Models for Taking Part
September 9–December 11, 2011
Curated by Juan A. Gaitán
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
Models for Taking Part brings together media works by international artists Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkácová, Bouchra Khalili, Renzo Martens, Tobias Zielony, and Artur Żmijewski. The five works in the exhibition are critical interpretations of the public sphere as an idea and ideal that intersects uneasily with factional and even personal interest, and is constantly thrown into fragments.
Artur Żmijewski’s Democracies (2009) is a multiscreen installation comprised of short vignettes of protests, public processions, and historical re-enactments. Each vignette documents a different manifestation of such collective mobilizations, which are largely comprised of recent protests in support of democratic rights or some form of self-affirmation, occurring in Western Europe and countries directly affected by its proximity.
Bouchra Khalili’s video works typically set up complex relationships between documentary and ghostly images, different languages, “in” and “off” sounds, and real or potential stories. Straight Stories – Part 2: ANYA (2008) explores the Bosporus area of Istanbul, which separates two continents (Europe and Asia), if at an imaginary level. Today the area is a labyrinth where migrants wait before going further west or end up settling there. The work takes us to meet people who confide their hopes to go or stay, to return home or continue their travels.
Tobias Zielony’s Vele di Scampia (2010) is a video and photography-based documentary that focuses on Franco di Salvo’s eponymously named modernist housing project in Naples, Italy—a product of Italian rationalism that was taken over by the mafia and thus “privatized”, albeit in a very public way.
The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (2010) is a video by Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkácová wherein a group of “blonde” girls are asked to read sentences from Darwin, one at a time, and pass them on in secret. The girl sitting at the end of the chain must utter the secret out loud. The initially complex sentences become simplified and transformed through a string of interpretations and re-interpretations.
Curator’s Tour and Round-Table Discussion
Art, Space, Democracy
Wednesday October 12, 2011, 6-8:30 pm
Featuring Juan A. Gaitán with Elle Flanders, Dana Granofsky, and Meghan Sutherland
Music Room, Hart House
We gratefully acknowledge the operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts with additional project support from the Toronto Arts Council and the Hal Jackman Foundation.
Title Image: Installation view of Models for Taking Part, 2011. Image credit: Toni Hafkenscheid.