my final prayer
my final prayer
Curated by atif mikhail khan
May 3–July 22, 2023
Art Museum at the University of Toronto
University of Toronto Art Centre
(in University College)
15 King’s College Circle
Through mediums of paper, clay, and moving image, my final prayer weaves a collective story across shifting borders, geographies, and histories illuminating the presences of embodied spirits. Such presences are activated in response to Martinique-born political philosopher Frantz Fanon’s closing lines in Black Skins, White Masks (1952) of the urgency of embodied transformations. Against the wheel of catastrophic political violence, this exhibition stages prayer through different kinds of materials, bodies, and spirit, from the granular and non-human to the wider living landscapes in which the artwork is placed.
The artists collectively reorient our visual gaze beyond the ethnographic and catastrophic consumption of political violence and instead mark reorientations of body, spirit, and prayer that exceed the Judeo-Christian matrix of organized religion and naturalized spiritual reason. The artists intervene in questioning the body as composed of only human flesh, blood, and bones, working instead towards the edges of what remains visible to all or invisible to some by subtly moving the viewer to question their own assumptions and relationship to themes of prayer, violence, reason, and the body.
Finally, the exhibition is framed through the curator’s long-term embodied relationship to overlapping and contradictory forms of postcolonial militarized political violence, spirit, and prayer that bleed into one another.
This exhibition is produced as part of the requirements for the MVS degree in Curatorial Studies at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto.
We gratefully acknowledge operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council with additional project support from the Reesa Greenberg Curatorial Studies Award and The Graduate Architecture, Landscape, and Design Student Union (GALDSU).