“MIXER is about deepening community, discovering new ways of working together, experiencing multi-layered artistry and affirming intersectional identities.”
Creative Users is launching our 3rd edition of Crip Interiors titled MIXER, curated by award-winning artists Syrus Marcus Ware and Barak adé Soleil and hosted this year by Tangled Art + Disability at Tangled Art Gallery in 401 Richmond Street West building, Suite 122.
Crip Interiors is a provocative demonstration of disability art and activism that brings together distinct creative perspectives and mediums into a shared space. The work presented in Crip Interiors exposes that which is often hidden, revealing the daily labour, creativity, and love that goes into negotiating public and private spaces often built and organized without disabled bodies in mind.
Collaboration, process and explorations of disability justice will be central to the collective work of MIXER. In July, a core of disability-identified artists from Black, Indigenous and people of colour communities will participate in a 5-week open studio period designed and co-facilitated by Syrus Marcus Ware and Barak adé Soleil. The artists will engage in an immersive creation process and develop new collaborative installation work that will be exhibited for three days, August 10th-12th. Exploring the intimacy of collaborative process, the artists of colour within the Deaf, Mad, disability communities, and of varied disciplines will creatively engage with each other in ways that are experimental and expansive. MIXER is about deepening community, discovering new ways of working together, experiencing multi-layered artistry and affirming intersectional identities. Public programming will include artist dialogs, open studio moments and showing of the artists’ communal process through a three-day exhibition.
MIXER focuses on new collaborations and creative process, with participating artists: Kanika Gupta, Anique Jordan, Wy Joung Kou, Najla Nubyanluv and Melisse Watson.
About the curators:
Barak adé Soleil
Barak adé Soleil has been part of the international contemporary arts scene for 25 years. Currently Barak is the Artistic Director of Tangled Art + Disability and making performance work focused on the intersection and intertwining legacies of race and disability.
Syrus Marcus Ware
Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, a visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate, educator, and core-team member of Black Lives Matter Toronto. As a visual artist, Syrus works within the mediums of painting, installation and performance to challenge systemic oppression. Syrus’ work explores the spaces between and around identities; acting as provocations to our understandings of gender, sexuality and race.
About the artists:
Anique Jordan is a multi-disciplinary artist, award-winning writer, scholar and social-entrepreneur. As an artist, her artwork plays with the aesthetics found in traditional Trinidadian carnival and the theory of hauntology challenging historical narratives and creating, what she calls, impossible images. Her art creation processes are guided by the questions: What stories do we tell that go unchallenged? And in how many ways can we know a thing? Anique’s work has taken her to Jamaica, Costa Rica, South Africa, Ecuador, Trinidad and Barbados exploring the connections between art and socio-economic survival. Anique has performed and exhibited in galleries across Canada including Art Gallery of Windsor (2017), Eastern Edge Gallery (2016), Art Gallery of Ontario (2016), Nuit Blanche (2016), Gallery 44 (2016), Crossroads Artspace (2015) and The Watah Gallery (2015). She is currently the executive director of Whippersnapper Gallery, part of the curatorial team at the Art Gallery of Ontario and working on the manuscript for her first book, Possessed: Black Women, Hauntology and Art as Survival. @aniquejordan, aniquejjordan.com
Wy Joung Kou
Wy Joung Kou is an emerging queer multi-disciplinary artist based in Toronto. Their practice includes work in mosaic, installation, community-based art, performance, poetry and disability art. They have been self-employed as a queer community barber for 4 years and have been producing permanent public artwork with Red Dress Productions with communities in St James Town, Winchester Park and Etobicoke since 2015. They have received over 2 years of mentorship in ceramic and glass mosaic production and community art facilitation. Kou has presented disability focused artwork in group exhibitions such as Project Creative Users’ CRIP INTERIORS shows as well as with Alliedoscope Collective and Storywave Collective.
In 2014 Kou was chosen to participate in the Asian Arts Freedom School’s Drag Musical Mentorship Program and has since performed in Les Femmes Fatales: Women & Femmes of Colour Burlesque Troupe’s rotating cast as a burlesque performer. They have performed at community shows and events such as Unapologetic Burlesque, PinkdotTO and the LGBT Youth Awards Gala. Kou was recently awarded the Ontario Art Council’s Access and Career Development Grant to continue to pursue work and mentorship with Red Dress Productions as they took part in the production and mounting of Drift Seeds, a large community theater production presented in Winchester Park in June 2017. They seek to cultivate a disability arts practice that centers accessibility while exploring themes of grief, resilience, chronic illness and healing.
Graduate of The Watah Theatre School & alumni of bCurrent’s mandiela rAiz’n in the Sun ensemble, Najla Nubyanluv is a queer black playwright, actor, author, doula & Residency Coordinator at The Watah Theatre. During her recent Sorplusi Arts Fellowship at Watah, Nubyanluv’s afrofuturist play I Cannot Lose My Mind received Individual Creation funding from Canada Council for the Arts. She is also the author & illustrator of I Love Being Black, a children’s book published by Sorplusi Press. Look out for the world premiere of I Cannot Lose My Mind in Watah’s upcoming 2017/18 Season of Nomads.
Kanika is an artist, writer and social entrepreneur who actively influences change by leading by example. Her visual artistic practice is diverse ranging from stick figure doodles to sculpture, painting to photography. Through all of her creative and community building endeavours, Kanika seeks to contribute towards creating new societal norms that are more inclusive and accurately embody what it means to be human. Art entered and opened up Kanika’s world in 2013. Kanika has participated in The Brain Project, a commissioned outdoor Public Art Installation and has exhibited her work in public galleries in Toronto, Canada.
Melisse is an activist, earthworker and multidisciplinary artist, utilizing performance, visual, aural and installation art to provoke socio-political change and thriving imagined futures for Black and Indigenous bodies.
Melisse wrote, directed and performed in their award-winning show I Was Born White at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2014. Melisse has also performed in the Summerworks Festival and the Rhubarb Festival. Melisse has presented solo and collaborative visual and performance work at The ARt Gallery of Ontario, The National Arts Centre, The Theatre Centre, The Drake Hotel, Harbourfront Centre, Daniel Spectrum, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre and at Pride Toronto.
About Tangled Art + Disability:
Tangled Art + Disability is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing disability arts in Canada by supporting Mad, Deaf and disability creative practices, engaging public programming and exhibitions. In April of this 2016, Tangled opened Toronto’s first art gallery dedicated to showcasing disability art and advancing accessible curatorial practices.Tangled is changing the ways people experience art.www.tangledarts.org