A Public Curator Talk by Mariam Zulfiqar

Wednesday, May 29, 2024, 6 – 7 pm

In person at The Bentway Studio (55 Fort York Blvd, facing Canoe Landing Park)

Co-presented by the AGYU and The Bentway.

Photo: Jasprit Singh

We are excited to launch At the Transit Bar: An International Visiting Curator Series with a public talk by Mariam Zulfiqar, Director of Artangel, London, UK. Zulfiqar’s curatorial focus delves into the complexities of public spaces, questioning notions of ‘public’ and ‘space’ in relation to democracy, politics, and identity formation. She collaborates closely with artists to explore alternative connections and perspectives, often engaging in long-term projects that challenge ideological and conceptual boundaries, self-discovery, and interpersonal relationships.

For this talk, Mariam Zulfiqar will present her forthcoming curatorial program Hobby Cave, a colossal project by London-based artist and filmmaker Hetain Patel. Hobby Cave is presented by Artangel in collaboration with 13 art organizations across the UK, collecting and presenting lovingly made and used objects produced across far reaching communities to showcase the creativity and dedication of hobbyists.

Zulfiqar is the first visiting curator for At the Transit Bar, a program bringing ten prominent international curators to Toronto over two years to support curatorial research and to further propel Toronto’s contemporary arts and cultural scenes into a global network of artists, curators, and art institutions. Each visiting curator will give a public talk on their research, conduct studio visits with local artists, and host a curatorial workshop for emerging curators. AGYU has partnered with ten Toronto arts organizations to host each curator and present the talks in various locations across the city. We are thrilled to partner with The Bentway in presenting this public talk by Mariam Zulfiqar.

Join us for this in-person public talk by Mariam Zulfiqar on Wednesday, May 29, at 6 pm at The Bentway Studio (55 Fort York Blvd, facing Canoe Landing Park).

Please note that a curatorial tour of The Bentway’s current exhibition, Softer City by Anna Gallagher-Ross, will be offered at 5 pm (meet at The Bentway Skate Trail, 250 Fort York Blvd).

More info available on The Bentway website at: https://thebentway.ca/event/public-curator-talk-by-mariam-zulfiqar/

Mariam Zulfiqar is a curator of contemporary art and currently holds the position of Director at Artangel in London, UK. Zulfiqar is primarily interested in commissioning art in contexts which challenge conventional practices of display in museums and galleries. She has an extensive history of academic and professional mentorship both in the UK and abroad including guest lectures at the Royal College of Art, UK; McGill University, Canada; and National College of Art, Pakistan.

She was instrumental in the development of projects and programs for Art in the Underground from 2010 to 2015 in London, commissioning and presenting artworks in the city wide public transport system. Zulfiqar was invited to provide her insights on the complex role for artists in making public art on public transit by the City of Markham in 2020. Prior to joining Artangel, Mariam led the art programme for Forestry England.


The Bentway
(est. 2018) leads a creative movement to re-imagine the possibilities of Toronto’s downtown elevated highway, the Gardiner Expressway. As a new type of public space and programming platform, the organization is dedicated to exploring the city as site, subject, and canvas. The Bentway firmly positions its creative partners at the centre of urban change, working with artists, designers, and educators to present free public art interventions, performances, learning and recreational programs.

*The title of this series refers to Vera Frenkel’s multi-channel video installation … from the Transit Bar (documenta IX, 1992) *

At the Transit Bar is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts; Ontario Arts Council; and Toronto Arts Council with the support of Outset Contemporary Art Fund, UK, and  Partners in Art, Toronto. Our core operations are supported by York University.




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

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