Space, Place, and Land, episode 3 of Uncontainable Collections: Speculative Futures of Objects

The third episode of Uncontainable Collections: Speculative Futures of Objects is introduced by Clara Halpern and features curator Megan Tamati-Quennell and artist Subash Thebe Limbu in conversation with co-hosts Zulfikar Hirji and Lillian O’Brien Davis. This episode explores interconnected futures through the lens of curatorial and artistic practices oriented towards Indigenous perspectives. Tamati-Quennell discusses her work on acquisitions of historic artworks by Māori women artists for public art collections as a facet of her future-oriented museum practice. She shares the Māori whakataukī [proverb] Ka Mua, Ka Muri [walking backwards into the future]. Thebe Limbu speaks on Adivasi Futurism, which he defines as “a space where Adivasi artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers can imagine and speculate future scenarios [where] they have agency, technology, and sovereignty and where their Indigenous knowledge, culture, ethics, and storytelling remains intact.” This final episode of the podcast touches on weaving, time travel, intergenerational exchange, and global networks of Indigenous culture and technology.

This podcast is also available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

Megan Tamati-Quennell, guest
Megan Tamati-Quennell is one of the five curators for the Sharjah Biennial opening February 2025 and is co-curating, with President and Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation Hoor Al Qasismi, the first major survey project of senior Māori painter Emily Karaka, opening at the Sharjah Art Foundation in September 2024. A writer and curator specializing in the field of modern and contemporary Māori and Indigenous art, Tamati-Quennell is one of the most established curators in this field. She has a 33-year curatorial practice and has held positions at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and the Govett Brewster Art Gallery in New Zealand. Of Te Ātiawa, Ngāi Tahu, and Kāti Māmoe Māori descent, Tamati-Quennell has an extensive exhibition history that is anchored strongly in New Zealand with expertise in transnational contemporary First Nations art, working on projects internationally in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Germany. Her research interests include Māori women artists from 1930 to today, international First Nations art, First Nations and non-western art in transnational contexts, and First Nations art curatorial praxis.

Subash Thebe Limbu, guest
Subash Thebe Limbu is a Yakthung (Limbu) artist from Yakthung Nation (Limbuwan) what we currently know as eastern Nepal. He works with sound, film, music, performance, painting, and podcasting. His Yakthung name is ᤋᤠᤱᤛᤠᤱ Tangsang [Sky]. Subash has a Master of Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins, London; a Bachelor of Fine Art from Middlesex University, London, and studied Fine Art at Lalit Kala Campus, Kathmandu. His works are inspired by socio-political issues, resistance, and science/speculative fiction. Notions of time, climate change, and Indigeneity, or Adivasi Futurism as he defines, are recurring themes in his works. Subash is the co-founding member of Yakthung Cho Sangjumbho [Yakthung Art Society) and Haatemalo Collective. He is based in Newa Nation (Kathmandu) and London, UK.

Zulfikar Hirji, co-host
Zulfikar Hirji is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University. He is interested in how human societies articulate, represent, and perform understandings of self, community, and other and on issues of knowledge production, representation and identity, visual, material and sensory culture, and critical pedagogy. His research focuses on Muslim societies in a range of historical and contemporary contexts, particularly around the Indian Ocean. He has conducted archival research and multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in various parts of the world including East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, South Asia, Europe, and North America.

Clara Halpern, co-host
Clara Halpern is currently assistant curator, exhibitions, at the Art Gallery of York University. In her curatorial work, she is interested in contemporary art, ecologies, and the future. Prior to joining the AGYU, Halpern curated exhibitions for Oakville Galleries, Nuit Blanche Toronto 2017, The Power Plant (Toronto), Pioneer Works (Brooklyn), and Abrons Arts Center (New York). Her work spans writing, researching (The Centre for Possible Studies, Serpentine Gallery, London), producing (US Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2013), and educational programming (Frieze, New York, 2014). She holds an MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.

Lillian O’Brien Davis, co-host
Lillian O’Brien Davis is currently Curator of Collections and Contemporary Art Engagement, at the Art Gallery of York University. Lillian’s research interests are motivated by a broader, social momentum to redress power imbalances and historical erasures within contemporary art. She has curated independent projects at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Susan Hobbs Gallery (Toronto), School of Art Gallery at the University of Manitoba and the MacKenzie Art Gallery (Regina). Her writing has appeared in BlackFlash Magazine, Canadian Art online, C Magazine, Insight Magazine and RACAR Art History Journal. She is also currently one of two inaugural Visiting Curators at the University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery.

 

Uncontainable Collections: Speculative Futures of Objects is a limited-series podcast featuring three conversations exploring the prospective and yet unknown condition of the might-be through the lens of collections and contemporary art. In this series, scholars, curators, and artists engage with articulations, expressions, and representations of the (im)possible, the (extra)ordinary, and the (un)imaginable—or speculative—futures that diverse individuals, groups, communities, and societies are envisaging, dreaming of, composing, conjuring, striving for, imagining, and bringing into being. This series developed out of conversations between AGYU curators Lillian O’Brien Davis and Clara Halpern and Anthropology Professor Zulfikar Hirji related to the University’s art collection and a course at York University that considers various perspectives: Indigenous Futurisms, African Futurisms, Afro-American Futurisms, Arab/Gulf/Muslim Futurisms, Asian/Sino/Indo/South-Asian/Adivasi Futurisms, MesoAmerican/LatinX Futurisms.

 

***NOTE: Email AGYU@yorku.ca to be notified when episode transcript is available.

See also:

Episode 3: Space, Place, and Land podcast

Episode 3: Space, Place, and Land podcast
Uncontainable ...
12 June 2024

Episode 2: Positioning the Present podcast

Episode 2: Positioning the Present podcast
Uncontainable ...
24 May 2024

Episode 1: Vessels & Voyages podcast

Episode 1: Vessels & Voyages podcast
Uncontainable ...
4 May 2024

Uncontainable Collections 2024

Uncontainable Collections 2024
podcast series
Summer 2024

Uncontainable Collections 2023

Uncontainable Collections 2023
research project
4 May 2023

Uncontainable Collections 2022

Uncontainable Collections 2022
research project
20 Apr 2022

CONTACTING THE GALLERY

416-736-5169
agyu@yorku.ca

MAILING ADDRESS

Art Gallery of York University
Keele Campus, Accolade East Building
Toronto Ontario  M3J 1P3
Canada

Staff directory


 

OFFICE HOURS
Monday to Friday: 10 am to 5 pm
please note: the gallery spaces are currently closed for construction of our new building

Always free

DIRECTIONS

Click here for a map

Visual story visitor guide

Nearest TTC Wheel-Trans stop is York University Subway (north entrance)