Annual Program

A close-cropped image of a dining table with the fragments of four people sitting around it. One person is holding a smartphone and swiping through images, the images are obscured by the fingers in motion. There is a used plate on the table, and a container filled with olives and lemons. There are subtitles that read "I closed all the window and now everything is in one room."

A Big Heritage with A Glorious Past | Eleana Antonaki and Marina Xenofontos

February 13–March 29, 2020

Curated by ma ma (Magdalyn Asimakis and Heather Rigg)

A Big Heritage with A Glorious Past presents the work of Eleana Antonaki and Marina Xenofontos in an inconclusive dialogue around the migratory experience. In their practices, both artists explore transnational feminist perspectives, honing in on the adversities of migration and strategies of settling and creating homes while in exile.

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ACCESS IS LOVE and LOVE IS COMPLICATED

Opening October 3, 2019

image: Vanessa Dion Fletcher,Quillwork in twenty-nine Parts, porcupine quill embroidery on paper, 6 x 9 inches. The quills are folded back and forth making a zigzag pattern and the design is raised off of soft paper. The colours of the embroidery are warm reds pinks and browns.


ACCESS IS LOVE and LOVE IS COMPLICATED
Co-curated by Emily Cook and Sean Lee
and presented in partnership with Tangled Art+Disability

Opening October 3rd from 6–9 pm / On view October 3–December 8, 2019

CRITICAL DISTANCE and TANGLED ART+DISABILITY are pleased to present ACCESS IS LOVE and LOVE IS COMPLICATED, an exhibition and event series featuring Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Kat Germain, Wy Joung Kou, Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning, Andy Slater, Aislinn Thomas, and Adam Wolfond and Estée Klar. This program is co-curated by CDCC Education and Accessibility Coordinator, Emily Cook, and Tangled Art + Disability Director of Programming, Sean Lee and represents the next level in our ongoing series of programs providing opportunities for curators and artists to consider new and more collaborative aesthetic and conceptual approaches to accessibility within and beyond the gallery context.

ACCESS IS LOVE and LOVE IS COMPLICATED takes inspiration not only from disability activist Mia Mingus’ idea that accessibility should be understood as an act of love, but riffs on a pop cultural understanding that love is complicated—and thus, if we truly wish to move towards an accessible future then we must embrace the frictions of it. A lived experience that is often as political as it is relational, disability is a springboard from which access is entangled in the political alterities of our bodies; how they move, navigate and shape the world.

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PUBLISHING AGAINST THE GRAIN at CRITICAL DISTANCE

July 4–August 17, 2019

PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH INDEPENDENT CURATORS INTERNATIONAL, NY

OPENING SATURDAY, JULY 6TH from 11am–1pm

CRITICAL DISTANCE and INDEPENDENT CURATORS INTERNATIONAL (ICI) are pleased to present Publishing Against the Grain, a unique exhibition that provides visitors with a rare opportunity to engage in a variety of conversations from across the world. In the context of today’s corporatization and commodification of cultural institutions, and in many political situations where free speech becomes ever more precarious, independent publishing has shown extraordinary vitality and importance as a platform for disseminating alternative, progressive and autonomous positions.

Publishing Against the Grain is a traveling exhibition that highlights the current state of publishing and art criticism as it exists in small journals, experimental publications, websites, and podcasts, as well as other innovative forms. It is organized around projects that connect theoretical, social, political, and aesthetic questions with a focus on community, whether understood in relation to a particular place, or defined in identitarian or diasporic terms. In bringing these projects together from around the world, Publishing Against the Grain reveals how their material and discursive activities respond to intersecting subjects such as contemporary aesthetics, diaspora, sex and gender, gentrification, race, language, and art history.

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An Archive, But Not An Atlas

April 27–June 2, 2019

Alex Jacobs-Blum, Curtiss Randolph, Camille Rojas, Eve Tagny
Curated by Liz Ikiriko

On view: April 27–June 2, 2019 / Opening reception: Saturday, April 27th, 1–3pm

“An archive, but not an atlas: the point here is not to take the world upon one’s shoulders, but to crouch down to the earth, and dig.”

— Allan Sekula

An Archive, But Not An Atlas is a group exhibition that explores personal and social histories as they are unearthed through movement, gesture, language, and land. Four emerging artists address unconscious memory as it is embodied across generations and geographies. Through photography, performance, and film, the artists’ knowledge is rooted in observing subtleties expressed in familial, domestic, or cultural locations. Continue reading

Performance documentation (still), Ivanie Aubin-Malo in response to work by naakita feldman-kiss at SAW Video (Ottawa), 2018.

PUBLIC SYNTAX: SAW Video at CRITICAL DISTANCE

February 7-March 31, 2019

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 9th from 2–4 pm

Curated by Neven Lochhead and presented in partnership with SAW Video Media Art Centre, Ottawa. Featuring work by naakita feldman-kiss, Ivanie Aubin-Malo, Henry Andersen, Mara Eagle, Phil Rose, Molly Teitelbaum, Anna Queen, and The Video in the Public Sphere Working Group.

In partnership with SAW Video Media Art Centre (Ottawa), Critical Distance is pleased to present ​Public Syntax, ​an exhibition that highlights the distinct time-based practices and approaches of seven artists, as well as those participating in the Video in the Public Sphere Working Group, the majority of whom are either Ottawa-based or connected. Situated in-gallery at Critical Distance and across multiple public spaces at Artscape Youngplace, the works in the exhibition embody and expand upon the recent and ongoing programming initiatives of SAW Video and their Knot Project Space​, ​launched in early 2018​.​

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THROUGH LINES

September 13–November 25, 2018

Featuring LISE BEAUDRY, SCOTT BENESIINAABANDAN, MICHELE PEARSON CLARKE, LEILA FATEMI, MARIA HUPFIELD, RAAFIA JESSA, and NADIA MYRE
Curated by NOA BRONSTEIN

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 13, 2018 from 7–9 pm

Presented in partnership with the Koffler Gallery, Through lines is an exhibition that brings together works of seven artists that challenge notions of redaction, tackling its typical devices of shredding, blacking out, editing, and covering up.  Continue reading

Nadège Grebmeier Forget, Rendering on View (Betty Rowland meets Angela Aames). Performed on May 27th 2017 as part of the installation Walls of Wind: The mirroring and rendering. Created in the context of the group exhibition I've Only Known My Own curated by Nicole Burisch and presented from April 21st to June 10th 2017 at OPTICA, Montréal. Photo: Paul Litherland.

… move or be moved by some ‘thing’ rather than oneself.

June 23 – August 5, 2018

Featuring Guillaume Adjutor Provost, Adam Basanta, Adrienne Crossman, and Nadège Grebmeier Forget
Curated by Florence-Agathe Dubé-Moreau and Maude Johnson

Critical Distance is pleased to present … move or be moved by some thing rather than oneself., an exhibition that considers curating and choreography as materials and subjects. Bringing together the work of Guillaume Adjutor Provost, Adam Basanta, Adrienne Crossman, and Nadège Grebmeier Forget, the exhibition is curated by Florence-Agathe Dubé-Moreau and Maude Johnson. The title, taken from a quote by choreographer Yvonne Rainer, echoes the curators’ desire to question the potentialities of artworks as well as presentation contexts from the position of transdisciplinary instability. Continue reading

FORWARD FACING

April 21–June 3, 2018

Featuring Lacie Burning, Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter and Dayna Danger | Curated by Cass Gardiner and presented in partnership with Aboriginal Curatorial Collective

In partnership with Aboriginal Curatorial Collective–Collectif des commissaires autochtones, Critical Distance is pleased to present FORWARD FACING, a Featured Exhibition of the 2018 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Curated by Cass Gardiner (Toronto/Brooklyn), Forward Facing is an exhibition that examines intersectionality within Indigenous identity through the photographic, video, craft, and installation practices of Dayna Danger (Montreal), Lacie Burning (Vancouver), and Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter (Calgary). Continue reading

WE LOOK AT ANIMALS BECAUSE

January 25–March 25, 2018

Featuring Quratulain Butt, Khaled Hourani, Maha Maamoun, Smriti Mehra, Huma Mulji, Ed Panar, Alex Sheriff, and Andrea Luka Zimmerman | Curated by Toleen Touq and Nahed Mansour

In partnership with South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC), Critical Distance is pleased to present We Look At Animals Because, an exhibition that gazes on animality. Through the lens of spectatorship, the show explores the shifting ways in which animals are regarded, represented and accorded meaning in post-industrial landscapes. Exhibiting photographs, video, works on paper, and sculpture, the featured artists reveal the nuanced, complicated and unexpected paradoxes that mark our relationships with cosmopolitan animals. Continue reading

FERMENTING FEMINISM

September 14–November 26, 2017

Critical Distance is thrilled to launch our landmark 5th year of programming with FERMENTING FEMINISM, curated by Lauren Fournier and featuring Sharlene Bamboat, Hazel Meyer, Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint, Sarah Nasby, Kayla Polan, Walter Scott, and Agustine Zegers.

Kombucha, guts, bacteria, vessels, vitalism, effervescence, degradation, and decay. Fermenting Feminism brings together artists whose work fleshes out the intersections between fermentation and intersectional feminisms. As the process of microbial transformation, fermentation becomes both a metaphor and material practice through which to approach feminist practices in the contemporary. Is feminism a relic of the past, something that has soured? Or is feminism still a vital imperative? This exhibition positions fermentation as a vital and viable space to re-conceive feminisms’s pasts, presents, and futures. Continue reading