José Luis Torres reclaims public space and exhibition venues, repurposing daily objects and hijacking our senses. His ephemeral accumulations of cobbled-together materials play on conventions of artistic monstration. Passersby can’t help but be struck by their architectural dimension – often invasive and spectacular – and their brilliant colours; a reflection or conversation is inevitably sparked. With a background in visual arts, sculpture and architecture, José Luis Torres, originally from Argentina, redefines the artist as s/he who “makes do.” His work has been shown across the continent from Canada to Argentina, in Europe and in China.
CURATOR: FABIENNE PARISIEN
Through a series of vibrant works mixing video, music, text and sculpture, L’Exhumée delves into the complex dynamic between resilience and fragility. Artist Julie Robinson plumbs her personal experience to unearth a tragedy buried for twenty years – a ruptured aneurysm when she was eighteen. What emerges is a body radiant with paradoxes, at once socially dislocated and radically exalted by its constraint. Trained in photography, Robinson also has a self-taught practice in sculpture and painting. She is the cofounder and co-organizer of the XL biennale, and of the multidisciplinary artistic community Cercle CréatiC. She lives and works in Montreal.
Places and bodies – broken, betrayed, defiled. Secret, hidden stories gush to the surface in Phantom Stills & Vibrations, an immersive experience that pays tribute to the victims of the former Pelican Falls residential school in Sioux Lookout in northwestern Ontario. A cultural genocide that continues, that leaves traces and open wounds. Inspired by visits to the land of her ancestors, choreographer Lara Kramer has crafted a performance art exhibit in collaboration with Stefan Petersen, a reminder of the repercussions of the traumas passed on from generation to generation.
A photograph of the former residential school (now a high school) and a soundscape of the north underpin a minimalist performance. Kramer portrays the excruciating reality of abused children and questions the possibility of moving forward. How can there be a rebuilding when violence is perpetuated? The exhibit stirs, disturbs, leads to reflection and meditation. A work of essential, powerful remembrance.
Lara Kramer is an Oji-Cree choreographer and multidisciplinary artist. Her works have been hailed by critics including Native Girl Syndrome, which exposes the marginalization and victimization of Indigenous women and the effects of cultural genocide.
In this exhibition, Hannah Claus highlights the relationships between various elements that structure our world. It features ‘water song’, an imposing yet intricate veil of thread and digital imagery that replicates the audio waveforms of a Mi’kmaq water song. Uniting voice, water and song, the installation itself is based on the principles inherent to kahion:ni, or wampum belts, in which sea and sky are united.
Hannah Claus is a visual artist of English and Kanien’kehà:ka / Mohawk ancestries living in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). In her installations, she uses process and materials to address memory and transformation from within an Indigenous worldview.
Deux corpus d’œuvres où les artistes y vont d’un dialogue vivant, empathique et poignant autour des notions d’exil et de protestation tout en remettant en question notre relation avec la culture de production de masse.
Eyes Water Fire
Tomoyo Ihaya (Vancouver)
«Ihaya’s simple yet powerful depictions of candlelight processions, three-stranded rivers, blue lotuses, white yaks, green trees—and portraits of Tibetan Buddhists who have self-immolated in protest of Chinese occupation of their land and repression of their culture.»
«The acute and sincere grief in her work, the capacity to feel and convey the suffering of others, cannot leave any viewer unmoved.»
Dans Eyes Water Fire, Tomoyo Ihaya propose vidéos, installation en techniques mixtes et dessins à petite et grande échelles qui font écho au réconfort qu’elle apporte depuis longtemps aux miséreux réfugiés tibétains installés dans le Nord de l’Inde.
Native du Japon et vivant maintenant à Vancouver, Ihaya possède une maîtrise en beaux-arts (gravure) de l’Université de l’Alberta. Depuis 2005, elle a visité l’Inde plus d’une douzaine de fois et y a noué des amitiés sincères avec plusieurs membres des communautés tibétaines en exil.
Shyra De Souza (Calgary)
«A touch of the macabre with some backbone will be on display (…) Shyra De Souza’s mesmerizing installation (…) Phantom Limb resembles a mythical skeleton, yet is made out of re-configured thrift store finds included trinkets, ceramics and various knickknacks.»
Avec Bliss Points, sorte d’épine dorsale où fusionnent de vieux objets restaurés, l’artiste interdisciplinaire Shyra De Souza soumet en quelque sorte le spectateur à sa stratégie d’exacerbation mimétique.
Installée à Calgary, De Souza a présenté ses œuvres en sols canadien, américain et européen. En 2016, le centre Oboro situé à Montréal a présenté Vestigial Manoeuvres, une installation de grande envergure entièrement composée d’objets trouvés dans les boutiques d’occasion locales.
Vomiting Flowers is a multimedia installation work incorporating two-dimensional and three-dimensional hand-built pieces giving shape to a playful environment, at once speculative, whimsical and familiar. Through Vomiting Flowers, Hea R. Kim seeks to dramatize and simultaneously rethink the notion of artistic value through the exploration of past expressions of craft, present-day mass-produced objects, and possible future uses for technology.
Hea R. Kim is a Korean-born Canadian immigrant and a multi-disciplinary artist. Her practice encounters popular culture and technology through the creation of playful installations where the fantastical cohabits with the mundane.
Having emigrated from the Philippines to Canada in 1988, Marigold Santos’ artwork draws upon her efforts as a young person to come to terms with a new sense of self in a new environment. A central figure in her work is the Asuang, a supernatural witch or ghoul able to self-sever and reattach its bodily components. Santos’ Asuangs—appearing here in drawings, ceramics, sculptures, and projected images—represent not malevolent forces but self-awareness, transformation, and empowerment.
Santos pursues an inter-disciplinary art practice, exploring how selfhood can become fragmented and dislocated, and subsequently reinvented. In 2017, she participated in the Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art.
This exhibition presents recent videos at the intersection of documentary and social practice. Made in close collaboration with a wide range of subjects, the featured works explore various vocally expressive platforms—interviews, show-and-tell, even song—that cultivate agency or creativity. The I and the We pays tribute to workers in a Montreal neighbourhood, young Indigenous women, Milwaukee preteens, small-town Italian housewives, ESL high school students in NYC, and other groups little noticed or seldom celebrated.
With The I and the We, Vancouver-based guest curator Zoë Chan continues her ongoing examination of storytelling, performativity, and documentary in contemporary video.
This exhibition by Iranian-Canadian artist Naghmeh Sharifi features ink-on-paper drawings and sculptural elements. Sharifi examines themes of transient identity and the psychology of the body from within, as a lived space and geography. Working in disparate media, she represents the body within diverse environments—imaginary interpretations of the diverse places she herself has inhabited.
Based in Montreal, Sharifi has exhibited her work in Tehran, Berlin, Toronto, Mexico City, Los Angeles, and Skopje (Macedonia). In 2015, she was selected for the Empreints (Impressions) Residency at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Sharifi recently completed her MFA at Concordia University.
For Montreal-based Syrian-Kurdish artist Khadija Baker, the act of remembering is a means of reimagining identity. With Birds Crossing Borders, the artist has created a multimedia installation incorporating sound, video, falling water, and other effects dedicated to developing a common memory through storytelling. Here, Baker shares the collected stories of newly arrived refugees, in particular those displaced by the current conflict in Syria.
Since immigrating to Canada in 2001, Baker has used her art practice to build understanding about cultural complexities arising from war and displacement. Her most recent work was presented at Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), Contemporary Istanbul art fair, and Festival International d’Art Vidéo de Casablanca.