FLOURISHING: SOMEWHERE WE STAY AUTHENTIC is the second exhibition in this series, featuring Maanii Oakes and Richard Harlow. Hailing from opposite sides of the country, these two artists converge to present work illustrating the inescapable impact of one’s environments, natural and human. SOMEWHERE WE STAY AUTHENTIC offers the audience glimpses into the artists’ efforts to navigate potentially overwhelming terrain, negotiating their own versions of landscapes in which they are able to thrive. We can never truly escape our past or the forces that have brought us to the here and now, but perhaps in looking honestly and unflinchingly at who and where we are, we open ourselves up to the potential of co-creating of what will be.
Drawing from the senses to invigorate new ways of experiencing visual art, this joint exhibition embodies an interdependent exchange of processes that uproot the narrative of the gallery setting. Oakes uses the performance of skin stitching and handpoke tattooing, as well as sculpting with artificial red and black sinew sewn through raw deer hide. Harlow uses painting to evoke and invite new sensations through touch. The two met for the first time at the Flourishing artist retreat in Halifax and quickly connected as artists and friends. What started as a reciprocal interest in each other’s disparate experiences progressed to sharing sculptural painting techniques and Indigenous teachings. Their 3D butchery scene is a tactile combination of their exchange of skills and knowledge.
In this fascinating, surprising and provocative shorts program, we encounter a collection of genuine and dystopic realities, which bring to light the emotional and physical dynamics of sexual assault within today’s patriarchal world. What truths unfold when the concept of harmony and safety is weighed against the value of self- assertion? And, where does this conflicting duality end… within the idea of controlling your own destiny (Rape Card)…amongst family (How the Air Feels)… between friends (When We Meet Again)… by a strange encounter (Meeting Between Two Parked Cars) or on a visit to the doctor (Males)? Or perhaps it is through the liberating act of material separation in a place where a woman leaseholder is unheard of? (Counterfeit Kunkoo).
Counterfeit Kunkoo – Hindi with English subtitles (15 mins) Rape Card (14 mins) Treffen zwischen zwei parkenden Autos (Meeting Between Two Parked Cars) – German with English subtitles (26 mins) Handjur (Males) – Swedish with English subtitles (6 mins) How The Air Feels / All These F*cking Spirits (10 mins) Når vi ses igen (When We Meet Again) – Danish with English subtitles (19 mins)
FLOURISHING: SOMEHOW WE STAY ATTUNED
Peter Owusu-Ansah, Sarah Ferguson, and Salima Punjani
FLOURISHING: SOMEHOW WE STAY ATTUNED is the first of four exhibitions that make up the series, FLOURISHING. Featuring the work of seven artists from across Canada, this exhibition series addresses the complexities of what it means to flourish, and how flourishing exists in harmony with, and in juxtaposition to, suffering.
SOMEHOW WE STAY ATTUNED is more inquiry than proclamation. The three featured artists do not present simple answers but rather, transform the gallery into a forum unfolding debate – within themselves, with each other, and with the audience.
Ferguson’s work explores the Trans experience; how Trans individuals embody themselves and their environments. Owusu-Ansah’s work as a Deaf artist seeks to deepen audiences’ perception of visual art, and understanding of how Deaf folks navigate a hearing world. Punjani’s work asks audiences to interact with their bodies and their surroundings in new contextual ways. Each artist uses their work as a springboard for us to challenge our understandings of bodies, both our own and those of others.
Tara Cooper, Hyang Cho, Meg Harder, Žana Kozomora, Amanda Rhodenizer, Aislinn Thomas. Curated by Crystal Mowry.
The lives of artists – whether they be poets or painters – often make for excellent legends. In the case of the American poet Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886), reclusive and non-conformist tendencies allowed the writer to create distance between her own interests and an inquisitive public. Known within her local community as “The Myth,” Dickinson honed her craft on her own terms and largely for her own pleasure. It was only after Dickinson’s death in 1886 and the posthumous publication of her letters and diaries that readers would encounter a version of the human condition that was uniquely hers.
The Brain is wider than the Sky draws its inspiration from a poem of the same name penned by Emily Dickinson. In this concise verse Dickinson offers a list of juxtapositions that invite us to see the human imagination as an instrument of sublime capability. Premiering new work by artists based within Waterloo Region and Wellington County, The Brain is wider than the Sky proposes a shared cerebral space within the architecture of the gallery.
Correspondence is a central theme that is woven through each of the works included in this exhibition. For multidisciplinary artist Tara Cooper, installation is a practice parallel to that of the travelogue. Combining abstraction and fragmented nautical references, Cooper creates an archive of a place one can never truly know. The gap between memory and reality is tested in Žana Kozomora’s suite of new lens-based works, in which the artist returns to her childhood home in Sarajevo and reconsiders its context through a tourist’s perspective. Site and history are similar preoccupations for painter Amanda Rhodenizer. Through the use of figuration and staged interactions in vacation homes, Rhodenizer explores the distance – both physical and emotional – that separates her subjects. For Hyang Cho, a misdelivered letter inspired a new project wherein correspondence and translation are redefined. Drawing inspiration from “fraktur” – a form of illuminated folk art associated with the Mennonite traditions of her youth – Meg Harder proposes an epic narrative set along the banks of an infinite river. Making the awe-inspiring relatable, Aislinn Thomas gathers accounts of a contemporary celestial event that can be understood as a people’s history of the sublime. Seen together, the works in this exhibition offer a glimpse into the distinct worlds that may exist between the ears of other people.
A people’s history of the sublime: TOTALITY (21.08.2017)
9 channel sound, 37 minutes (looped)
Stereoscopic viewers, reels of collected images
Image credit: Mike Lalich
On August 21, 2017 people from all over North American were eagerly anticipating a rare celestial event: a total solar eclipse. With specially designed viewing aids and DIY contraptions in hand, people all over the continent were hatching plans to amplify the spectacle. Some planned parties to share the experience with their loved ones, while others embarked on extensive journeys to be in the “line of totality” – a path where one can witness intensified visual phenomena. Those who have first-hand experience of a total solar eclipse can attest that it is nothing short of sublime. Temperatures drop noticeably and animal behaviour can change dramatically. Such events can be transformative, especially when shared.
For Aislinn Thomas, that transformation yields a narrative that reverberates with each retelling. In making A people’s history of the sublime, Thomas solicited contributions of accounts related to the eclipse on August 21, 2017. Supplemented by images and audio that have been publicly shared on the internet, these accounts form a shared resource that aims to democratize the sublime. Ever the respectful collaborator, Thomas honours the idiosyncrasies of her contributors and the unexpected humanity that can be found when we are sitting together in the dark.
Aislinn Thomas is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes video, performance, installation, and text-based work. She culls material from everyday experiences and relationships, exploring themes of vulnerability, empathy, possibility and failure. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is the recipient of several grants and awards including a C.D. Howe Scholarship for Arts and Design, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Masters Scholarship, and grants from the Ontario Arts Council. Aislinn gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council.
On the first Thursday of each month, ASL interpretation is provided for the Museum Highlights Tour. ASL-Interpreted Tours at the ROM offer a learning experience for the whole family, and they cover some of the must-see objects in the Museum. These tours are free with admission and reservation is not required.
August 2 at 11 – 12
September 6, 11 – 12
October 4, 11 – 12
November 1, 11 – 12
December 6, 11 – 12
For more information about programs and services for visitors who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing please visit: rom.on.ca/access/deaf
Inclusive Arts London’s Bridging Forward: Accessibility Arts Festival is bringing exciting works from local, provincial, and national artists to London over June and July 2018. This exhibition features emerging to established contemporary visual and media artists from Southwestern Ontario and beyond, including: Elaine Stewart, Aislinn Thomas, Hailey Doxtater, Jenelle Rouse, Vero Leduc, Sarah L and Judith Purdy. All events are open to the public and presented in accessible locations.
Present Tense: IAL Exhibition Opening with works by:
Centre for Print and Media Arts in Hamilton and VibraFusionLab in London, Ontario present Hear, Feel, See What!, a collaborative speculative soundscape and interactive installation. Five artists from Hamilton, London, and Toronto, including hearing, hard of hearing and Deaf artists, and an archivist co-authored a piece that captures and documents both the audio and vibrations of historical, existing, and future sounds of Hamilton and London. In a society that is in a constant state of rapid change, this piece aims to collect and preserve city sounds before they are lost to history.
The multi-sensory work invites spectators to engage either through sound, audio description, visual interpretation and/or vibrations while facing a video projection of Jenelle Rouse, a Deaf dancer whose practice responds, interprets and composes movement. In this work, Rouse offers us an embodied reflection and translation; an experiential and corporeal response to the local and digital soundscapes. Her dance embodies a symbolic intersection of the two cities as she streams the vibrations through her movements. Transmitting the speculative soundscape through dance, the two cities converge in a sentiment of live streaming, and digitization. Hear Feel See What! challenges the conventional ways in which we engage with and experience the arts and encourages us to question our notions about accessibility in both art making and presentation.
Accessibility information: ASL interpreter will be present at the opening reception and both locations are wheelchair accessible.
About the artists:
David Bobier, who identifies as having a hearing disability, and Leslie Putnam are from the o’honey collective. Their collective explores the relationship in which humans either oppose or connect with their natural environment. They take iconic elements from the natural world and place them within the realm of human experience and transversely place human constructions within the natural world. The two artists work toward community engagement and the exploration of the intersection between the human and natural world, attempting to bridge the gap between what people know as the truth of their natural world, and the way we have come to experience it through our own constructed realities.
Jenelle Rouse lives an exciting life juggling between various roles. While working as a classroom teacher at a Provincial School for the Deaf for almost 10 years and working towards a doctorate in the Education field of Applied Linguistics, Rouse works as a part-time evolving dancer. She is a self-taught deaf artist with a desire to express thoughts and emotions through body movements and dance.
Lindsay Fisher is a visual artist and curator, disability arts advocate, and identifies as being a deaf artist. Fisher’s practice critically examines cultural understandings of disability, accessibility, and disability arts as an interventionist tactic to be used to make the city more inhabitable to people living with difference.
Michael Rinaldi is an actor/sound designer/writer living in Hamilton Ontario. He has been fortunate to have collaborated with some of Canada’s most exciting theatre companies: Tarragon, Factory, GCTC, Blyth Festival, Common Boots/Theatre Columbus, Theatre Calgary, Vancouver Playhouse, The Arts Club, Electric Company Theatre, Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and many more. He has been nominated for multiple awards in acting, collective creation, and sound design, most recently the 2017 Dora’s for Outstanding Sound design, and the OAC’s 2017 Pauline McGibbon Award for Emerging Designer.
TJ Charlton is an interdisciplinary artist, musician, arts educator and archivist currently based in Hamilton, ON.
You’re invited to experience My Head Lay on a Trusty Word, a documentary film exhibition by Roberto Santaguida. This is the final exhibition of Space Shapes Place, a national series of vibrant commissions produced by Tangled Art + Disability.
About the exhibition
My Head Lay on A Trusty Word marks a new installation by Montreal-born filmmaker Roberto Santaguida. The narrative sculpts a tale of his own personal journey: at fourteen years old, Santaguida ran away from home and dreamt he found redemption on the Atlantic coast. For this project, the artist replicated his travels east, revisiting the small towns, scenic routes, twilight beaches, and the woman who helped him find his way back.
Opening Reception: April 19, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Exhibition dates: April 19 – May 19, 2018
Location: Tangled Art Gallery S-122, 401 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON
About the artist
Since completing his studies in film production at Concordia University, Roberto Santaguida has worked extensively in documentary and experimental film. His films have shown at more than 250 international festivals around the world. Santaguida is the recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award and a fellowship from Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany.
Tangled Art Gallery is in a barrier-free location. Audio description will be available for the exhibit. For public engagements we will have ASL interpreters, live transcription and attendant care present. Service animals are welcome. We request that you help us to make this a scent-free environment
Tangled Art Gallery is located in studio 122 on the main floor on the 401 Richmond Building. The closest accessible subway station is at Osgoode Station. The closest accessible streetcar stop is the 510 Spadina Queen Street West Stop (Queen Street stop going south from Spadina Station, Richmond Street stop going north from Union Station.)
For images, interviews, or more information please contact: Kristina McMullin
P: 647 725 5064
A still of My Head Lay on a Trusty Word. The frame features a table setting with a plate of food, one fork and one glass. The tablecloth is cream coloured with a bright red floral pattern. The image is grainy like old film.
“We welcome the opportunity to have Fiona explore the complexities of her identity through these two pieces: one almost overwhelming in its size, but offering an inner space for solitude; the other a foreboding metaphor for the future of our evolving culture and disability identified peoples’ place in it.” – Barak adé Soleil, Curator and Artistic Director of Tangled Art + Disability
The Maze Project & A Distant Memory 2 The Maze Project is an inventive large scale work encompassing the gallery with its intricate repeating patterns and symbolic pair of shoes hovering above, encased thickly in concrete. For Legg, the installation represents challenges she, a self-identified Mad person, encounters when navigating the world. In addition to this new work, a new version of Legg’s A Distant Memory will be exhibited. Originally created for an outdoor garden space, this industrial sculptural piece will be reimagined within the interior of the gallery in complement to the maze.
Fiona Legg was born in England and moved to Canada at an early age. Always interested in the arts, she has tried her hand at a wide variety of media over the years. Almost entirely self-taught, Legg has always had an affinity for anything textile related. She has lived in various places across the country, giving her a unique perspective of Canada. Legg currently works full time as an artist in Barrie, Ontario.
Opening Reception:March 1, 6-8pm, 2018 Media Preview:March 1, 4-5pm, 2018 Exhibition Dates:March 1 – March 24, 2018 Second Saturday Social: March 10, 2018
VibraFusionLab (VFL) began in 2014 in London, Ontario, growing out of an artist residency and collaboration between media artist David Bobier and the Inclusive Media and Design Centre at Ryerson University. The vision, to provide access to emerging inclusive or adaptive technology and design to artists of all disciplines and abilities, will be illustrated in the upcoming retrospective: VibraFusionLab: Bridging Practices in Accessibility, Art and Communication. Vtape is proud to host this immersive exhibition, which will feature educational ephemera in the Commons Research Centre, and works by seven artists involved in the residency program: Marla Hlady; Gordon Monahan; Lindsay Fisher; Alison O’Daniel; Ellen Moffat; Lynx Sainte-Marie; and David Bobier. The seven artists in the exhibition self-identify as either abled or disabled and all have been affiliated with VibraFusionLab over the past 3-4 years.
The works specialize in the exploration of “vibrotactility” in technology, investigating it as a creative medium, with a capacity to combine visual, audio and tactile elements into a highly emotional and sensorial art practice. Viewers can expect wearable devices, and new approaches to art-making that champion the senses beyond vision and hearing, to build new methods of communication and language.
An online catalogue has been published at www.vflvibrations.com with essays by Eliza Chandler, Evan Hibbard and David Bobier.