Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Becoming Collective through the Archive

A program of:
Sediment: The Archive as a Fragmentary Base

Saturday, January 20, 2024
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
7 Hart House Circle

In conjunction with the exhibition Sediment: The Archive as a Fragmentary Base, the Art Museum presents a conversation between Denise Ryner (curator), militant interdisciplinary historian Sónia Vaz Borges, and art historian and curator Gabrielle Moser. Alongside a conversation on the exhibition artworks, the speakers will discuss their respective research on public education, including the decolonial program of the PAIGC (The African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde) and the British Colonial Office Visual Instruction Committee’s image-archive in the early 20th century. In relation to the exhibition, the panel asks how such archives are configured into imaginary and also sedimentary bases upon which new identities, nations, or diasporas may build and image themselves.

This event is free and open to the public.

About the Speakers

Denise Ryner is the Andrea B. Laporte Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining ICA, Denise was part of the curatorial team for the exhibition, publication, and symposium, ‘Ceremony (Burial of an Undead World)’ at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Germany. She also served as the Director/Curator of Or Gallery, Vancouver between 2017 and 2022, where she presented a robust exhibition program alongside international symposia ‘Bodies, Borders, Fields,’ examining histories of Black artistic production and ‘Unmoored, Adrift, Ashore’ which invited artists and scholars to speculate on sea-level rise as an opportunity to destabilize colonial-era infrastructures.

From 2010 to 2012, she was a Curatorial Assistant at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery/Hart House Art Collection.

Sónia Vaz Borges is a militant interdisciplinary historian and social-political organizer. She received her PhD in History of Education from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU). She is the author of the book, Militant Education, Liberation Struggle, Consciousness: The PAIGC education in Guinea Bissau 1963–1978 (2019). As a result of her research, Vaz Borges co-authored the short films, Navigating the Pilot School (2016) and Mangrove School (2022). She is currently an Assistant Professor in History and in the Africana Studies Program at Drexel University in Philadelphia (USA). Vaz Borges upcoming book Ragás Because the sea has no place to grab: A memoir of home, migration, and African liberation is expected to be published in 2024 by Common Notions. She continues to write on education and liberation struggles and is now developing a book proposal focused on her concept of the “walking archive.”

Gabrielle Moser is an art historian, writer, and independent curator. She is the author of Projecting Citizenship: Photography and Belonging in the British Empire (Penn State University Press, 2019) and, with Adrienne Huard, co-edited a special issue of Journal of Visual Culture on reparation (2022). She is currently at work on her second book, Citizen Subjects: Photography and Sovereignty in Post-War Canada (under contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press) and writes regularly for Artforum, Journal of Curatorial Studies, Photography & Culture, Prefix Photo, Visual Studies and Third Text. A founding member of EMILIA-AMALIA, she is Associate Professor of Aesthetics and Art Education in the Faculty of Education at York University in Toronto, Canada.

Image: Louis Henderson, Bring Breath to the Death of Rocks (film still), 2018. Super 16mm transferred to HD video, colour, sound, English subtitles, 28 min. Courtesy of the artist.


Program Archive

Feature Past Programs