Youth Troupe Participants:
Andrea Thring: Assistant facilitator
SightUnseen: An Un-camouflaging at Guildwood is part of an on-going series that reveals and examines the prevailing set of aesthetic and environmental concerns in North American culture. The Ghillie suit is traditionally used by military snipers and hunters to camouflage the human body, allowing the wearer to blend into various natural landscapes. Bartol repositions the suits by wearing them in the open air of suburban space, and greenspaces slated for development. She created a series of “un-camouflagings” in Guildwood Park in partnership with the Community Arts Guild Youth Troupe. Together, they personalized Ghillie Suits, and developed movement in response to the site. The culminating performance takes place on Saturday May 17th as part of Restless Precinct’s opening events.
The project evolved over 6 weeks, exploring concepts of visibility and belonging through our relationship and engagements with nature and each other. The Community Arts Guild is an offshoot of Jumblies Theatre. Art making sessions were held at the Cedar Ridge Creative Centre and Guildwood Park. Bartol would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council through the Emerging Artist (Visual Arts) and Exhibition Assistance granting programs.
Alana Bartol (Windsor, ON) is a multidisciplinary artist working in bioart, environmental art, performance, installation, video and community engaged art. To view more of her work, please visit: www.alanabartol.com
The Presence of Absence: In Searching for Mendieta is a series of gestures that attempt to re-establish a material connection to Mendieta’s legacy, and to this land. Since learning Mendieta produced a carving on the surface of the Bluffs for the 1982 Contemporary Sculpture at the Guild Exhibition, I have been searching for her El Laberinto de Venus. I have been seeking material evidence in archives and interviews, that corroborates the existence of her gesture, as though finding it would somehow recoup her from the crest of oblivion. Her work was carved into the furthest edge of the site, where land meets water, beyond the perimeter of the park’s official borders. This, along with the fact that Mendieta was the only artist not compensated for her participation in the 1982 exhibition, speaks to her status as someone whose material practice, cultural identity, and gender, positioned her as an edge-dweller. As an edge-dweller myself, examining my relationship to this site as a settler, and as the descendant of immigrants, has informed the symbolism, materials, and overall approach of each gesture.
The Nazar or evil eye, a potent symbol of protection in Turkish culture, (and many others) has emerged as a repeated symbol in the work. Made of natural materials found onsite, the nazars suggest the act of encounter – a looking back, which materializes a gesture of recognition. An acknowledgement and a pledge, the gestures engage various aspects of the site: the raw power of the Bluffs, the devastation left by recent natural events, the cultivated covering over of its turf, and the wild that seeps out the edges. In searching for Mendieta’s work, I found absences, and my own visual language; a language with which to speak back to her, to the history of this land, its present state, and the future we imagine possible.
Visitors are invited to participate in and witness 4 gestures taking place on Saturday May 17th, and Sunday June 1st .
You are also invited to download a sound walk for Ana, for earth, and listen to it while you walk along the service road that traverses the lower edge of the bluffs. The walk is approximately 26 minutes, and has a steep incline down to the lake.
Alize Zorlutuna is a Turkish-Canadian, artist and writer who employs a diverse range of media in her practice. Working in sculpture, performance, audio and video, her work draws upon her experience as an individual living between two cultures. Negotiating multiple perspectives simultaneously, this embodied liminality informs her creative practice; manifesting in explorations of interstices. The desire to activate interstices where differing perspectives, emotions, and physical entities meet, and the meanings created in those meetings rests at the heart of her work. To view more of her work please visit: www.alizezorlutuna.com
Dismantled in 1966 and relocated to the Guild of All Arts, this marble archway and columns were part of the original architectural elements that adorned The Bank of Toronto on the South West corner of King Street West and Bay Street, the site now occupied by Toronto Dominion Bank. This historical bank remnant is re-imagined as past and present through markings on the lawn that evoke its original scale, and shadow. These architectural and historical entities, even as disparate remnants, continue to cast shadows in contemporary culture. The drawn shadow of this vestige, along with its outline on the adjoining lawn, freeze the structure in time. Through this gesture, the work shifts a marker of Canadian colonial history and commerce as a souvenir of something past, but also ever present.
Annie Onyi Cheung makes videos, performances, installations, and objects. Originally from Toronto, she is currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. For more information on her work, please visit: www.onyi-ajar.com
By challenging the name of the historical Osterhaut Log Cabin my installation will focus on this site as a confluence of opposing territorial interests and the resulting erasures that expunged all trace of Indigenous occupation in the area now called Toronto. My work will include temporary signage that asserts another “history”. Three ladders in conversation with the cabin constructed of pine, fir, and cedar, allude to the presence of the Three Fires Confederacy (including the Mississauga) who lived on and around the Great Lakes from ancient times and who continue to occupy this territory.
I work in sculpture, installation, video, drawing, and painting. Both my art practice and the research that grounds it are rooted in visual ideas that are developed in the studio as the result of historical readings, or in situ (on the land) in response to histories, stories, or legends that are embedded in specific locations. I am interested in the image-making practices of my Anishinaabe ancestors, and their occupation and dis-occupation of various sites. My work attempts to trace the absence of the Anishnaabek in these territories using the Colonial mapping and claiming techniques that have strategically served to erase their history, or the Indigenous methods of mark-making and mapping that reassert it.
My work explores identity as enacted, not static. I investigate the transitional nature of social and physical hybridity, and challenge the idea of an “authentic” self. For Restless Precinct, I am exploring the environment of the Guild as a garden space in an ongoing cycle of life and death. I produced a series of plywood stencils, placed in the garden space where the six stone relief animals rest. The reliefs were originally part of the Bank of Montreal Building in Toronto, and in the Guild they become markers of a past, resembling tombstones.
In order to express the continual flowing of time through the instant present, I used graphic designs made up of dots and dashes that resemble Morse code, forming letters that articulate the word “Today.” The stencils are moved and placed by the Guild’s Gardening Staff onto the grass surrounding the reliefs for 5 – 7 days, before being moved to their next locations. During this process, the grass underneath the stencils is shut off from light and thus begins to die. Through the course of the exhibition, a tapestry of patterns on the lawn will emerge, changing and developing over 4 weeks of lawn choreography. The stenciled patterns serve as memento mori, and signify life, change, and progression.
Brendan Fernandes is a Canadian artist of Kenyan and Indian descent. He completed the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art (2007) and earned his MFA (2005) from The University of Western Ontario and his BFA (2002) from York University in Canada. His work continues to gain international recognition through exhibitions, residencies and publications. In 2010 he was a finalist for the Sobey Art Award and was on the 2013 longlist. Fernandes is a current recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Residency Fellowship. He is based between Toronto and New York.
Tableaux is a series of staged scenes hidden in Guildwood Park. In these humorous tableaux, nature and the unnatural mingle to reflect the unseen social anxiety and colonial tensions nestled amidst relics of the past. Participants use their smartphones as windows through which they can discover these hidden worlds.
You can access Tableaux here
Camille Turner is an artist and cultural producer who is the founder of Outerregion, an Afrofuturist performance company creating intercultural experiences that disrupt the expected and engage the public. She is a co-founder of Year Zero One, an electronic media arts organization creating public digital interventions. She has participated in and presented collaborative projects, community engagements, public performance and digital interventions in Canada and internationally. Her latest works uncover hidden histories, create counter narratives and invite public participation.
Camal Pirbhai was raised in Switzerland and trained in London as a couturier in soft furnishings. Drawing from his expertise as an artisan, he explores a wide array of materials and processes that range from fibre art, sculpture, installation and painting to video, photography and performance.
This performance is an exploratory iteration of my international multi-site SingLand/ SongMarksonic mapping project, (formerly known as songlines). In keeping with the many layers of history known about the site, and my interdisciplinary practice, I will be referencing both past Indigenous knowledge about the site as a camp with a good vantage point, as well as the more recent existence of the area as an architectural/sculptural site. Using projected light and song, the performed and collectively created lodge will be a symbolic invitation, whose scale reflects the prophecies of giants returning. The work’s title is part of a burgeoning lexicon I am proposing specifically in relation to sonic mapping, music theory and music creation in general.
miyohtâkosiw tâwâyihk (it sounds good in the center) will take place at Guildwood Park on Saturday June 14th as the final event of the exhibition.
Cheryl L’Hirondelle is a community-engaged Indigenous (Cree/Metis/German) interdisciplinary artist, singer/songwriter and new media curator originally from the land now known as canada. Her creative practice is an investigation of the junction of a Cree worldview (nêhiyawin) in contemporary time space. She is the past recipient of two imagineNATIVE New Media Awards (2005, 2006), received honourable mention for her net.art project vancouversonglines.ca from the 13th Annual Webby Awards and a recipient of two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (2006, 2007). L’Hirondelle is an associate artist with SMARTLab (University College of Dublin) and is a member of OCAD University’s Indigenous Education Advisory Council.
Variations is a video document from of a live performance, re-enacting the night of Ana Mendieta’s death. I worked with two actors (one playing Ana Mendieta, the other playing Carl Andre) and based scenes off of three conflicting statements made by Andre regarding the events of that fateful night. Through improvisation and audience feedback, we workshopped what could be a plausible scenario using my research as a guideline to set up parameters for the actors. The piece is an attempt to raise questions about Mendieta’s death, and seeks to investigate general notions concerning the revision of history.
Variations will be screened on Thursday June 12th at 8:00 @ Onsite @ OCADU 230 Richmond St. West. This will be followed by a moderated conversation between Elise Rasmussen and Alize Zorlutuna.
Elise Rasmussen received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007) as a Merit Scholar and her BFA from Ryerson University (2004). Elise is represented by ESP | Erin Stump Projects in Toronto, and has had solo shows at the Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum (NY), Agape Enterprise (NY), Night Gallery (LA), AC Institute (NY), Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects (Toronto) and Gallery 101 (Ottawa). Group exhibitions include the CCS Bard Hessel Museum (Annandale-on-Hudson), Galerie Articule (Montreal), Standpoint Gallery (London), Mulherin + Pollard (NY), Werkschauhalle Gallery (Leipzig), the Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago), Gallery 400 (Chicago) and ThreeWalls Gallery (Chicago). Elise has upcoming shows at Pioneer Works (NY), Momenta Art (NY) and TRUCK (Calgary).
Installation works are dependent on many factors, but the site and its context are fundamental – what one might call the hospitality of the site to embrace the idea. A ruined entryway where the historical origins of these fragments is not known has an indescribable appeal to me.
Juxtaposed in relation to the entryway of architectural fragments at The Guild, this installation works as a counterpoint to the actions of the Clark’s. Their salvaging involved architectural fragments of historic buildings, which were being demolished in Toronto’s centre, and relocating these elements to this site in Scarborough. In my installation neither from the east nor from the west, sections of a destroyed tree from my home environment are materials that are salvaged and altered to carry meaning from another geography and culture.
Language and the politics of language are often a part of my work, including the use of Arabic calligraphy and text. In neither from the east nor from the west, fragments of Arabic script in mirror-like fragments are inserted into hollow sections of a Norway maple tree. The fragments of text, and the sections of tree are placed in conversation with the site’s entryway of fragments. The title and Arabic calligraphy fragments are inspired by the ceiling of the dome of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, which is of the verse Nur (Light) in the Qur’an. 24:35
This work is dedicated in memory of the artist’s mother
Hajji Ayshi (Shousher) Hassan (1922 – 2014)
Based in her hometown of London, Ontario, Jamelie Hassan is a visual artist, active as a lecturer, writer and independent curator. Hassan has coordinated numerous international programs, and is active in artist-run centres across Canada. Her works are in numerous public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, the McIntosh Gallery, The University of Western Ontario, Museum London, London, Ontario and the Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia. Hassan was awarded the 2001 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, and the 2006 Chalmers Art fellowship. A survey exhibition of her works, Jamelie Hassan: At the Far Edge of Words was organized by Museum London, the Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery, and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. It toured Canada from 2009-2013.
Kapwa Collective’s Kulintang Healing Garden bridges Indigenous knowledges, systems and practices from our Philippine heritage, with our identities as settlers on Turtle Island. The focal point of our project is the kulintang, a traditional gong instrument indigenous to the T’boli, Maranao, Maguindanao, and Palawan Peoples of the Philippines. Kulintang Healing Garden will be installed for the duration of the exhibition, and will feature interactive performance and workshops on Sunday, June 1st to engage the community around the greenhouse.
Kapwa Collective recognizes the need to build healing relationships and connections with nature, and fellow human beings that are rooted in a recognition of our shared identities—and futures—in this era of deep ecological crises. In 2012, after attending the KAPWA-3 conference in Baguio, Philippines, Kapwa Collective went to Ilocos Sur, Philippines. We were taught how to plant native Philippine trees for the purpose of healing the earth and ourselves. We planted tree saplings with intent and in respectful dialogue with the land.
In celebration of these kapwa values, we invite the community in and around Guildwood Park to play with plantable paper; jam with singing plants and gongs; and plant seeds that nourish our indigenous selves on our paths towards decolonization.
Kapwa will be hosting a number of events on Sunday June 1st. Check the events page for more details regarding times and locations.
Kapwa Collective is a group of Filipino Canadian artists, critical thinkers, and healers whose work bridges narratives between the Indigenous and the Diasporic, the Filipino and the Canadian. We function as a mutual support group based on the core value of kapwa. Kapwa is loosely translated as “a recognition of shared identity, an inner self shared with others” (Enriquez 52). It is the core concept of Sikolohiyang Pilipino or Filipino Psychology, a movement that is rooted in the experiences, ideas, and consciousness of Filipinos. Formed in 2012, Kapwa Collective facilitates links among academic, artistic, activist, and other communities in Toronto. For the Restless Precinct exhibition, we are represented by artists: Jo SiMalaya Alcampo, Christine Balmes and Jennifer Maramba.
Enriquez, Virgilio G. From Colonial to Liberation Psychology: The Philippine Experience.
Quezon City: The University of the Philippines Press, 2008.
In a world of racial hierarchies that tried to tag him as inferior and “below” Europeans, Oronhyatekha, a Mohawk doctor and the Supreme Chief Ranger of the International Order of Foresters, built the tallest building in the British Empire — at the corner of Bay and Richmond streets in downtown Toronto.
My spoken word performance/collage brings the remaining fragments of the facade of Oronhyatekha’s 1895 Temple Building into dynamic conversation with two texts. The first is the 1904 catalogue of his collection of artifacts, which was displayed in the Temple Building and included “exotic curiosities” from his travels, miniatures of architecturally famous buildings, and historically and culturally significant items from the Indigenous nations of the Great Lakes. This collection was donated to the Royal Ontario Museum soon after the museum was founded, and some of it is still on view today. The second text consists of two letters to the editor written by Oronhyatekha and published in the Toronto Daily Mail in December 1875 in response to letters by white men disparaging Indigenous and Six Nations people and in particular their treatment of women. My words – and Oronhyatekha’s – will play with elevations, appearances, comparisons, collections, and what remains.
Victoria Freeman is the author of Distant Relations: How My Ancestors Colonized North America and a member of First Story Toronto, based at the Native Canadian Centre, which has produced the First Story smart phone app on the city’s Indigenous history. She has collaborated with Jumblies Theatre on Toronto Seder, Nagamo, and other projects, and in 2013 was a co-writer, movement coach and performer in Torn, a production by Sol Express, a theatre group involving artists with developmental delays. She teaches in both the Canadian Studies program at
Glendon College and the History program at York University.
A guided tour of Oronhyatekha’s collection at the ROM will take place on Friday, May 30 from 5 – 6pm, led by Senior Curator Emeritus, Trudy Nicks and Keith Jamieson of the Woodland Cultural Centre. See Events page for details.
First Story Toronto Bus Tour:
Eastern Direction: Scarborough and the Guild Precinct
Designed for Restless Precinct by the Toronto Native Community History Project and other community members, this 3-hour tour of pre-contact and historical landmarks illustrates the Indigenous presence in Scarborough and Guildwood Park, as well as the complicated history of colonization and cultural resistance in the area.
Join us on Saturday, June 14th to discover the cultural geography and indigenous history of the site.
About First Story Toronto Bus Tour: Since 1995, First Story Toronto, (formerly The Toronto Native Community History Project), within the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, has been engaged in researching and preserving the Aboriginal history of Toronto with the goal of building awareness of, and pride in the long Aboriginal presence and contributions to the city. First Story Toronto shares this history through a variety of initiatives such as walking and bus tours (formerly The Great ‘Indian’ Bus Tour of Toronto developed by Rodney Bobiwash) of various places in the city. First Story Toronto tours highlight 11,000 years of Indigenous life, relationships and heritage in the Toronto area.
Download the free First Story App:
First Story Blog: http://firststoryblog.wordpress.com/