Land – LIMINALITY- Loss

The exhibition Land - LIMINALITY - Loss, curated by Assistant Professor Pam Patterson (Faculty of Art) and featuring work by undergraduate student Angie Ma (Faculty of Art), Pam Patterson, graduate student Vicky Talwar and OCAD staff member Leila Talei (Officer, Research Projects, Office of Research & Innovation), is part of an investigation into the intersection of land and loss with historical/cultural disruption and change.

As long as they live in the duality in which to be is to be like, and to be like is to be like the oppressor, this contribution is impossible.

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 1992, p 33

Jackson 2Bears (in Spicanovic, 2018, p. 160) writes “that history is something ‘written on the land’… From this perspective … [how might we endeavor to explore] how narratives are inextricably interconnected with ‘place’…” 

How though, somewhat antithetic to this, might narratives, histories and stories explicate ‘land’ displacement? How might we explore the political and cultural implications of these histories and stories, both personal and collective, around this intersection of land with historical and cultural disruption and change?

Troubled by this complex relationship of land and loss Ma, Patterson, Talwar and Talei, as settler/immigrants, in exhibition and conversation, occupy a problematic liminal space, a space adrift where the threat of homelessness looms.

Questions Camille Nelson (2004):

Does anyone really have such a habitat anymore?... One’s identity is attached to one’s knowledge, body and sense of home. If one is without a home, one’s identity is compromised either one is identity-less, or one is multiply constructed across time, space and location. The situation is compounded when one’s dislocation is forced or less than fully free… Identity[’s] temporal component… resonates over time, making historical legacy tangible and relevant today. The ancestral self and contemporary self can collide when the realities of one’s present situation forces the submergence or repression of… cherished identities. 

Often this historical and contemporary crisis is as a result of an inherited colonial legacy. The construction is about power. Many who were able to flee and/or were lured to Canada bear the trappings of the rewards they reaped from this place to which they migrated. But didn’t the acquisition of privilege and power have something to do with why they/we left in the first place? (194).

How might we explore the political and cultural implications of histories and stories, both personal and collective, around the intersection of land and cultural disruption and change? 

 At a moment when OCAD University is embracing a holistic Indigenous curriculum, such conversations are key to examining complex and often troubling relationships. This multi-media exhibit invites the community to explore their own histories and stories within this context in exhibition, conversation and workshop. Land - LIMINALITY - Loss is on display at OCAD University's Graduate Gallery from September 3, 2019 to September 6, 2019. 

Works displayed:

  • Patterson, Pam. Irish need not Apply. 2019. Mixed media prints.
  • Talwar, Vicky. A Journey Awaits. Acrylic and mixed media on canvas.
  • Talei, Leila. The Meticulous Documentation of a Personal Loss. 2019. Collage.
  • Ma, Angie. Elsewhere: Moments of Home. 2019. Watercolour, Chinese ink, rice paper and botanical hand dye on silk.

References:

  • Freire, Paulo (1992). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: The Continuum Publishing Company
  • Nelson, Camille A. (2004). Adrift in the Diaspora. In Camille A. Nelson & Charmaine A. Nelson (Eds.) Racism Eh? A Critical interdisciplinary anthology of race and racism in Canada. Concord, ON: Captus Press. pp 175 205.
  • Spicanovic, Vladimir (2018). Pedagogies of the land. In Doug Wallace & Véronique Leblanc (Eds.) Landmarks2017: Art + places + perspectives. Toronto: The Magenta Foundation/Partners in Art. PP. 159 – 161.

We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

 

Exhibition photographs by Miklos Legrady

 

Exhibition photograph by Miklos Legrady - Installation by P. Patterson
Exhibition photograph by Miklos Legrady - installation by L. Talei
Exhibition photograph by Miklos Legrady - installation by P. Patterson
Exhibition photograph by Miklos Legrady - work by V. Talwar
Exhibition photograph by Miklos Legrady - work by A. Ma
Exhibition photograph by Miklos Legrady - work by P. Patterson
Exhibition photograph by Miklos Legrady - work by V. Talwar
Exhibition photograph by Miklos Legrady - work by A. Ma
Exhibition photograph by Miklos Legrady - installation by L. Talei
OAC logo
Friday, July 19, 2019 - 12:45pm
https://www2.ocadu.ca/event/land-%E2%80%93-liminality-loss
Lab Member: 
Pam Patterson

Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th Venice Biennale

Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015 was a forum which brought together black Canadian curators and critics at the 56th Venice Biennale in order to build transnational networks and promote black Canadian visual art. The forum sought to ameliorate the invisibility of the works of black Canadian artists, curators, and critics within the international sphere.

The goals of Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015 were as follows:

  • To foster greater awareness, understanding and opportunities for partnerships and collaborations between culturally diverse curators and the visual arts establishment, negotiating progression pathways for the new generation of leaders in visual arts.
  • To promote Canadian black artists and develop an engaging dialogue between Canadian art and the international stage
  • To allow Black curators a space for critical reflection, research, dialogue, experimentation, and exchange
  • To provide access to ideas, artists, and artworks that can be developed for curatorial research
  • To develop partnerships for future exhibition opportunities

Expanded Context: Black Canadians Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015 was a unique professional development opportunity for Black Canadian curators and critics. It was a two-day gathering (held May 7th and May 8th, 2015) which addressed the politics and practice of curatorship in a globalized world.

The program of engagement included networking meetings and interviews with artists, curators, gallerists and collectors, as well as the opportunity to visit Biennale exhibitions and collateral events. The participation of Black curators and critics at the 56th Venice Biennale served to correct the visible absence of Black Canadian curators at key international arts events. The Expanded Context project provided an international platform for connecting Black Canadian curators, and created a global forum for these professionals to share projects and initiatives.

Participants included: Julie Crooks, Pamela Edmonds, Andrea Fatona, Sally Frater, Dominique Fontaine, Gaetane Verna, Camille Turner, Rinaldo Walcott.

Participants were selected from the group of curators and academics who attended the State of Blackness : From Production to Presentation conference. Keynote speakers included curators Bisi Silva and David Bailey

This project has been the subject of an article, “Questioning Citizenship at the Venice Biennale: Responses and Interventions” in C Magazine, Issue 128, and a podcast, "New Point of View at the Venice Art Biennale" by Fresh Arts International, Fresh Talk Series.

Other Resources:
The State of Blackness Website
 The State of Blackness on Youtube
 

  • We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
  • Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

 

Creator: 
The State of Blackness Logo - text and a gradient in stacked rectangles from black to gray
Canada Council for the Arts logo
Ontario Arts Council Logo
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 10:45am
Lab Member: 
Andrea Fatona

State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation Conference

The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation Conference brought together artists, critics, and curators to develop art education practices as a way of rectifying the invisibility of Blackness in Canadian art curriculum.  It engaged participants in dialogue about the history, current state, and future of black diasporic artistic practice and presentation in Canada.

The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation Conference focused on developing networks of engagement and knowledge exchange while developing methodologies and practices that inform the future of black Canadian artistic production and teaching.  The conference addressed:

  1. The role of post-secondary art education in perpetuating the invisibility of Blackness
  2. Broadening conversations and scholarship on the state of pedagogy in relation to blackness in Canada
  3. Making and strengthening connections across disciplinary fields including fine art, design, and curatorial practice
  4. Developing working education strategies that serve as resources for multicultural educators, curators, and researchers

 

The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation was a two-day interdisciplinary conference held at OCAD University and the Harbourfont Centre of the Arts in February 2014. It brought together 42 artists, curators, academics, students, and multiple publics to engage in dialogue about the history, current state, and future of black diasporic artistic practice and presentation in Canada. The conference included closed working sessions and public events.

Since the demise of Canada’s national black arts service organization, CAN: BAIA, in the late ‘90s, there has been little public effort to engage the multiplicity of communities and discourses that define blackness and its expressive manifestations in the Canadian context.  The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation conference was therefore a much-needed forum, as it placed issues of race and cultural difference at the center of a discussion with regards to the marginalization and simultaneous excess of Blackness in the realm of popular culture.

The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation conference created an interdisciplinary approach to teaching practices and curriculum content development in both universities and galleries. It allowed scholars and curators to network and share pedagogical strategies for disseminating the works of black artists. Documentation of the conference via podcast (include link here) archives the activities of the conference and provides research data for academics.

This project served to enhance the visibility of black cultural production in the context of multicultural Canada, and broadened critical knowledge about art practices and products. While attending The State of Blackness conference, several delegates successfully proposed to further the discussion by holding another forum of Black curators during the professional preview of the 56th Venice Biennale. The conference was also the inspiration for the State of Blackness Database project.

Other Resources:
The State of Blackness Website
 The State of Blackness on Youtube
The State of Blackness Database project
Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015

Conference participants included: Karen Miranda Augustine, Deanna Bowen, Sandra Brewster, Charles Campbell, Mark V. Campbell, Wayde Compton, Julie Crooks, Erika DeFreitas, Pamela Edmonds, Dominique Fontaine, Honor Ford-Smith, Richard Fung, Sylvia Hamilton, Jérôme Havre, Ebony L. Haynes, Johanna Householder, Camille A. Isaacs, Michelle Jacques, Alice Ming Wai Jim, Betty Julian, Olivia McGilchrist, Anna Jane McIntyre, Megan Morgan, Charmaine Nelson, Abdi Osman, Michèle Pearson Clarke, AboubakarSanogo, Adrienne Shadd, Dionne Simpson, Rema Tavares, Camille Turner, Gaëtane Verna, Rinaldo Walcott, Genevieve Wallen, Syrus Marcus Ware, and Natalie Wood.

Photograph of conference participants by Ella Cooper.

Creator: 
The State of Blackness Logo - text and a gradient in stacked rectangles from black to gray
Group photograph of participants at The State of Blackness Conference
Ontario Arts Council logo
SSHRC Logo
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 10:00am
Lab Member: 
Andrea Fatona