With over 9,350 square feet of space, the Hallway Galleries occupy the hallways and stairwells of Artscape Youngplace, on (and between) three floors of this beautiful 100-year-old building. Open seven days a week with free admission. Rent the Hallway Galleries for art exhibitions.
Would you dare to face your mortality? Would you dare to lie in a coffin? A do-it-yourself cardboard coffin seeks to turn death into a sustainable enterprise through design, technology, and open source methods, while daring you to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Come on in and stay a while, for this is a unique chance for the living to get cozy with one of life’s certainties…death. #coffinselfies allowed, (dare I say encouraged).
In 2008 in the US alone, 1.8 million bodies were buried in coffins that resulted in the approximate disposal of 1,632,932 kilograms of material, not including the energy used in the processing of the materials for those coffins, such as shipping, labor, manufacturing, finishing, et cetera. In this speculative piece we ask: Can we promote a process of death which uses design, recycled materials, and technology for a more ecological practice of grieving?
We can’t stop from dying but we can die smarter and more ecological – we can D-I-Y.
Grim or enlightening? Curious or distasteful? You make your call at this quirky installation that is part of the multi-site Death and Dying installation series.
The ‘Death and Dying’ series explores the theme of end of life through the lens of design and art. Through participatory and observational experiences, the Series invites you to think about your relationship with death and dying as an individual, a member of a family and social network and as a human being in society. The ‘Death and Dying’ series is a collaboration between OCAD University’s Design for Health graduate program and TABOO Health.
Timelines is a series of poetic narratives that connect the past with the present. Using an extensive collection of objects I have accumulated over a lifetime, each installation attempts to create a visual testimony to the power of memory. Timelines re-imagines the aesthetic association that first brought these objects to my attention, references former bodies of work and re-purposes materials I no longer use or need. Each installation builds on the ideas of preceding installations and are primarily site specific.
Each work in Timelines is suspended on elastic cord and embedded with found and bought objects to create a metaphorical “time line”. The objects become “mark making” tools. Knots, the irregular bumps in the cord, refer to the Quipu, knotted strings used by the Incas to keep records of information related to their daily life. The time lines are ephemeral like the illusory shadows that suggest a third dimension in space.
Timelines is also an exploration of divesting; an entangled, cumbersome undertaking, personal and therefore complicated. At some point in time my collection will be dispersed along with their memories. I will no longer have control over what happens to it. In relation to contemporary practices, I ask: “Where will this collection or work of art eventually reside and what (if any) is its value?” This question addresses the personal worth of the materials I collect and use in my practice and their relevance in relation to and referencing the escalating price of work so prevalent in today’s art market.
‘All Bound Up’ explores the intricacies of queer online intimacy. As app-facilitated/digital intimacies have become increasingly common, a dissonance between how bodies reveal, conceal, and interact has emerged on and off apps. In this exhibition, representations of app-facilitated intimacies become knotted bedsheets and anonymous portraits.
Throughout time, humankind has caught glimpses of fantastic creatures. Whether these legendary forms were seen emerging from the depths of the sea, rustling through tree tops, taunting villages or peacefully drifting amongst the stars, they have stirred our creativity and played a powerful role in our collective imaginations.
Of the ancient world’s legendary creatures, we may know Greek mythology’s divine winged stallion Pegasus, or perhaps the dull-witted trolls of Norse folklore. However, this exhibition explores the less familiar ancient creatures of Hindu mythology. Expect to encounter the dueling monkey brothers Vali and Sugriva, the infinitely long cosmic serpent Ananta, or valiant Garuda, king of birds and sworn enemy of snakes. And Mahishasura, a near-immortal demon buffalo who goes to war with the gods and eventually loses to a tiger-mounted goddess in an epic showdown that is still recited today.
Over thousands of years oral storytelling was the primary tool for sharing the cultural identity and values embodied in these myths.To share these stories with you, the design duo Humble Raja has brought these fantastic beasts to life by illustrating them as a set of playing cards organized into suits by the exotic environments from which they originate (the sky, the sea, the jungle and grasslands). The mythical creatures each take their form as the face cards allowing the theme of their environment, colour and common patterns to stitch each suit together.
The exhibition is a nod to the mystery and allure of these lesser-known creatures. Pairing contemporary design with old folklore, ‘Forbidden Forest’ celebrates the art of storytelling through a series of illustrations, making it accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.
photo by Ghazaleh Avarzamani, Fortuneteller (installation detail), moulded USG hydrocal, 2016.
Ghazaleh Avarzamani’s artistic practice encompasses a variety of artistic forms, including textiles, embroidery, sculpture and installation. Driven by research on manifestations of global powers, their impact on and manipulation of history, geography and knowledge, her work explores the ways in which diverse contexts and systems transform ideas and forms, generating new meaning.
Never Never Land, Avarzamani’s first solo exhibition in Canada, expands on a recent body of work that examines the relationship between experience-based knowledge, memory construction, modern rationality and traditional beliefs. Considering a range of spaces and devices for interactivity and play, her game-based installations, drawings, sculptures and fibre works question the rules and methodologies used to educate and shape the players’ existential outlook.
Game of Goose positions board games as master plans. Based on the oldest existing printed game sheet, the monumental mural piece comprises a 63-space track that maps medieval spiritualist values and superstitions, intending to instruct the player on matters of moral, social and religious import. Complicating the reading of the game, the entire map is embroidered onto a grid of 180 dark blue kisseh (Middle Eastern washcloth/loofa) and reproduced as a blueprint for the architecture of modern games. Used as support, the washcloths are quietly undermining the reality of the game itself. As objects meant to clean and remove, the blue loofas remind the viewer that no structures of power are eternally stable.
Further exploring these ideas in new works created for the exhibition, Avarzamani aims to expose the paradoxical realities behind the surface of society and its traditions, educational methodologies and cultural utopias.
Guest Curator: Noa Bronstein
Based in Montreal, Nadia Myre is an Indigenous and Quebecois artist interested in having conversations about identity, resilience and politics of belonging. Indian Act speaks of the realities of colonization – the effects of contact and its often-broken and un-translated contracts. The original work consists of all 56 pages of the Federal Government’s Indian Act mounted on Stroud cloth and sewn over with red and white glass beads. Each word is replaced with white beads sewn into the document; the red beads replace the negative space.
Between 1999 and 2002, Myre enlisted over 230 friends, colleagues and strangers to assist her in beading over the Indian Act. With the help of Rhonda Meier, they organized workshops and presentations at Concordia University, and hosted weekly beading bees at Oboro Gallery, where it was first presented in 2002, as part of the exhibition Cont[r]act.
Indian Act is presented as part of the exhibition Through lines, organized by the Koffler Gallery in partnership with Critical Distance Centre for Curators. Continuing inside the Artscape Youngplace building, the project brings together the works of seven artists that challenge notions of redaction, tackling its typical devices of shredding, blacking out, editing and covering up. Each of the artworks featured engages a restorative gesture that speaks to the ways in which history and memory are conceptualized within a contemporary context. Rather than considering redaction simply as a bureaucratic tool or an outcome of state control, these specific approaches enable new forms of knowledge production and remembering, both politically and personally. Contemplating alternative legibilities that might emerge through redaction, the exhibition highlights the spaces of inquiry revealed through acts of obstruction.
In each of these multi-layered projects, redaction performs as an invitation to challenge assumptions and easy readings of images, documents and texts. Honing these parallel perspectives, Through lines points to the spaces in-between, where the hidden and obscured becomes as significant as the visible.