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Overt: Militarization as Ideology

Works by:
Harun Farocki, Hajra Waheed, Hiwa K, James Bridle, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Lamis Haggag

Overt: Militarization as Ideology

October 28 – November 21, 2020

Curated by Fatma Yehia

University of Toronto Art Centre

While the Art Museum plans to re-open on Wednesday, October 28, the safety of the community remains our priority. We are closely following the guidelines set by
the government and the University of Toronto and will respond accordingly as the situation evolves.


With the start of the war on terror and the proliferation of militarized technologies, many artists developed new aesthetic approaches to explore military sites and industries. Overt: Militarization as Ideology focuses on the ways in which artists have engaged aesthetically with the concept and condition of militarization. Through video, film, drawings, and installation, the exhibition highlights the human-technological relationships that have been amplified due to the ever-intensifying intrusion of military research in everyday life.

The artists included in Overt urge us to think of militarization beyond military deployment, war, and conscription and underline the urgency to examine its ideological impact on culture and society. They interpret, theorize, and represent militarization from their perception of or direct experience with military technologies, industries, and systems. This exhibition asks: What becomes visible or remains invisible when it comes to representing militarized technologies? Is the relationship between military and civil worlds one of discontinuity or deep entanglement? Are military technologies oppressive or can they be emancipatory? Interweaving two worlds—the Middle East and the West—the exhibition urges its visitors to think of militarization as an ideology shaping our lives in multiple parts of the world.

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.

Exhibition Resources

Exhibition Brochure

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council, with additional project support from the Goethe-Institut Toronto, the Ontario Arts Council, TD Insurance, the Germanic Languages and Literatures Department, and the Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Department at the University of Toronto.

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