Current / Upcoming

Groundwork

April 15 - May 30, 2021

Critical Distance Centre for Curators (CDCC) – Core Exhibition
Featured Exhibition at the 2021 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival

Artists: Alana Bartol, Ileana Hernandez Camacho, Tsēmā Igharas
Curator: Valérie Frappier

 

In a 2013 interview with Naomi Klein, Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar Leanne Betasamosake Simpson explains that extractivism is not just the physical process of extracting natural resources, specifically on Indigenous lands, but that it is also a mindset. Simpson defines the term in the following way: “The act of extraction removes all of the relationships that give whatever is being extracted meaning. Extracting is taking. Actually, extracting is stealing—it is taking without consent, without thought, care or even knowledge of the impacts that extraction has on the other living things in that environment.”* Later in the interview, Simpson then turns to the alternative of an extractive mindset, which she describes as being centered in relationships. “The alternative is deep reciprocity. It’s respect, it’s relationship, it’s responsibility, and it’s local.”

Working from Simpson’s definitions as a starting point, this exhibition considers how extractivism operates as a physical process underpinned by a pervasive colonial-capitalist mindset towards land use. By intersecting strands of ecology, geology, and performance theory, Groundwork seeks to grapple with the psychology of extractivism and foregrounds embodied performance as a method to bring focus to its alternatives. Within the scope of Canada’s geography, artists Alana Bartol, Ileana Hernandez Camacho and Tsēmā Igharas employ site-specific performance to question and imagine beyond the colonial-capitalist structures that largely shape humanity’s relationship with the environment.

Continue reading

Billboard on Shaw: Jorian Charlton

March 8 - April 21, 2020

Billboard on Shaw presented by Gallery TPW in partnership with Critical Distance, featuring Untitled (Angaer) by Jorian Charlton, 2020.

The individuals in Jorian Charlton’s photographs become stand-ins for everyday Black folks, whose beauty and culture often lack recognition and representation as they are. Taking cues from fashion photography, Charlton’s way of working emphasizes her sitter’s active role in being photographed.

Here, Charlton carefully captures the movement in her muse’s hair, distilling a sense of freedom and agency. She is unbound by the static nature of the frame.

Curated by Emilie Croning, Wedge Curatorial Projects

Continue reading

Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries: Professional Development Workshop Series

January 28, 2021

Join Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries for upcoming online workshops, where senior, mid-career, and emerging professionals will gain professional knowledge, skills and practices in the public art gallery and museum sector.

Emily Cook, Critical Distance’s Education & Accessibility Programs Director, will be joining the panel of presenters for the first workshop in the series, Collections and Accessibility.

Continue reading

Public Displays of Affection

September 28–ongoing

Critical Distance is excited to announce Public Displays of Affection (PDA), a new ongoing programming initiative exploring creative possibilities in accessible arts publishing. PDA will work within disability arts communities and beyond, building on Kelly Fritsch’s notion that “to crip is to open up with desire to the ways that disability disrupts.” Over the next several months, PDA will produce a collective learning opportunity that considers the pleasures, desires, and disruptions of making arts publishing initiatives more accessible.

Continuing from our Fall 2019 exhibition Access is Love and Love is Complicated (co-curated by Emily Cook and Sean Lee), we will host conversations, workshops, and case studies on topics such as audio description, plain language, digital platforms, ASL translation, access intimacy and others. Just as the title of Access is Love, and Love is Complicated directly cited disability activist Mia Mingus’ writing on understanding accessibility as an act of love, PDA will continue the conversation, asking: How can crip desire push at the boundaries of how we design, write, and distribute exhibition catalogues and other arts publications? How can we welcome new forms of affection? 

Continue reading