Indigenous survivance, urbanization and so much more are on the menu at OCAD University’s 2017 Nuit Blanche program titled, Tonight’s Special: Bannock, Mille-Feuille and Berries. Curated by Cree Métis artist and curator Jason Baerg and historian, curator and OCAD U alumnus Tak Pham.
Tonight’s Special draws inspiration from a range of cultural culinary pleasures – from the complex richness of a French mille-feuille pastry, to a hearty Indigenous buffalo stew. The program conjures complex discussions of Toronto’s varied cultures and histories reflected in our multicultural community.
Through new media experimentation and interactive engagements, the exhibiting artists aestheticize excessive synthetic materials to question our relationship to the surrounding environment. While the artworks are socio/enviro/political in nature, they are also colourful, pulsing and engaging.
This year’s Nuit Blanche program at OCAD University sprawls across the university’s expanded campus. Discover projects down the McCaul Street corridor, starting at Butterfield Park by the main building at 100 McCaul, and then head south towards the south campus on Richmond Street West alongside the university’s newly launched professional gallery.
Living Mosaic is a two-day celebratory event and month long exhibition that offers a fresh and unusual take on Canadian identity. The exhibition aims to pay tribute to the varying stories of origin that lend vibrancy into our collective society, specifically highlighting Indigenous and immigrant histories in Canada. Featuring the work of thirteen local artists, Living Mosaic represents a broad spectrum of experience and historical perspectives that together acknowledge the past, celebrate the present, and look toward building a bright future.
Co-curated with Hayley Dawson
Photo credit: Abby Ho
Supported by Culture Days Ontario and Ontario 150 Community Celebration Program
VPN to IRL explores how our virtual relationships mediate our perception of reality, and the role of technology in contemporary living. Through four unique media and installation projects, the exhibition transforms Xpace’s gallery into a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that will extend the Internet experience beyond the common visualization of data on computer screens. The artists will immerse the visitor’s body within a web of connections, where constant experiential feedback among them will construct a new reality. The visitor’s engagement and navigation through exhibition will question the ethics of the Internet, and examines its collateral physical consequences.
Theatre of Disjunctions responds to the disappearance of historic architecture in due to socio-political turmoil, inadequate maintenance and negligence. Local artists Lizz Aston, Marina Fathalla, Layne Hinton and Carson Teal help rethink architectural preservation through curatorial practice. The exhibition re-examines the relationship between art and politics during an investigation of Toronto theatre architecture and its contribution to the city’s gentrification effort in early 1990s. The exhibition stages a comprehensive experience speaking to the conditions of people who are marginalized and rejected in the history of modernization. By juxtaposing the history of Toronto’s urban development to one of Winnipeg, each artwork allows moments of contemplation and reflection inside the gallery. Viewers will have an opportunity to position themselves among different lines of narratives that have come to shape up the place and space that they are inhabiting.
Logs explores how personal identity affects our ways of moving through space and places, and how these movements form our perceptions of reality. Examining the theme of movement, migration, trade of both humans and nonhumans that are fueled by the demands of hyper-capitalism, Logs gestures at the Canadian history of logging (a practice that fueled capitalism and supported colonialism), the use of logs and rafts as a mode of transportation across water and land, and the material logs that archive various histories of movements.
thresholds is an open investigation into the contingencies of human experience and expression through various forms and formats of art, media and design. In particular, thresholds explores how the interplay between the absence and presence of the body marks the negotiation of physical, political and/or psychic spaces, and considers how we might interpret contested meanings of difference as both liminal and mediated. In order to highlight and critically engage states of emergence, absence, transformation, being and becoming, thresholds offers an assemblage of diverse artistic works that collectively challenge the mutable boundaries of space, time, emotion, identity, ideology, perception, technology and the body.
Influenc(Ed.) Machines is the result of primary curatorial research by students of International Collaboration Studio, a new Criticism and Curatorial Practice course taught by Professor Jennifer Rudder. The students researched the Photo Electric Arts Department of OCAD U in the 1970s — a catalyst in the development of new media and electronic art in Toronto. The exhibition revealed a legacy at OCAD U beginning with artist and Professor Norman White teaching Doug Back, who became faculty and taught Layne Hinton (and many others.)