Co-Presentations

Billboard image by artist Zinnia Naqvi, showing a stack of books titled "The Image of Confederation, Language and Ethic Relations in Canada, and The Dream of Nation." There's a toy police car on top of the stack, and blue and red legos are sprawled across the table. On the wall is a poster of a made up landscape of a suburban neighbourhood with families going on about their day, a policeman and car at post on the side.

Billboard on Shaw: Zinnia Naqvi | The Border Guards Were Friendly

August 20, 2020

Billboard on Shaw presented by Gallery TPW in partnership with Critical Distance, featuring The Border Guards Were Friendly by Zinnia Naqvi, 2020.

This billboard is presented in the context of Gallery TPW’s ongoing project MOVEMENTS, an online and site-specific program that reflects on both the intimate scale of the body as it shifts through time and space, and organized actions that provoke vital, unsettling change.

The Border Guards Were Friendly is part of a larger body of work that brings together the artist’s family photos with assemblages of books, games, and VHS tapes. Documenting a 1988 holiday across various tourist sites in Ontario, the images were taken as a reconnaissance mission of sorts, marking the family’s decision to immigrate to Canada from Karachi, Pakistan. The mixture of personal snapshots—featuring places like the CN Tower and the Cullen Gardens & Miniature Village—with Naqvi’s deliberate object choices makes visible the tensions between Canada’s mythmaking of multiculturalism and the nation’s persistent legacies of colonialism and injustice. In this particular image, Naqvi extends the project to consider the realities and failings of Canadian citizenship. Referencing surveillance culture and systems of public scrutiny, this work is an apt reminder that violent systems of policing are intrinsic to the maintenance of citizenship within a nation state. Who does—and who does not—have the right to move and subsist freely?

 

About the Artist

Zinnia Naqvi an interdisciplinary artist based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal and Tkaronto/Toronto. Her work examines issues of colonialism, cultural translation, language, and gender through the use of photography, video, writing, and archival material. Recent works have included archival and re- staged images, experimental documentary films, video installations, graphic design, and elaborate still-lives. Her works often invite the viewer to question her process and working methods.

Naqvi’s work has been shown across Canada and internationally. She received an honorable mention at the 2017 Karachi Biennale in Pakistan and was an Artist in Residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario as part of EMILIA- AMALIA Working Group. She is a recipient of the 2019 New Generation Photography Award organized by the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada in partnership with Scotiabank. She earned a BFA in Photography Studies from Ryerson University and an MFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University.

Provisions Live reading poster image, consisting of partner logos, images of objects and dates of reading series

A Live Co-Reading of Provisions – Radical Care

July 22, 2020

We are thrilled to partner with The Site Magazine in co-hosting the third conversation in their event series, ‘A Live Co-Reading of Provisions,’ drawn from the contributions to The Site Magazine’s latest issue, Provisions: Observing and archiving Covid-19. This conversation will be hosted in collaboration with Critical Distance.

In this conversation we will be joined by Lori BrownCarol Anne Hilton, and Elke Krasny to discuss the radical approaches to care, ethics, and relationality in times of crisis (and how to make these times a moment for meaningful change) through a co-reading and discussion of their responses:

Lori Brown, Transformational Slowness

Carol Anne Hilton, Indigenomics

Elke Krasny, Radicalizing Care

 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 | 3 – 4PM EST
This event will have live captioning.


image courtesy of The Site Magazine

woman standing in front of a big wooden door, she is wearing a black suit and holding a chicken. there's a cleaver knife on the ground next to her

Pine Street: Charlotte Zhang

April 14, 2020

Online Launch: April 14, 2020 | 6:00PM EST

Critical Distance is pleased to co-present Charlotte Zhang’s Pine Street in partnership with the 2020 Images Festival and Centre A.

Pine Street, Now and Again (2019) is a looping two-channel video installation by Nanaimo-raised and Los Angeles-based artist Charlotte Zhang. Commissioned by the Nanaimo Art Gallery for the group exhibition Estuary, the film is composed of sequences conceived in collaboration with former Chinatown residents and people who are connected to them. For this installation, Zhang was thinking about the parallel structure of conversation and “the ways in which we build and dismantle Chinatown over and over again through conversing.”

The sequences are edited to appear at moments that sonically conflict: a cast of local residents armed with metal detectors swarm an unassuming hill; we witness a conversation between former classmates at the Chinese senior home; the artist goes hunting in a chicken coop. With every loop, these and other images, dialogues, and sounds are recut through the process of recollection. 

This double presentation mirrors the structure of Zhang’s work itself, two channels facing one another with overlapping audio. Critical Distance is located at Artscape Youngplace Toronto and Centre A at BC Artscape Sun Wah in Vancouver’s Chinatown. In noting that both venues are located within artistic and community-driven spaces entangled in creative city planning, Pine Street wades into the forces of erasure Zhang’s grapples with in her film. 

Co-presented with the Images Festival and Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (Vancouver)

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Ocean Archive: CDCC in exchange with TBA21-Academy (Vienna)

September 28 - 29, 2019

CDCC, TORONTO x TBA21-ACADEMY, VIENNA at OCEAN SPACE, VENICE

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 from 11am—5pm EST

Critical Distance Centre for Curators is pleased to participate in an international exchange with TBA21-Academy in response to the release of the IPCC Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). Scheduled to be published on September 28th, the report and proceedings with be presented at the Climate Justice for a Living Ocean at Ocean Space in Venice as part of Phenomenal Ocean, a convening to be led by Chus Martinez, Director of Institut Kunst in Basel.

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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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Billboard on Shaw: Pejvak | The Bell at the End of Time

Summer 2019

Billboard on Shaw co-presented in partnership with C Magazine, featuring The Bell at the End of Time (detail), by PEJVAK (Rouzbeh Akhbari and Felix Kalmenson), 2019.

“We came across the following documents during our research residency in Tbilisi at Georgia’s State Silk Museum in March 2019. Reviewing the extensive archives maintained by the museum’s library, in preparation for our upcoming film on the Silk Road, we were captivated by a series of notes and illustrations that felt oddly out of place in the collection. These documents stood out from the rest of the archives not only because of their seemingly disconnected subject matter but also because of their disparate sorting logic and clandestine placement amongst various expedition reports and personal notes written by Nikolay Shavrov, a Russian biologist and the founder and first director of Tbilisi’s Sericultural Station. At first glance, these records appeared to be little more than incidental entries or misplaced files, but soon, with the help of Darejan Demetrashvili, the librarian, and Mariam Shergelashvili, our research coordinator, we uncovered a series of interconnected narratives concerning a monumental intervention in the environs of Mount Ararat in modern-day Turkey.”

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PRESSING THE ISSUE pt.2: Critical Arts Publishing in Canada Continued

August 9, 2019

Join us AUGUST 9, 2019, starting at 7pm at Small World Music Centre, Suite 101 of Artscape Youngplace; reception to follow in gallery at Critical Distance, Suite 302.

We are excited to continue the conversation on the state of independent critical arts publishing across Canada with a panel involving Anthea Black and Jessica Lynn Whitbread from The HIV Howler, Adrienne Crossman from Off Centre, Lauren Lavery from Peripheral Review, and Niki Little from imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, moderated by Maxine Proctor. Continue reading

PRESSING THE ISSUE pt.1: On Critical Arts Publishing in Canada

July 8, 2019

Join us JULY 8th, 2019 starting at 7pm at Small World Music Centre, Suite 101 of Artscape Youngplace; reception to follow in gallery at Critical Distance, Suite 302.

We are thrilled to host a conversation with founders and co-founders of indie critical arts publishing projects in Canada including; Cecilia Berkovic (EMILIA-AMALIA), and Ben Donoghue (MICE Magazine), Merray Gerges (CRIT paper), Steffanie Ling (Charcuterie, Bartleby Review, STILLS), and Vanessa Runions (Carbon Paper). This panel will be moderated by Maxine Proctor.

Curating for the Future with AGYU Visiting Curator Tian Zhang

June 19, 2019

A FREE PUBLIC PRESENTATION BY AGYU VISITING CURATOR TIAN ZHANG

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 2019 starting at 7PM at Small World Music Theatre, Suite 101 of Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Toronto, ON, M6J 2W5

AGYU and Critical Distance Centre For Curators (CDCC) are pleased to co-present a curatorial talk by AGYU Visiting Curator Tian Zhang (Sydney, Australia). A presentation of Tian’s work will be followed by a facilitated conversation hosted by Emelie Chhangur (AGYU), Myung-Sun Kim (Toronto Biennial of Art), and Shani K Parsons (Critical Distance).
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