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Pizandawatc / The One Who Listens / Celui qui écoute

Works by:

Caroline Monnet

Pizandawatc / The One Who Listens / Celui qui écoute

Curated by Mona Filip

Opening Night:

Wednesday, January 17

Exhibition Dates:

January 17–March 23, 2024


Art Museum at the University of Toronto
University of Toronto Art Centre
(in University College)
15 King’s College Circle

Caroline Monnet’s first exhibition in a Toronto public gallery comprises a survey of her prolific production, centering on a new series of sculptures exploring language reclamation and intergenerational transmission. The title, Pizandawatc, comes from the traditional name of Monnet’s family before surnames were changed in Kitigan Zibi by the Oblates. Meaning “the one who listens” in Anishinaabemowin, the title also honours the artist’s great-grandmother, Mani Pizandawatc, who was the first in her family to have her territory divided into reserves. Exploring the notion of territory from the perspective of cultural attachment and ancestral memory, the exhibition articulates new visions that harken both to Indigenous legacies and futures.

The new body of work in Pizandawatc continues Monnet’s considerations of sculpture and sound as linked to temporality, orality, and knowledge sharing. Driven by an impulse to materialize language into durable physical form in order to preserve it, Monnet attempts to counter the ephemeral nature of the spoken word and to reclaim the Anishinaabe language by recording its soundwaves in layered native and industrial wood. Additional bronze elements capture shapes of weathered wood naturally modified by experience on the terrain, gesturing to matter and the elements. Evoking the relationship of speech to the land and how the Anishinaabeg traditionally named the land, these works examine the influence of topography on the rhythms of languages and cultures, envisioning the territory as a living form of knowledge transfer over generations. Each piece depicts a different phrase encapsulating the power of nature and the passage of time.

Presenting a range of new and older works relating to ideas engaged in the new series, Pizandawatc offers a comprehensive view of Monnet’s complex aesthetic vocabulary, polyvalent material dexterity, and cohesive conceptual investigation. Combining the visual vocabulary of Anishinaabe cultures with industrial materials, Monnet’s sculptures, mixed media works, videos, and installations expand on the centrality of the land and its resources in Anishinaabe spirituality, history, and resilience.

The artist wishes to acknowledge the support of Catherine Sasseville, Raúl Aguilar Canela, Yso South, Amélie Dionoski, Marie Philibert-Dubois, Fred Caplette, Otami, Martin Schop, François Guinaudeau, Charlie Leroy, Noé Sardet, Richard Mardens, Kassandra Walters, Marc Boucrot, Simon Guibord, François Brochu, Atelier du Bronze, Atelier Clark, Blouin-Division, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Exhibition Resources

Press Release
Exhibition Brochure
Large Text
Exhibition Documentation PDF

Opening Reception: Winter 2024 Exhibitions

Wednesday, January 17, 5:30pm–8pm
University of Toronto Art Centre

Curatorial Tour with Mona Filip

Saturday, February 3, 2pm–4pm
Saturday, March 23, 2pm–4pm
University of Toronto Art Centre
Register on Eventbrite

Contemporary Art Bus Tour

Sunday, February 18, 12pm–4pm
Art Museum, 7 Hart House Circle and the Blackwood Gallery, 3359 Mississauga Rd.

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council, with additional exhibition support from the Indigenous Art Centre, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada.



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