Durutti Marinetti, Ándaris Rimpi, and Archer Pechawis. The episode speaks to and documents the ravine systems as architecture, as a place of formal and informal building practices, as resistance, and as refuge. It also illuminates how the ravines are a contingent archive of colonialism, gentrification, and Indigenous knowledge.
This is the first episode of PCA-TV to go international, focusing on a large natural topography that connects the downtown core of Toronto with the wild greenery north of the city. The ravines are an important part of Toronto‘s identity as a colonial city. Throughout the episode, Nango and Bongo are introduced to important discussions that address property rights, homelessness, and architecture’s colonial heritage on Turtle Island. The conversations are all held in one of the city’s largest ravines, along the Don River where the PCA-TV crew also built a small cinema from found objects and materials for the premiere screening of this episode.
A thematic video series, Post-Capitalist Architecture-TV documents Indigenous architectures from mobile Sámi fishing huts to questioning, and embodying decoloniality as a global manifestation. The series by Nango and Bongo began in 2020 following Nango’s travels across northern Norway in an aging and modified cargo van.
Other episodes for the series can be viewed at the following locations:
Episode 1, On materiality and resource economy: https://vimeo.com/430661197
Episode 2, On nomadism and flow: https://vimeo.com/430644437
Episode 3, On decolonization and architecture: https://vimeo.com/430661197
Episodes 4 and 5 are currently not available online.
Joar Nango is a process-based artist, working within the provisional nature of sculpture, performance, and architecture. Embedded in Nango’s approach to artmaking is the proliferation of Indigenous history, people, and ways of life. Nango’s research begins socially and then builds into a sharing of skills and the development of platforms for knowledge sharing. An engagement with Indigenous people in the region he is working is integral to his methodology, learning local histories through interactions with artists, writers, and architects. This process has a materiality that is about accumulating objects and skills that accrue as the artist meets various individuals and gains knowledge of local communities.
Nango is not only an artist, but also an architect, builder, publisher, and host. He lives and works in Tromsø, Norway. He is Sámi, belonging to the Indigenous peoples from Sápmi, the traditional Sámi territory. He has exhibited widely, most recent presenting a large-scale solo exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall, Norway. He has participated in exhibitions at the National Gallery of Canada, Tensta Konsthall, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and Documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens. He is currently occupying the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale with his installation/library, Girjegumpi.
Ken Are Bongo is a film director, cinematographer, and editor. He comes from a Sámi village Guovdageaidnu and graduated from Nordland Art and Film School in Kabelvåg. He has been working in film and TV since 2006, and recently produced the short fictional film Wolf in 2018 which premiered at the Reykjavík International Film Festival. Other credits include Hvem ringer? (TV Mini-Series) (1 episode), 2020; Ara Marumaru (Short) 2018; and Biegga savkala duoddariid duohken lea soames (Short), 2007.