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

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.

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 23, from 2-4 pm
Exhibition dates: June 23-August 5, 2018
Gallery hours: Wednesday-Sunday, from 12-5 pm

Opening Reception – 99


April 10 – 28, 2017 | First, Second and Third Floor Hallway Galleries

Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm

Opening Reception: April 20th, 7-9pm

The artwork produced in the Contemporary Photography program at Etobicoke School of the Arts is dynamic, insightful, courageous, and engaging. Forty-three Grade 12 students have developed their own unique and personal bodies of work exploring a range of themes, including relationships, defining personal space, and re-examining the Garden of Eden. These talented artists use photography in ways that can inspire us all.

Follow them on Instagram @esa_contemporary_photography.

Artists: Ashlyn Abbott, Andrew Alburger, Ben Alexandor, Linda Badgley, Kasia Borkowski, Julia Bradshaw, Jamie Brennan, Gemma Brown, Liam Carley, Ava Cvitkovich, Hannah Da Silva, Dakota Dimson, Grier Drummond, Ruby Evers, Jelena Gajdel, Charlotte Gregg, Emma Guy, Julianna Ham, Mikayla Harrison, Reed Hollett, Sam Holzberg, Catriona Iozzo, Liam Macaloney, Georgia Mackay, Josie Marshall, Max Martin, Michael Mazzei, Eliza McFarlane, Aoife O’Mahony, Krystyna Poremba, Alicia Salvador, Quinn Spurrell, Adrian Stathoukos, Basia Thompson, Gill Thorne, Emma Thomlison, Lianna Turone, Gloria Vytas, Lily Watson, Kennedy Wheller, Jada White, Sean Wilson, Xin Xin

Opening Reception & Curator’s Talk: “…move or be moved by some ‘thing’ rather than oneself.”

Opening Reception & Curator’s Talk at Critical Distance Centre for Curators

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

Guillaume Adjutor Provost, Adam Basanta, Adrienne Crossman, and Nadège Grebmeier Forget

Curated by Florence-Agathe Dubé-Moreau and Maude Johnson

June 23, 2018 2–4 pm | FREE

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.

About the artists

Guillaume Adjutor Provost is a Montréal-based artist. His practice is situated at the borders of visual arts, curating, and literature through hybrid works. He holds a Ph.D. in Arts Studies and Practices from UQAM and is the 2016-18 recipient of the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art. His solo exhibition have been presented in various venues, such as Centre CLARK (Montréal, 2016), Diagonale (Montréal, 2017), and Bikini (Lyon, 2018).

Adam Basanta is a Montréal-based artist, composer, and performer of experimental music. His sculptures and installations reveal the conceptual and sensory dimensions of sound in the exhibition space by modifying the usual relationship of the visitors to it. His recent projects have been presented in Europe, United States, and Canada. He is long-listed for the 2018 Sobey Art Award.

Adrienne Crossman is based in Windsor. Their approach as an artist and curator questions the normativity of representation and the boundaries of the physical or virtual exhibition environment. They examine the potentialities of a queer sensibility through digital media and popular culture. Their recent projects have been shown in Toronto, Windsor, Carlisle (UK), and Montréal, as well as in The Wrong New Digital Art Biennale.

Nadège Grebmeier Forget is a Montréal-based artist. She employs choreographic and curatorial strategies to complicate access to her performing body in live, video, or installation works. Recent exhibitions and performances have been presented in various venues, such as VU PHOTO (Québec, 2016), She Works Flexible—Flex Space (Houston, 2016), and OPTICA (Montréal, 2017).

About the curators

Florence-Agathe Dubé-Moreau is a Montréal-based writer and curator. MA candidate in Art History at UQAM, her research questions the effects of exhibition reenactment in contemporary art. She was the Assistant Curator for the Canadian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), co-editor of the book Questionner l’avenir. Réflexions sur la réactualisation de la Biennale de Montréal (2015), and curator of the exhibition do it Montréal at Galerie de l’UQAM (2016).

Maude Johnson is a Montréal-based writer and curator. She holds a MA in Art History from Concordia University. She is interested in the relationship between bodies, times, and spaces. Her research explores performative and curatorial practices, while probing methodologies, mechanisms, and languages within interdisciplinary practices. Her recent projects have been presented in the SIGHTINGS space of the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery (Montréal, 2016) and at Artexte (Montréal, 2018).


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

Opening Reception- José Luis Torres: Question d’adaptation

Summer Opening Reception for José Luis Torres: Question d’adaptation

Thursday, June 21, 2018 | 6–9 PM | FREE

Koffler Gallery presents José Luis Torres: Question d’adaptation, curated by Mona Filip. Join us for the FREE summer opening reception on Thursday, June 21, 2018 from 6-9pm.

Argentinian-born, Québec-based artist José Luis Torres works with sculpture, installation and public intervention, appropriating spaces and hijacking meaning through simple actions that subvert everyday materials and the conventions of handicraft. Influenced by his experience of displacement, Torres’ creative explorations focus on space and place, generating whimsical artworks where spontaneity and accumulation recur in connection to ideas of economy, survival, labour and the ready-made.

At the Koffler Gallery’s invitation, Torres creates a site-specific sculptural installation focused on three notions central to the experience of migration: camouflage, reflection and construction. Attempting to blend into the new cultural milieu and to mirror social conventions is a familiar process to newcomers. As assimilation indelibly affects one’s sense of identity, layers of individuality risk being chipped away to near invisibility, or reconfigured and rebuilt into ever more complex self-expression.

Metaphorically exploring the adaptation strategies and fluid reinvention of immigrant identity, Torres transforms the exhibition space through material interventions, building an immersive setting that disrupts visitors’ expectations. The installation unfolds as an all-encompassing, seemingly endless construction that reflects the state of precariousness and perpetual change intrinsic to the immigrant condition. Cultivating the ways in which coexisting, unplanned elements can modify each other to generate constantly evolving environments, Torres’ work enables us to re-examine how we inhabit and adjust to our surroundings.

Image: José Luis Torres, Mutations, 2015.

Opening Reception: Esther Shalev-Gerz Exhibition

Spring Opening Reception: Thursday, April 5, 2018 | 6–9 PM | FREE

Esther Shalev-Gerz, Curated by Mona Filip

April 5 – June 3, 2018 | Koffler  Gallery

Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12 PM – 6 PM, Saturday & Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM, Closed Mondays & Statutory Holidays

Internationally recognized for her significant contributions in the field of public art, photography, and video installation, Paris-based artist Esther Shalev-Gerz consistently investigates the construction of memory, history, nature, democracy, and cultural identity. The Koffler Gallery presents Shalev-Gerz’ first exhibition in Toronto, bringing together four video and photography installations that explore memory and migration. Developed through active dialogue with diverse communities, these projects foreground participants’ individual and collective experiences.

With thoughtful, nuanced approaches to collaboration, Shalev-Gerz’s artworks confront the practice of portraiture, considering how it may address contemporary politics of representation. Examining the impact of time and space on identity constructions, places, and (hi)stories, these works record, critique, and expand the understanding of the social role of artistic practice.

Esther Shalev-Gerz (born Gilinsky) was born in Vilnius, Lithuania. Her family moved to Jerusalem in 1957, where she graduated from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. She briefly lived in New York in 1980-1981, and since 1984 she lives and works between Paris and Cortes Island, Canada. In 2010 and 2012 two major retrospective exhibitions respectively displayed ten and fifteen of her installations, first at Jeu de Paume, Paris then at the Musée des Beaux Arts de Lausanne. Space Between Time, her one-woman exhibition at Wasserman Projects, Detroit presented nine of her installations between April and July 2016. She has exhibited internationally in, amongst other places, San Francisco, Paris, Berlin, London, Stockholm, Vancouver, Finland, Geneva, Guangzhou and New York. She designed and realized permanent installations in public space in Hamburg, Israel, Stockholm, Wanas, Geneva, Glasgow and more. She is currently producing her latest permanent art work, The Shadow in Vancouver, Canada. For more information:

Opening Reception: 2017 Artscape Award Recipient Katrina Jurjans

Katrina Jurjans

for a moment it all comes together (and you’re the only one)

Opening Reception: Thursday November 16, 2017 | 6-9pm 

Exhibition: November 13, 2017 – November 24, 2017

Hours: Monday-Sunday 8am-9pm

Katrina Jurjans was awarded the fourth annual Artscape Award at the 2017 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition.The award includes a residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point and exhibition at Artscape Youngplace.

Katrina’s paintings rely on the visual language of colour, pattern, layering and spatial tension to explore intimate relationships and ideas of loss, memory, love, grief, instability and transition. Formed by blurring these concepts, her work breaks free from a fixed meaning, instead becoming a layered solidification of thoughts and feelings.

Opening reception – Soft: transformative queer love and care

Soft: transformative queer love and care

Opening Reception: Thursday November 2, 2017 6pm-9pm 

Exhibition Dates: November 2, 2017 – November 24, 2017

Hours: Monday-Sunday 8am-9pm

The Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers at OCAD U congratulates Morgan Sears-Williams on the creation of this new photo documentary series and installation as the recipient of the 2017 Artscape Youngplace Career Launcher prize.

SOFT: transformative queer love and care explores the different manifestations of love and care and the intersections with politicized bodies, protest and reclamation of space. Where are the unexpected spaces where love and care manifest? What spaces are seen as more ‘legitimate’ than others? How can we challenge the idea of legitimacy of love and care within an intersectional queer lens?

As part of this Career Launcher, Madison Leeson, a graduate of OCAD U’s Curatorial and Criticism Practice program was commissioned to conduct an interview with the artist as well as a small essay to accompany the solo exhibition.

The artist would like to acknowledge the Mississaugas of New Credit, the Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, the original keepers of this land, for hosting us during the reception and for the duration of the show. We are very grateful to have the opportunity to live and work on this land.

Opening Reception for FERMENTING FEMINISM 




Opening Reception: Thursday, September 14th from 6–9 pm

ON VIEW SEPTEMBER 14–NOVEMBER 26, 2017, 12–5 PM | Critical Distance | Suite 302

Fermenting Feminism is a multidisciplinary project that takes different forms: beginning as a publication in collaboration with Lauren Fournier and the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology, it has evolved into site-specific exhibitions, installations, and screenings in Toronto, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Kansas City. This exhibition at Critical Distance marks the Canadian launch of this project. The site-specific evolution of Fermenting Feminism instantiates the context-specificity of microbes and fungi, of fermenting bodies, and of feminisms.

Please join us for an opening reception with the curator on Thursday, September 14th from 6–9 pm. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome.

Our reception is the same night as Koffler Gallery’s fall exhibition opening downstairs — two for one at Artscape Youngplace this evening!



Suite 302 at Artscape Youngplace | 180 Shaw Street | Toronto | Ontario | M6J 2W5

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Gallery hours are Friday–Sunday 12–5 pm and by appointment through November 26th. Office hours by appointment only.
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Critical Distance is a not-for-profit initiative and space devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice in Toronto, Canada, and beyond. Part gallery and publisher, part professional association and community, CDCC is an open platform for diverse curatorial practices and perspectives, and a forum for ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life. For more info, visit our website or social media pages, linked above.

image: Sarah Nasby, Living Things (Dorothy Hafner vessel, kombucha, lines pattern), 2017




September 8 – September 15, 2017 | 3rd Floor Hallway Gallery

Hours: Open Daily 8 AM – 8 PM

Opening reception Friday, Sept 8th, 7–9 pm

Featuring Competition winners: Ali Navidbakhsh, Evan Wakelin, Karan Manchanda, Sarah Gunawan, and Shelley Long; plus Runners-up: Anna Longrigg + Jason McMillan, Fionn Byrne, Kyung-Kuhn Lee + Mamata Guragain + Nubras Samayeen, Mitchell Gray, and Rob McIntosh; and Honourable mentions: Dominique Cheng, Émélie Desrochers-Turgeon, Emma Mendel, Stephanie Mauer, and Studio Ha-ha

Future Legacy: Design for Canada’s Next 150 Years is an exhibition featuring winners of The Site Magazine’s inaugural design competition. In the context of Canada’s sesquicentennial, entrants were challenged to develop proposals that considered the relationship between the nation’s history, current context, and possible future trajectories. The submissions, which came from across the nation, as well as seven different countries internationally, reflect the spectrum of Canadian geography, culture, population, and politics, and raise pertinent questions to be considered as we move forward collectively.
The winning projects, selected by a jury of Canadian and international designers and thinkers, represent a diverse range of notions of Canada’s identity and legacy, ranging from the scale of the entire country to that of a suburban single-family home. Along the third-floor hallway of Artscape Youngplace, images and text by the five competition winners, five runners-up, and five honourable mentions will be presented along with commentary from jury members and the editors at The Site Magazine. Together, this material presents not only a critical perspective on how legacy shapes the direction of political and ideological undertakings but also a window into the possibilities for architects, landscape architects, and designers to imagine alternative Canadian futures.

The Site Magazine is the current iteration of Canada’s longest running independent architecture magazine. Written by, and for, emerging designers and thinkers, we publish two volumes a year of original writing, design, and art from new voices with fresh ideas. By bringing a Canadian lens to pressing global issues, we aim to cultivate a community of creative and critical thinkers who can influence design futures in Canada and abroad. We are supported by funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and regular partners, including Arts Everywhere. Special thanks to Critical Distance for their support in facilitating this exhibition. Competition image by Shelley Long.



Opening Reception – MOVING HOME (presented by Critical Distance)

MOVING HOME (presented by Critical Distance)

The Art and Embodiment of Transience Emerging from Canada’s Child Welfare System

Opening Reception: Thursday, August 17, 2017 | 6–9 PM | FREE

August 18 – 26, 2017 | Critical Distance | Suite 302

Hours: On view from 1-6 pm



Critical Distance is pleased to announce our 2017 Summer Sessions exhibition, Moving Home: The Art and Embodiment of Transience Emerging from Canada’s Child Welfare System. Presented by York University Human Geography master’s candidate Amelia Merhar, this project is the second to be hosted as part of our Summer Sessions initiative, a program through which we support emerging curators and artists by providing free space, mentorship, and installation support for their thesis exhibitions.

How is transience embodied, carried, and performed? How do repeated moves of homes, schools, and communities linger in the body, from the past to the present? What sort of people is the child welfare system inadvertently creating through so many foster and group home placements? Beyond pathologizing transience, what can we learn from the young and hyper-mobile?

Moving Home explores the embodiment of transience as experienced by young people who grew up in the Canadian child welfare system. It is part of Human Geography Master’s thesis research at York University coordinated by Amelia Merhar, inspired by her lived experience in care. Using arts-based, participatory, and Indigenous research methods, Merhar worked with 15 co-researcher artists in their chosen mediums to explore and compare urban/suburban and Northern/rural experiences at the partner youth art organizations SKETCH Working Arts in Toronto and Splintered Craft in Whitehorse. Artistic explorations of the theme of embodied transience include works of photography, textiles, silk-screening, collage, mixed media, dance, performance, music, spoken word, painting, text, jewelry, dream catchers, and installation.

The first Call to Action the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is to reduce the number of Indigenous youth in care in Canada. There are more Indigenous youth in care today than were in Residential Schools. In Toronto, research has shown that Black youth are disproportionately apprehended and stay longer in the system than their non-Black peers (although through recent efforts these numbers are declining). Art alone can’t solve ongoing violence and colonialism; however it is a way to transgress and re-imagine present social boundaries. The goal of arts-based research is to provoke conversations instead of static research conclusions, and we invite you to enter the conversation here with former youth in care and their art.

The show opening is preceded by a research presentation at the Ontario Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Office from 1-3 pm and the launch of the project zine, TL;DR, a thesis in a zine. All are welcome. 

This project was awarded the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada–Master’s Scholarship –Award to Honour Nelson Mandela in 2016, recognizing its commitment to youth participation. Funding for co-researcher artist honoraria and art supplies provided by Ontario Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, and the Yukon Child and Youth Advocate. Northern travel and living expenses supported by Northern Scientific Training Fund–Government of Canada.