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Groundwork

May - June 30, 2021

***Dates subject to provincial guidelines; exhibition will run for a minimum of 6 weeks.***

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.

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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

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