Sabbatical Talks by Dr. Keith Bresnahan and Dr. Dot Tuer

Monday, November 19, 2018 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Working with Emotions in Architectural History
Dr. Keith Bresnahan

November 19, 2018
3:00pm-4:00pm
205 Richmond St. West Room 420

This talk describes a body of work developed during my sabbatical in 2016-17, including fellowships in Berlin and southern France. 

It explores my engagement with new research in the history of emotions, and my attempt to bring this into conversation with architectural history.

 

Traces and Talismans: Reflections on Witnessing and the Performing of Memory
Dr. Dot Tuer

November 19, 2018
4:00pm-5:00pm
205 Richmond St. West Room 420

This talk addresses site specific research that I undertook for my half sabbatical in the winter/spring of 2016. During this time, I visited the Guaraní community of Loreto in Corrientes, Argentina, to witness the procession of their personal saints; traveled to Rosario, Argentina with my partner to witness his return to a clandestine torture and extermination centre, now a Space of Memory; and accompanied a collective of artists to the Atacama Desert in Chile to witness a performance about the disappeared of Pinochet’s regime of terror. How witnessing as a form of research illuminates the intersections of history and haunting, materiality and mourning will be the focus on my reflections.

Venue & Address: 
205 Richmond St. West Room 420
Website: 
https://www.facebook.com/events/710815132650374/
Cost: 
FREE
"Sabbatial Talks" in black text on white background; photo of gentlemen in suits and top hats; photo of concrete corner pillars

Citizen Subjects: photography, race and belonging in Canada — with Dr. Gabrielle Moser

Gabrielle Moser in the Black Star Agency archives
The Prevoe Family of Halifax on the front page of The Clarion
Viola Desmond on the cover of The Clarion
Richard S. Finnie, Pangnirtung Federal Hostel and Day School (now Nunavut), 1927, Library and Archives Canada
Wilfred Doucette, Inuit transporting supplies for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) from C.D. HOWE, Pangnirtung, 1951

Dr. Gabrielle Moser, assistant professor in Art History in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences, sifts through photographic archives looking for Canadians in social situations and at political events. She questions the documented and the undocumented.

Black Star Agency archives, Ryerson Image Centre. Photo: Paul Tjepkema

In the early stages of what could be a five-year project, Moser reflects on both the photographic evidence from the past as well as those untaken photographs not captured by a camera at significant moments in time. “Can we imagine other histories,” she wonders, “other possible outcomes of those moments?”

With her latest project, Citizen Subjects: photography, race and belonging in Canada, Moser looks at how racialized subjects pictured themselves as citizens. So far, she has examined a series of photographs produced by the Canadian government that show the forced relocation of Inuit people above the Arctic Circle. She has also reviewed photographic archives from Nova Scotia’s African-Canadian newspapers.

It is her hope that the project will help to build the public’s visual literacy skills, encouraging them to read photographs for these overlooked citizens. She says, “Canadians don’t know their own history of racial discrimination and settler colonialism. When it comes to this very specific history, they don’t want to know.”

In 1947, Canada passed its first Citizenship Act, replacing the category of British subjects with the new category of Canadian citizens. Indigenous peoples were not included in this Act. With a few exceptions, Indigenous peoples were not included until a 1960 amendment of the Citizenship Act was passed.

But evident in the photographic archives, Moser explains, is the idea that racialized subjects did picture themselves as citizens.


Wilfred Doucette, Inuit transporting supplies for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) from C.D. HOWE, Pangnirtung, 1951. Courtesy Library and Archives Canada and the National Film Board
 

Richard S. Finnie, Pangnirtung Federal Hostel and Day School (now Nunavut), 1927. Courtesy Library and Archives Canada  

Nova Scotia’s The Clarion newspaper used the word ‘citizens’ to describe its African-Canadian audience well before the Citizenship Act came into existence. Additionally, more than 300 people emigrating from India on the SS Komagata Maru were turned away from disembarking in Vancouver in 1914. More than 30 years before the passing of the Citizenship Act, the group argued that as citizens of the Empire, they were also citizens of Canada.


The Prevoe Family of Halifax on the front page of The Clarion, vol. II, no. 2, February 1, 1947. Courtesy Nova Scotia Archives.

Viola Desmond on the cover of The Clarion, vol. I, no. 1, December 1946. Courtesy Nova Scotia Archives.

An art historian, critic and curator, Moser is analyzing how photographers, as well as their subjects and viewers, used and responded to the camera and its images in the first half of the 20th Century. She speaks of how, in many of the images, subjects show a tendency to choose somber and serious expressions over those that are more jubilant or expressive. “This response to the camera,” she explains, “was in part a bid to be taken seriously as citizens, and also a reaction to what was happening in the mainstream press at the time.” But it wasn’t the only reaction. Moser also describes how families posing for portraits in The Clarion newspaper — families whose members were, in this case, smiling — approached the experience of being photographed differently. “They were thinking about these images as a counterarchive to coverage of racial violence happening internationally,” she says. “The people in these photos were hearing and reading and responding to things like lynching postcards — terrible visual documents that spectacularize Black death."

Moser’s work certainly raises some difficult questions. What if, for example, we were to consider that which had been made invisible by existing accounts of those moments deemed ‘important’ in history?

Consider our approach in 2017 to the commemoration of Canada’s 150th year of Confederation. About this Moser is cautionary, and of course she’s not alone. “If we’re not careful,” she says, “this very nationalistic moment could erase a 12,000-year history of Indigenous ownership of the lands we now call Canada. So if we’re going to celebrate this history, how do we do so in a way that makes it possible to think about our complicated histories — those of settler colonialism and participation in the transatlantic slave trade?”

A Fulbright Canada Visiting Scholar at Rhode Island’s Brown University, Moser’s project is partially funded by $12,500 from the Fulbright Foundation. She has also received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Moser has plans to mount an exhibition related to Citizen Subjects: photography, race and belonging in Canada at Toronto’s Gallery 44 and Critical Distance in May 2019, as part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. The exhibit will include contemporary artists’ projects that reimagine the archive materials and images from her research.


Heather Beaumont (www.wordsbyhb.com) is both a creative and corporate writer, fascinated by ideation, art making and communication. Among her projects is a workshop she designed to showcase the art and text in children's picture books and help parents and caregivers develop stronger connections to the children in their care.

Author: 
Heather Beaumont
Template: 
Inline Image Template

Dr. Coffey wins 2015/16 award for Early Stage Research, Scholarship, & Creative Activity

HCoffey feature photo
Friday, May 5, 2017

Heather Coffey, PhD joined OCAD University in 2013 and received a tenure-track appointment in Medieval and Renaissance Art History in 2015. Prof. Coffey’s research centres on the history of the links between the Islamic World and Europe to provide a context and an understanding for cultural exchange today. Prof. Coffey is admired for her courageousness as a scholar for venturing into the fraught terrain of the history of Islamic/Christian exchanges in the contemporary context of growing fundamentalism across religious traditions. She demonstrates, through her work and writing, the significance of focused research for understanding and reflecting upon the cross‐cultural and global realities in which we live.

Prof. Coffey’s historical scholarship, and the way in which it informs her teaching and her mentoring of students, is of the utmost relevance to OCAD and to the research profile of the university. For example, her article in preparation, “To Inspire and Delight: Demi’s Illustrated Mi’rajnama for Children,” provides a brilliant interpretation of contemporary representations of the Islamic World. The article links the compositions in a popular children’s book to complex and shifting regimes of representation that range from present-day Iran to fourteenth-century century Persia. In other projects, Prof. Coffey has set herself the task of envisioning how representations of Islamic culture in Western texts engender cross‐cultural dialogue and exchange both historically and currently. Her intellectual passion and far‐reaching breadth of inquiry is as evident to her students as it is to her peers in her field, for whom her work is of the utmost merit.

Prof. Coffey has received prestigious awards to undertake her doctoral research from multiple agencies and institutions, such as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Max‐Plank‐Gesellschaft, and has published impressive articles in significant books on Islamic and Christian art and cross‐cultural perspectives. Most recently, she was a co-applicant for a SSRHC Connections Grant in support of the interdisciplinary conference Global Reformations: Transforming Early Modern Religions, Societies, and Cultures, at the invitation of Dr. Nicholas Terpstra at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies in September 2017.

Whose Art Counts?

Whose Art Counts? event poster
Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Whose Art Counts
Moderated by Emily Norry

Whose Art Counts is a night of presentation and discussion to consider who is and is not included in art and art history. Our speakers will take varied approaches to the subject consider what art is left out of our mainstream culture and what problems do these artists face. Together we will question the cultural canon and broaden ideas of whose art has value.

This event is fully wheelchair accessible.

Speakers:

  1. Pamila Matharu - Worlding the Art World
  2. Ojo Agi - African Art and the Politics of Authenticity
  3. Ryan Rice - Whose Art Matters
  4. Rei Misiri- Re-Rooting Urban Arts culture: Why We Must Give Exposure to Hip Hop's True Reputable Face

Artist Bios:

Pamila Matharu
Pamila Matharu is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist, educator, and cultural producer. Her practice engages a close reading of the ‘other’ experience; examining issues of identity and representation through socially-engaged art, critical / feminist pedagogy and the minutiae of the everyday. Installation artworks are the result of combined strategies through collage, analogue + new media, printed matter and social practice. She received her BA in Visual Arts and her Bachelor of Education in Fine Arts Education, from York University (Toronto), has exhibited and screened her work, locally, nationally and internationally.

Ojo Agi
Ojo Agi is a Nigerian-Canadian self-taught artist living and working in the GTA. Ojo studied Health Sciences and Women's Studies at the University of Ottawa and is currently taking Continuing Studies courses with OCADU. She studied anti-racist feminisms throughout her undergraduate degree and has a deep interest in applying a social critical lens to contemporary art. For more of her work visit ojoagi.com.

Ryan Rice
Ryan Rice, a Mohawk of Kahnawake, Quebec received a Master of Arts degree in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and received an Associate of Fine Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts. He has worked for the past 18 years within the museum/art gallery milieu at various centers including the Iroquois Indian Museum, Indian Art Centre, Carleton University Art Gallery and the Walter Phillips Art Gallery. Rice was also a co-founder and former director of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective. His exhibitions include ANTHEM: Perspectives on Home and Native Land, Oh So Iroquois, Scout’s Honour, LORE, Hochelaga Revisited, ALTERNATION, Soul Sister: Re-imagining Kateri Tekakwitha and Counting Coup. In August 2014, Rice was appointed the Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University.

Rei Misiri
Rei Misiri is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist and designer migrated from Tirana, Albania. Since 2006, he has been consistently involved in community related urban art projects. As an urban arts youth educator and performer, Rei has had the privilege to spread the discipline of urban arts and dance across Ontario. Moreover, he has extensively worked along leading Canadian urban arts organizations such as Unity Charity, Toronto Crime Stoppers, and The Patch project. Since 2010, he has hosted and curated over 15 integrated urban arts events - providing youth opportunities to preform and compete along some of the world’s highest ranking urban dancers, artists, and DJ’s. Upon graduating from OCAD University with a major in fine arts and a minor in graphic design, Rei plans to pursue a masters in visual arts to further merge urban arts into academia and other professional fields.

This event is funded by the OCAD U $1,500 Big Ideas Fund. The fund is sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives and made possible with generous support from OPSEU Local 576 Unit 1. 

 

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University The Lambert Lounge - rm. 187, 100 McCaul Street
Website: 
http://www.facebook.com/events/253931118361960/
Email: 
schherawala@ocadu.ca
Phone: 
416.977.6000 ext.3840
Cost: 
Free public event
Whose Art Counts? event poster

Guided Tour: Design for the Other 90%

Design for the Other 90%
Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 11:30pm

The OCAD Professional Gallery presents a series free of 20-30 minute discussions of the works on view in the Smithsonian's touring exhibition Design for the Other 90%.

November 27: Ananda Shankar Chakrabarty is an art historian with a strong interest in music, and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Studies at the Ontario College of Art & Design.

January 15, 2009: Eric Nay is an architect, design history and theory scholar and an Associate Dean in the Faculty of Liberal Studies at the Ontario College of Art & Design.

Venue & Address: 
Professional Gallery 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario
Cost: 
Free

AVATAR DAUGHTERS: THE SPECTRUM OF THE MATERIAL/VIRTUAL THROUGH A FEMINIST LENSE

This research proposes that a metonymy for a human to avatar affinity is a mother and daughter relationship. By acknowledging the agency that we often confer on images, and the nature of complex identities, the avatar, though ostensibly insentient, is positioned as an animated, mercurial image that encourages a psychologically complex reaction from humans. This idea is explored through feminist analysis, a lyrical essay and the practice of visual arts, specifically a series of comic books featuring an avatar created in Second Life, an online, user-created virtual world. Through a human connection to an avatar, the boundaries of the material and the virtual are blurred and become a seamless spectrum—a space of suspension—which can be infinitely mined but never parsed.

The research employs both practice-based (visual art) as well as theoretical (art historical and feminist) frameworks, to explore the spectrum of the material/virtual. The corresponding relationship, artist/avatar is also a spectrum between Self and Not self—Subject and Object at the same time. By defining the material as the physically present and the virtual as a collective imagining supported by digital materiality, tools and technology the resulting gamut becomes an inherently fluid, unstable and contested expanse for which binaries of subject and object, material and virtual, are wholly inadequate. It is a vast, oceanic unknown that supports different ways to dream, from the mundane to the beautiful to the sublime.

Art making methods, such as collage/found object, playfulness, and unstable authorship, collectively named in this research as a methodology of poïesis, are interjected into academic discourse and literary strategies are employed in creative practice to construct a holistic approach to art and knowledge production.

Creator: 
Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 9:15pm
Lab Member: 
Lynne Heller

Paint box memories: Art and inspiration at the Port Hope summer school

Deep in the OCAD University Archives is a paint box that was used by Lois Parker from 1932 to 1935 at the outdoor summer school held in Port Hope, Ontario. The Ontario College of Art (OCA) — as OCAD U was then known —  began hosting the summer school in a converted grist mill on the banks of the Ganarasca River in 1923 (the school actually began in 1913, taking place in various locations before settling in Port Hope). The location provided ideal scenery for landscape drawing and painting, as well as for outdoor figure study.


G.S. Menzie, OCA students in front of the Grange (September 1922) PH421/38_4_116_021: Water side of the Port Hope Summer School, 1923?, photographer unknown (OCAD U Visual Resources & Special Collections)


Parker’s paint box

The paint box is a fascinating record of Parker’s time at OCA’s summer school. It served as container, palette and easel.

Inside, there are suggestive remnants of Parker’s work, such as globs of coagulated paint and two landscape sketches (not pictured here) supported by grooves in the box’s lid. The exterior is covered in signatures of classmates and instructors, with J.W. Beatty’s signature at the bottom right. J.W. Beatty — celebrated Canadian landscape painter and World War One artist — founded and ran the summer school, and was its greatest single influence. 

Image of an open paint covered wooden box used to store tubes of paint.



Image of a closed paint covered wooden box used to store tubes of paint with various signatures written on the lid.



 

 

A typical day at summer school

Parker did not provide a written account of her time at the Port Hope summer school, but a typical day can be pieced together from student stories, newspaper articles and other material in OCAD U’s Archives.


G.S. Menzie, OCA students in front of the Grange (September 1922) PH424/38_4_116_024: Interior of the studio at the Port Hope Summer School, no date, photographer unknown (OCAD U Visual Resources & Special Collections)


The first thing on each morning’s agenda was usually a critique of the previous day’s work in the studio. Afterwards, Beatty and the students would venture out in search of a new subject, such as the cedar grove, Archer’s farm, the mill pond, the Port Hope waterfront or a horse. On Friday and Saturday evenings, students held parties in the studio or visited the Cobourg dance pavilion to mingle with the locals.

After tranquil days and intoxicating evenings, students would return to their living quarters — women in the loft above the studio and men in a large tent outside. Then, the next morning, the fogginess of the previous evening could be washed away with a brisk swim so that the routine could begin again.


G.S. Menzie, OCA students in front of the Grange (September 1922) PH119/57_004_367_019: Students with instructor J.W. Beatty (farthest to the left) outside of the Port Hope Summer School, 1923, photographer unknown (OCAD U Visual Resources & Special Collections)

 

A unique souvenir of an era long passed

Unfortunately, OCA’s outdoor summer school regularly operated at a loss. Facing a tough economic situation in Toronto and a decrease in attendance, the school closed in 1935. Although the summer school was not financially sustainable, the impact it had on the students who attended is undeniable.

Like a highly personalized yearbook, Parker collected signatures on her paint box in order to remember her time in Port Hope. She preserved the box for over 50 years, before donating it to the OCAD U Archives. This unique souvenir now helps to paint a picture of this romantic time in the university’s history.


G.S. Menzie, OCA students in front of the Grange (September 1922) PH130/57_004_367_030: Students at work with instructor J.W. Beatty at the Port Hope Summer School, 1924, photographer unknown (OCAD U Visual Resources & Special Collections)


 

Sources

Dack, W.L., “Port Hope Revisited: Memories of a Gentler Age.” Alumnus (winter 1982/83): 5–6.
Principal’s Annual Report, 1922/23. OCAD University Archives, OCAD University fonds. RG8 Governance and Administration. Council/Board of Governors Meetings & Minutes.
Special Report re: Summer School, 1924. OCAD University Archives. OCAD University fonds. RG8 Governance and Administration. Council/Board of Governors Meetings & Minutes.
Minutes of a Meeting of the Council of the Ontario College of Art, Held at the College on Friday, February 28th, 1942, at 6:00 p.m. OCAD University Archives. OCAD University fonds. RG8 Governance and Administration. Council/Board of Governors Meetings & Minutes.

 

Scott Hillis, MI, is the visual resources coordinator and acting archivist in Visual Resources & Special Collections at OCAD University’s Dorothy H. Hoover Library.

Author: 
Scott Hillis
Template: 
Standard Template
Department: 

ORGS Faculty Talk: Ryan Whyte

Oil painting of two women in profile wearing dresses
Photograph of Ryan White
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

RYAN WHYTE
Recipient of the 2013-2014 OCAD University Award for Excellence in Early Stage Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity
"Art History for Women: Art, Fashion, and Subversion in Napoleonic France"

During the First French Empire (1804¬-14/15) women encountered art inside objects of fashion. Specifically, women’s pocket-sized literary almanacs included reproductions of and commentary on canonical artworks. Fashionably bound and worn on the person, they transformed the space of fashion into a zone of spectatorship within which women operated as equivalent to their male counterparts as authors, subjects of art, critics, and audiences. In a period when state policy and ideology divided art from fashion and women from art, women’s almanacs were subversive because their scale changed the space of reception, and their use appropriated female fashion as an arena for the display of and commentary on art.

Bio:
Dr. Whyte's research reveals legacies of eighteenth-century art and culture that are commonplace in and relevant to the early twenty-first century. He is currently writing a book on the role of printed matter in the Salon du Louvre exhibitions of the Ancien Régime; a second research project explores the visual culture of gastronomy in 18th- and 19th-century France. His other recent work addresses fashion, materiality, and cross-cultural exchange in eighteenth-century print culture. He has also written art criticism and essays for journals that include Artext, Artichoke, Border Crossings, C Magazine, Lola, New Observations, and Parachute.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street, Room 187
Email: 
vly@ocadu.ca
Phone: 
416-977-6000 ext. 474
Cost: 
Free

A Special Tribute to "Maestro" Peter Porcal

Image of Peter Porcal holding a bunch of red peppers above his head
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 10:30pm

Please join us to raise a glass and celebrate “Maestro” Peter Porcal, resident art historian and administrator for OCAD University’s Florence Off-Campus Studies program.

Porcal lived and worked in Florence and was an instrumental contributor to the OCAD U Florence Campus experience for hundreds of students, alumni and faculty members over the past twenty years. A passionate art historian and professor of Renaissance art, he also coordinated field trips, managed the studio and even assisted students and faculty with their relocation to the city.

Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m., remarks at 5:45 p.m.
Location: 100 McCaul St., Room 187 (Lambert Lounge)

Please also join us in The Great Hall on the same evening for the opening of Lo Studio Divino: 40 Year's of OCAD University's Florence Program, featuring the work of the class of 2013/14.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street Room 187, Lambert Lounge
Email: 
tbuchanan@ocadu.ca
Phone: 
416-977-6000 x 330
Cost: 
free

IMAGINE STUDYING IN FLORENCE, ITALY

Student artwork from the 2012/2013 Florence Program cohort. Photo by Martin Iskandar.
Student artwork from the 2012/2013 Florence Program cohort. Photo by Martin Iskandar.

Are you ready for an adventure in art history, and a unique studio-based challenge on location in the heart of the Italian Renaissance? The deadline for applications for OCAD U's 2014/2015 Florence Off-Campus Studies Program is January 17.

If you’re one of the 27 students selected to study in the Florence Program in 2014/2015, you’ll spend eight months immersed in Italian culture, surrounded by architectural and artistic treasures from the Italian Renaissance. You’ll learn art history on site in Florence and Rome with renowned art historian Peter Porcal. And you’ll develop your own work in a communal studio setting.

“It’s an experiential way to learn,” said Caroline Langill, Associate Dean, Faculty of Art. “Seeing the work in situ is always superior to a reproduction. Everything has meaning in an artwork when you see it in person.”

The Florence Program is based on more of an open, independent study model than most of the curriculum on campus at OCAD U. Langill describes it as more of a residency program  — something undergraduate students don’t normally have access to. If you go to Florence for your third year of study, it can also help set you up for your thesis. 

“If you haven’t been to Europe and you’re studying art, there’s nothing like it,” said Langill. While she noted experiencing the Renaissance first hand provides a western view of art, it is an important part of art history, and “going to a location like this can give you a critical perspective.”

You will have to pay for the program and your expenses — this is not a funded program — but as Langill points out, it’s not necessarily more expensive in Florence than in Toronto. 

If you apply, your portfolio will be evaluated by two faculty advisors. Applicants with a 70 average and a strong portfolio are all equally competitive.

Learn more

Florence Program overview and eligibility requirements 

Florence Program application form

Florence Program projected expenses

Pages