Collaboration as Process
Saturday, January 19 at 1 p.m.
199 Richmond St. West
Panel talk with exhibiting artists Maryanne Casasanta, DaveandJenn and Pejvak (Rouzbeh Akhbari + Felix Kalmenson)
Moderated by Lisa Deanne Smith
Collaboration is the keystone of many of the exhibiting artists’ practices in Onsite Gallery's Winter exhibition, How to Breathe Forever. Taking place at Onsite Gallery, the artists will share their perspective on what collaboration means to them and their practice.
How to Breathe Forever underlines the importance and interconnectedness of air, animals, coral, humans, insects, land, plants and water. The belief that everything in the universe has a place and deserves equal respect is the core of this exhibition and positions our relations with others — including the natural world — as active and reciprocal. The artwork invites you to consider a personhood that attentively collaborates and exchanges with all living things.
Maryanne Casasanta (Toronto, Ontario)
Maryanne Casasanta is an artist educator working in photography, video and performance. Central to her practice is the relationship between art and home, and art and life. Often documented through photos or video, performances of light gestures and subtle interventions propose ways of transforming a routine experience, promoting an active immersion—and reconsideration of—small, ordinary events. Maryanne observes other areas of research such as, process-based learning and art making, co-creation, and movement, which she explores by working alongside artists across a number of fields. She has exhibited widely and her projects have been supported by the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council. Maryanne earned a BFA from OCAD University (Integrated Media, 2005) and holds an MFA from the University of Guelph (2014). She is currently a Master of Education candidate in the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning program at the University of Toronto.
DaveandJenn (Calgary, Alberta)
DaveandJenn (David Foy and Jennifer Saleik) have collaborated since 2004. Foy was born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1982; Saleik in Velbert, Germany, in 1983. They graduated with distinction from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2006, making their first appearance as DaveandJenn in the graduating exhibition. Experimenting with form and materials is an important aspect of their work, which includes painting, sculpture, installation, animation and digital video. Over the years, they have developed a method of painting dense, rich worlds in between multiple layers of resin, slowly building up their final image in a manner that is reminiscent of celluloid animation, collage and Victorian shadow boxes. They have been shortlisted for RBC’s Canadian Painting Competition (2006, 2009), awarded the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Biennial Emerging Artist Award (2010) and longlisted for the Sobey Art Award (2011). Their work can be found in both private and public collections throughout North America, including the Royal Bank of Canada, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Calgary Municipal Collection and the Art Gallery of Hamilton.
Pevjak — Rouzbeh Akhbari (Tehran, Iran/Toronto, Ontario) and Felix Kalmenson (St. Petersburg, Russia/Toronto, Ontario)
Pejvak (Rouzbeh Akhbari & Felix Kalmenson) is the long-term collaboration between Felix Kalmenson and Rouzbeh Akhbari. Through their multivalent, intuitive approach to research and living, they find themselves in a convergence and entanglement with like-minded collaborators, histories and various geographies.
Rouzbeh Akhbari is an artist working in video installation and film. His practice is research-driven and usually exists at the intersections of political economy, critical architecture, and planning. Through a delicate examination of the violences and intimacies that occur at the boundaries of lived experience and constructed histories, Akhbari uncovers the minutiae of power that organize and regiment the world around us.
Felix Kalmenson is an artist whose practice navigates installation, video and performance. Kalmenson’s work variably narrates the liminal space of a researcher’s and artist’s encounter with landscape and archive. By bearing witness to everyday life, and hardening the more fragile vestiges of private and collective histories through their work, Kalmenson gives themselves away to the cadence of a poem, always in flux.
Onsite Gallery is the flagship professional gallery of OCAD U and an experimental curatorial platform for art, design and new media. Visit our website for upcoming public events. The gallery is located at 199 Richmond St. W, Toronto, ON, M5V 0H4. Telephone: 416-977-6000, ext. 265. Opening hours are: Wednesdays from noon to 8 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 7 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Free admission.
Image: DaveandJenn; No Horizons; 2017; polymer clay, acrylic paint, silicon carbide, fibre, wire, acetate and dichoric film; 8.5” x 11.25” x 19.75”. Courtesy of the artist. Image courtesy of Glenbow Museum, photo by Owen Melenka.