Annual Program

FORWARD FACING

APRIL 21–JUNE 3, 2018

Opening reception: Saturday, April 21st from 2–4 pm

Featuring LACIE BURNING, JADE NASOGALUAK CARPENTER and DAYNA DANGER
Curated by CASS GARDINER and presented in partnership with ABORIGINAL CURATORIAL COLLECTIVE

In partnership with Aboriginal Curatorial Collective–Collectif des commissaires autochtones, Critical Distance is pleased to present FORWARD FACING, a Featured Exhibition of the 2018 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Curated by Cass Gardiner (Toronto/Brooklyn), Forward Facing is an exhibition that examines intersectionality within Indigenous identity through the photographic, video, craft, and installation practices of Dayna Danger (Montreal), Lacie Burning (Vancouver), and Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter (Calgary). Continue reading

Quratulain Butt, Ego, 2018, digital print on adhesive vinyl mounted to billboard, 8 x 8 feet, Winter 2018 Billboard on Shaw, curated by Nahed Mansour and Toleen Touq. Installation documentation by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Billboard on Shaw: Quratulain Butt | Ego

January 25–March 25, 2018

In partnership with South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC), Critical Distance is pleased to present the Winter 2018 Billboard on Shaw, featuring work by Quratulain Butt curated by Toleen Touq and Nahed Mansour as part of the exhibition We Look At Animals Because.

Growing up with roosters as pets, this motif appears frequently in Butt’s paintings. Originally created using delicate watercolor strokes in the Gadrang (opaque) miniature painting technique, the artist presents figures of brawling roosters as stand-ins for human conflict. Butt also draws, perhaps comically, on the pressures of conformity that come with family and tradition. For this exhibition, an enlarged and digitized version of the original Ego painting was commissioned from the artist for the eight-foot square billboard structure.

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WE LOOK AT ANIMALS BECAUSE

January 25–March 25, 2018

Featuring Quratulain Butt, Khaled Hourani, Maha Maamoun, Smriti Mehra, Huma Mulji, Ed Panar, Alex Sheriff, and Andrea Luka Zimmerman | Curated by Toleen Touq and Nahed Mansour

In partnership with South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC), Critical Distance is pleased to present We Look At Animals Because, an exhibition that gazes on animality. Through the lens of spectatorship, the show explores the shifting ways in which animals are regarded, represented and accorded meaning in post-industrial landscapes. Exhibiting photographs, video, works on paper, and sculpture, the featured artists reveal the nuanced, complicated and unexpected paradoxes that mark our relationships with cosmopolitan animals.

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Fall 2017 Billboard on Shaw, "Living Things" (Eva Zeisel vessel, kombucha, lines pattern) by Sarah Nasby , curated by Lauren Fournier. Installation documentation by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Billboard on Shaw: Living Things | Sarah Nasby

September–December 2017

In partnership with Artscape Youngplace, Critical Distance is pleased to present the Fall 2017 Billboard on Shaw, featuring an image by Sarah Nasby, curated by Lauren Fournier.

Fermentation requires vessels to hold and contain its transformative processes. In her Living Things series, Toronto-based artist Sarah Nasby takes vessels designed by women throughout history and re-stages them in light of fermentation as both a practice and a metaphor. Here, a vessel designed by Hungarian-born American designer Eva Zeisel is filled with kombucha, a fermented tea. Nasby graphically interprets the vitality of the kombucha tonic and the undulating design of Zeisel’s pot with her own squiggle pattern, creating a work that is both elegant and excessive in its form. The objects become living things in more than one sense: vessels that we live with, and vessels containing living, bubbling matter.

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FERMENTING FEMINISM

September 14–November 26, 2017

Critical Distance is thrilled to launch our landmark 5th year of programming with FERMENTING FEMINISM, curated by Lauren Fournier and featuring Sharlene Bamboat, Hazel Meyer, Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint, Sarah Nasby, Kayla Polan, Walter Scott, and Agustine Zegers.

Kombucha, guts, bacteria, vessels, vitalism, effervescence, degradation, and decay. Fermenting Feminism brings together artists whose work fleshes out the intersections between fermentation and intersectional feminisms. As the process of microbial transformation, fermentation becomes both a metaphor and material practice through which to approach feminist practices in the contemporary. Is feminism a relic of the past, something that has soured? Or is feminism still a vital imperative? This exhibition positions fermentation as a vital and viable space to re-conceive feminisms’s pasts, presents, and futures. Continue reading

SIGNALS & SENTIMENTS: A Featured Exhibition of the 2017 CONTACT Photography Festival

April 27–June 4, 2017

Sebastián Benítez, Petar Boskovic, Shelby Fenlon, Maxwell Hyett, and Mickey Mackenna (gallery); Maggie Groat & Jimmy Limit, Karen Henderson, and Josée Pedneault (stairwells)

Curated by Katelyn Gallucci

SIGNALS & SENTIMENTS, a Featured Exhibition of the 2017 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, is a two-part exhibition that examines how gesture functions as a mechanism for the production of identity. Continue reading

Precious Commodity | Eunice Luk, Ella Dawn McGeough, Juan Ortiz-Apuy, Biliana Velkova

March 10–April 9, 2017

Critical Distance is pleased to present Precious Commodity, a group exhibition of recent 
works by Eunice Luk, Ella Dawn McGeough, Juan Ortiz-Apuy, and Biliana Velkova, curated by 
Alison Cooley.

Articulating a tension between objects and their ways of being—their forms, their significance, 
their social and economic circulation—Precious Commodity brings together artworks that 
examine the complicated sweetness of things. Unanchoring objects from their exchange 
within capitalism, the artists in the exhibition resignify them as vessels for fantasy, desire, 
and alternate possibility. Reflecting on the nature of a world populated by things with 
definitive practical uses and monetary values, each artist playfully contends with form, 
usurping existing representations in the service of building new meanings.  Continue reading

The Path, The Divide | Brynn Higgins-Stirrup

January 19–February 19, 2017

CDCC is pleased to present The Path, The Divide, a solo exhibition of recent works by Canadian artist Brynn Higgins-Stirrup, curated by Oana Tanase.

Fascinated by the ways in which we confront and reconcile intuitive inquiry with organized thought and form, Higgins-Stirrup has developed a distinctive visual language and practice that revolves around learning systems, geometry, mapping, and writing. Seducing the viewer through technical exactitude and material subtlety, her artworks speak of the space that lies between knowledge and truth, information and meaning.

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Crossing the Line: Contemporary Art from Denmark

November 5–December 11, 2016

Jeannette Ehlers and Patricia KaersenhoutSøren Thilo FunderJens HaaningMaj HasagerTina Helen,
Stine Marie Jacobsen
Jane Jin Kaisen, and Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen

Critical Distance is pleased to present Crossing the Line, a timely and provocative survey of contemporary Danish art curated by Earl Miller. Recognizing the transnational nature of much recent art from Denmark, the exhibition asks: Can a nation define itself culturally by looking beyond its traditional borders?

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Claudia Wieser, Fischreiher, 2009, Gold leaf on book page, 25.5 x 20 cm from The Amoebic Workshop, curated by Astarte Rowe, 2016, Critical Distance Centre for Curators. Installation documentation by Toni Hafkensheid.

The Amoebic Workshop: A Submerged Exhibition

on view September 21–October 23, 2016

Critical Distance Centre for Curators is pleased to present The Amoebic Workshop: A Submerged Exhibition, curated by Astarte Rowe and featuring countless living Mediolus corona amoebas in an aquarium habitat, plus artworks by Jessica Drenk (US), Gabriel Lalonde (Canada), and Claudia Wieser (Germany).

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