AGYU @ Pride 2011:
We Demand Redux with Mathew Robin Nye
In 2011, the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) dreamt BIG at Pride Toronto! Organized and curated by Suzanne Carte and AGYU, artist Matthew-Robin Nye teamed up with the Trans, Bi, Lesbian, Gay Alliance at York (TBLGAY), York Federation of Students (YFS), and the SexGen York Committee for “We Demand Redux” with a booth at the Pride Street Fair and a specially designed float in the 31st annual Pride Parade.
In 1971, the ‘We Demand’ March saw about 150 people march on Parliament Hill in Ottawa with placards stating ‘We Demand!’ and a list of ten required amendments to Canadian laws on items related to sexuality. We Demand Redux honoured this history of Gay Rights and affiliated movements over its 40-year history. It strove to provide a galvanized platform for all to draw attention contemporary issues faced by members of the broad queer community, the de-politicized nature of the Pride Parade, and to reinvigorate the exciting history of LGBTQ+ activism in Canada. It also empowered audiences to create their own demands, giving voice to their frustrations and issues of interest during the Pride Parade. With a custom designed float and message campaign — visible through t-shirts, placards, ballots, and the York University booth — We Demand Redux looked at the past and forward to the future of Queer activism. Backing up the Redux, DJ Produzentin and Mary Messhausen performed live, bouncing the truck with a heavy, house-pop remix.
York @ Pride is generously supported by the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU), Centre for Human Rights (CHR), Trans, Bi, Lesbian and Gay Allies at York (TBLGAY), York Federation of Students (YFS), and SexGen York committee.
Mary Messhausen and Produzentin were somewhat recently found wandering hand-in-hand through the Canadian maple woods by a travelling circus troupe at a very, very young but indeterminable age. Raised by the Bearded Lady, these sloth qweens learned their tricks by hustling and bustling from the outskirts of St. John’s to the inner harbour of Victoria.
Matthew-Robin Nye is undertaking doctoral studies at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies for Society and Culture at Concordia University in Tio’tia:ke/Montreal, where he is pursuing a research-creation PhD in the fields of process philosophy, performance studies and studio arts. As a trans-disciplinary artist, he has exhibited, lectured, and held residencies in Canada and abroad.
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