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Tender Gestures, Radical Acts: Archiving, Collecting, and Curating Black Art and Culture

A program of
As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic

Friday, November 11, 2022
6pm–9pm ET
Online on Zoom 

Watch recording

With speakers Dominique Fontaine, Joana Joachim, and Geneviève Wallen. Moderated by Emilie Croning.

Archiving, collecting and curating are vital forms of storytelling—recording history, generating meaning, and shaping discourse. These practices have the power to foreground sidelined or neglected narratives as well as the capacity to articulate urgent questions and interpret the world around us, connecting local specificities—cultural, social, political—to global concerns. Resistance, redress and representation are central notions to curatorial approaches engaging with African and diasporic archives and collections. Taking its cue from the Wedge Collection mandate, this conversation will consider the implications, challenges and responsibilities in archiving, collecting and curating the work and cultural production of Black artists and communities.

About the Speakers

Dominique Fontaine is a curator and founding director of aposteriori, a non-profit curatorial platform—researching, documenting, developing, producing, and facilitating innovation in diverse contemporary art practices. She graduated in visual arts and arts administration from the University of Ottawa (Canada), and completed De Appel Curatorial Programme (Amsterdam, the Netherlands). Her recent projects include Le présent, modes d’emploi, Maison de la culture Janine-Sutto; Foire en art actuel de Québec ; Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art; Dineo Seshee Bopape: and- in. the light of this._______, Darling Foundry; Repérages ou À la découverte de notre monde ou Sans titre, articule; Between the earth and the sky, the possibility of everything, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Toronto 2014. Dominique is co-initiator of the Black Curators Forum. She is a member of AICA-Canada, the American Association of Museum Curators (AAMC) and of the International Contemporary Art Curators Association (IKT). She is also part of Intervals Collective. Dominique Fontaine is laureate of Black History Month of the City of Montreal 2021.

Dr. Joana Joachim is assistant professor of Black Studies in Art Education, Art History and Social Justice at Concordia University. Her research interests include Black feminist and Black diasporic art histories, critical museologies, and Black Canadian studies. She and Pamela Edmonds recently co-edited salt. For the preservation of Black diasporic visual histories, a special issue of the journal RACAR which is now online. Dr. Joachim’s latest exhibition, Blackity, which she curated at Artexte, remains on view online as well. Her writing has appeared in publications like RACAR, Canadian Journal of History, and C Magazine among others.

Geneviève Wallen is a Tiohtiá:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal and Tkaronto/Toronto-based independent curator, writer, and researcher. Wallen’s practice is informed by intersectional feminism, intergenerational dialogues, and BIPOC healing platforms offering alternatives to neo-liberal definitions of care. Her ongoing curatorial explorations include the practice of gift-giving, carving space for unfinished thoughts, and musings on the intersection of longevity and pleasure. Wallen is the recipient of the 2022 Joan Yvonne Lowndes Award from the Canada Council for the Arts. She contributed essays for C Magazine; the anthology Other Places: Reflections on Media Arts in Canada, edited by Deanna Bowen; and the anthology The Politics of Spatial Transgressions in the Arts, edited by Gregory Blair & Noa Bronstein, among others. Wallen is an Exhibition Coordinator at FOFA Gallery; she is also a member of the collective YTB (Younger than Beyoncé) Gallery; the co-initiator (with Marsya Maharani) of Souped Up; a member of the Black Curators Forum; an advisory board member of the Centre for the Study of Black Canadian Diaspora, and she recently joined Vie des arts’ editorial committee.

Emilie Croning (lives and works in Toronto) is an curator, artist, and art historian of Middle Eastern and Afro-Caribbean descent. Her work explores issues and systems around representation and identity as they relate to visual language and diasporic narratives, working at the intersections of feminist theories and post-colonialism. Her practice is grounded in creating space and advocating for emerging artists in a global context. She is the co-founder of Artfully Yours Collective and has recently joined the Art Gallery of Ontario as curatorial assistant, Arts of Global Africa & the Diaspora. Her recent curatorial projects include Jorian Charlton: Out of Many (Art Gallery of Ontario, and Online (Gallery TPW, 2021), Colour Love (Cry Baby Gallery, 2020), Handle With Care (The Gladstone Hotel, 2020), a love ethic (The Gladstone Hotel, 2019).

Title and Page Image: Deana Lawson, Coulson Family, 2008, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). © Deana Lawson, courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York; David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles.

A woman and two children pose next to a Christmas tree richly adorned.

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