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Rightfully Yours,

Dress with long skirt with various text on it

Works by:

Wendy Coburn, Steven Cohen, Shawna Dempsey, Lorri Millan, Alicia Framis, Alison S.M. Kobayashi, Mingering Mike, Mattias Olofsson, The Yes Men, Camille Turner, Sislej Xhafa, Borat, Ali G, Bruno

Rightfully Yours,

November 16 – December 30, 2007

Curated by Tejpal Singh Ajji

Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Rightfully Yours, considers performative insertions into daily activities implicated in the politics and ethics of institutions, professions, sexuality, and nationalism. The artists included in the exhibition avoid the theatrical stage, choosing instead the public realm—a site regulated by laws, cooperation with official structures, and the suspicions of other civilians. “Common knowledge” about their chosen location is subverted through public performance, adopting the legitimizing power of graphic design, and enhancing the social function of everyday objects. Sneaking into the Venice Biennale dressed as a soccer player and challenging visitors to games of skill; overlooking the Canadian hinterland as rangers examining the sexual regimentation of scientific knowledge; questioning the right to represent nationality through the figure of the beauty queen, these artists dissemble known positions and open them up for reevaluation.

Rightfully Yours, examines the practices, approaches and presentation models employed by artists who use the transformative qualities of a “strategic self.” The strategic self is a specific attitude and working model taken from a lived situation and history. This becomes the artist’s subject and can involve the assumption of the appearance of professionalism through the adoption of its tropes and infiltration of organisational structures. These performative actions present an image critical in understanding the politics, attitudes and divisions of specific locations.

A.S.M.K. Assessments

Every Tuesday 12:00 – 3:00 pm from opening to close of exhibition
Featuring Dr. Alison S. M. Kobayashi

Artist Talk

Shine and Elegance of Clandestine Strength
Tuesday October 30, 2007, 7pm
Featuring Sislej Xhafa
Debates Room, Hart House


Friday November 2, 2007, 8am-1pm
Featuring Sislej Xhafa

Tea with Miss Canadiana

Tuesday November 13, 2007, 3-4:30pm
East Common Room, Hart House

Opening Reception

Thursday November 15, 2007, 5-7pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Panel Talk

You Said That He Said That She Said
Monday December 17, 2007, 5:30pm
Featuring Jon Soske, Robert Clegg Austin, Jessica Wyman, and Christopher Smith
Moderated by Tejpal Singh Ajji
Reading Room, Hart House


Media Coverage

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the project support from Canada Council for the Arts, the Centre for the Study of the United States, the University of Toronto, University of Toronto Art and Art History, University of Toronto Mississauga, the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, the Toronto School of Art, the Hart House Art Committee, the Blackwood Gallery, and Lord Lansdowne Public School.

Title Image: Installation view of Rightfully Yours, 2007.

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