Co-Presentations

PUBLISHING AGAINST THE GRAIN at CRITICAL DISTANCE

July 4–August 17, 2019

PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH INDEPENDENT CURATORS INTERNATIONAL, NY

OPENING SATURDAY, JULY 6TH from 11am–1pm

CRITICAL DISTANCE and INDEPENDENT CURATORS INTERNATIONAL (ICI) are pleased to announce the co-presentation of Publishing Against the Grain, a unique exhibition that provides visitors with a rare opportunity to engage in a variety of conversations from across the world. In the context of today’s corporatization and commodification of cultural institutions, and in many political situations where free speech becomes ever more precarious, independent publishing has shown extraordinary vitality and importance as a platform for disseminating alternative, progressive and autonomous positions.

Publishing Against the Grain is a traveling exhibition that highlights the current state of publishing and art criticism as it exists in small journals, experimental publications, websites, and podcasts, as well as other innovative forms. It is organized around projects that connect theoretical, social, political, and aesthetic questions with a focus on community, whether understood in relation to a particular place, or defined in identitarian or diasporic terms. In bringing these projects together from around the world, Publishing Against the Grain reveals how their material and discursive activities respond to intersecting subjects such as contemporary aesthetics, diaspora, sex and gender, gentrification, race, language, and art history.

Alongside the international network of publications sourced by ICI, Critical Distance will present a “capsule” exhibition of arts publishing projects currently being produced across Canada today. Aligning with the values, modes, and methods of production embodied by ICI’s global grouping, our selection will be similarly focused on grassroots/independent projects that demonstrate critical, socio-political and aesthetic engagements with topical issues and ideas, in thoughtful relation to their respective artistic communities as well as broader regional, national, and international publics.

This selection is not intended to be comprehensive or conclusive at this stage of our organizational research, but just the first of an ongoing series of explorations and resulting exhibitions that will seek to evince the incredible diversity and criticality that Indigenous and Canadian arts publishers have brought, and continue to bring to bear, upon global discourses in publishing and its potentials. Visitors to the exhibition will be invited to fully engage with all of the publications on display, with the opportunity to make a case for any of the capsule selections to be nominated for inclusion in ICI’s exhibition for future stops on its international tour.

Finally, Critical Distance is thrilled to announce the first additions to its nascent Curators Library+Archive, including the complete back catalogue of Lola Magazine, which was produced by artist/writer Sally McKay, curator John Massier and arts writer and editor Catherine Osborne from 1997–2003.

Stay tuned for more information on library- and exhibition-related events coming soon!

Publishing Against the Grain is initiated by Alaina Claire Feldman, Becky Nahom, and Sanna Almajedi with contributions from: Adjective / AEQAI / Art Hopper / Art Against Art / Post Capitalism: A Guide to our Future, Telematic Embrace, The Transhumanist Reader / Bisagra / ramona / Chimurenga & Selections from the Chimurenga Library / Curatorial Dictionary / Art-Leaks.org / East of Borneo / Artes Visuales / Exhausted Geographies / SCROLL / Fillip / Art-Language / Glänta / Bidayat / Makhzin / Souffles, Soufless-Anfas / New Culture / Top Stories / Our Literal Speed / Collective Actions / Pages / Pumflet / Corrections and Clarifications / Counter-Signals / PISEAGRAMA / Urbânia / Raking Leaves / Aar Paar / SALT. / LIES / Start Journal / Uganda Press Photo Award / Stationary / Blackbird / Lenny Kwok / Tráfico Visual / Félix Suaz / White Fungus / Life Is A Rip Off / X-TRA

Opening reception and exhibition walkthrough with CDCC Director Shani K Parsons

Saturday, July 6th from 11am–1 pm
Join us in the gallery for coffee, donuts, and mimosas! Plus a curatorial/conversational walkthrough of the exhibition with CDCC Founding Director Shani K Parsons and critics/publishers/artists in attendance. All are welcome.

Location and accessibility information

Critical Distance Centre for Curators
Suite 302 on the 3rd floor at Artscape Youngplace
180 Shaw Street (btw Dundas and Queen Street in Toronto’s Queen West neighbourhood)
Toronto, Ontario M6J 2W5 Canada
Google Map

Artscape Youngplace and Critical Distance are fully accessible by Ontario standards, with a wheelchair ramp at the 180 Shaw Street doors, an elevator servicing every floor, and a fully accessible washroom on every level. The nearby 63 Ossington bus on the TTC is wheelchair accessible. All stairwell installations will be viewable from accessible locations.

About the presenting partners

Independent Curators International (ICI) produces exhibitions, events, training opportunities, research initiatives, and publications for curators and audiences around the world. Established in 1975, ICI is headquartered in New York, but active around the world. ICI’s programs are presented and often developed in partnership with art spaces across the globe, therefore encouraging new infrastructures for art practice internationally, and inspiring fresh ways of seeing and contextualizing contemporary art. www.curatorsintl.org

INDEPENDENT CURATORS INTERNATIONAL (ICI) | 401 BROADWAY, SUITE 1620 | NEW YORK, NY | 10013 | USA

Critical Distance is a not-for-profit project space, publisher, and professional network devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice and inquiry in Toronto, Canada, and beyond. With a focus on critically engaged, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary practices, underrepresented artists and art forms, and community outreach and education in art and exhibition-making, Critical Distance is an open platform for diverse curatorial perspectives, and a forum for the exchange of ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life. www.criticaldistance.ca

CRITICAL DISTANCE  (CDCC) | 180 SHAW STREET, SUITE 302 | TORONTO, ON | M6J 2W5 | CANADA

Publishing Against the Grain is an exhibition organized and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, and initiated by ICI’s Alaina Claire Feldman and Becky Nahom with Sanna Almajedi. The exhibition was made possible with generous support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, ICI’s Board of Trustees and International Forum.

… Please join us for a public opening reception with the artist on Saturday, May 7th, from 6–9 pm Refreshments will be served and all are welcome. TYPOLOGY No. 302, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5 See Google map of location … About the Artist Susana Reisman was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1977. She received a BA in Economics from Wellesley College, Boston (1999) and an MFA in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology (2005). After teaching photography for a number of years, Reisman now dedicates her time to making art and running Circuit Gallery. She lives and works in Toronto. Recent solo and group exhibitions include Productive Displacement, a series of billboards curated by Bonnie Rubenstein for the 2015 CONTACT Photography Festival; Standardizing Nature: Trees, Wood, Lumber (2014) at Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography, Toronto; Unsettled Primaries (2014), curated by Mariangeles Soto-Diaz for the Torrance Art Museum, California; Immoderation (2014), curated by Megan Press for the Living Arts Centre, Mississauga; Micah Lexier: More Than Two (2013), curated by Micah Lexier for The Power Plant, Toronto; Flash Forward Festival 2013, outdoor exhibition at Fairmont Battery Wharf, Boston; Objects in Mirrors May Appear Closer (2013), UNO St. Claude Gallery, New Orleans; and Like-Minded (2012), curated by Micah Lexier for the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg, Manitoba. … The artist wishes to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council for this exhibition.
Critical Distance is grateful to the Ontario Arts Council for funding support to make this exhibition and related events possible.

image: Where and When to Believe, Taslima Ahmed and Manuel Gnam, 2015. Image courtesy of Taslima Ahmed and Manuel Gnam and ICI.

Nicole Kelly Westman: a slight space amidst

April 11–20, 2019

Curated by Steffanie Ling
An Off Screen presentation of the 2019 Images Festival

On view: April 11–20, 2019 | Opening reception: April 10th, 6 pm | Artist talk: April 14th, 1:30 pm

Critical Distance is pleased to co-present Nicole Kelly Westman: a slight space amidst in partnership with the 2019 Images Festival. a slight space amidst is a video installation that exists in the threshold between a screening and an exhibition. A secluded space just beyond sheer partitions, you determine the duration of your viewing as the film loops. Capturing arrested light and moments that meld and mesh, the film echoes the wavering movements proposed by the installation’s materiality: sheer silk curtains that partition here and there, before and after, daylight and nocturne.

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Billboard on Shaw: Ivanie Aubin-Malo | Oposiyik

February 7-March 31, 2019

Billboard on Shaw curated by Neven Lochhead with the exhibition Public Syntax, presented in partnership with SAW Video, featuring Oposiyik [Performance Continuation] (2019) by Ivanie Aubin-Malo.

Public Syntax is an exhibition that highlights the distinct time-based practices and approaches of seven artists, as well as those participating in the Video in the Public Sphere Working Group.

Responding to Critical Distance’s mandate to advance curatorial inquiry and encourage collaborative frameworks, exhibition curator Neven Lochhead employs a conversational mode to form ‘syntactical’ relations between these various practices, identifying collective editing processes where the ‘sequence’ becomes a vector on which to group together. In the gallery and public spaces, artists in this exhibition generate affinities not through the question of ​where will we meet,​ but rather ​when will we occur?

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Performance documentation (still), Ivanie Aubin-Malo in response to work by naakita feldman-kiss at SAW Video (Ottawa), 2018.

PUBLIC SYNTAX: SAW Video at CRITICAL DISTANCE

February 7-March 31, 2019

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 9th from 2–4 pm

Curated by Neven Lochhead and presented in partnership with SAW Video Media Art Centre, Ottawa. Featuring work by naakita feldman-kiss, Ivanie Aubin-Malo, Henry Andersen, Mara Eagle, Phil Rose, Molly Teitelbaum, Anna Queen, and The Video in the Public Sphere Working Group.

In partnership with SAW Video Media Art Centre (Ottawa), Critical Distance is pleased to present ​Public Syntax, ​an exhibition that highlights the distinct time-based practices and approaches of seven artists, as well as those participating in the Video in the Public Sphere Working Group, the majority of whom are either Ottawa-based or connected. Situated in-gallery at Critical Distance and across multiple public spaces at Artscape Youngplace, the works in the exhibition embody and expand upon the recent and ongoing programming initiatives of SAW Video and their Knot Project Space​, ​launched in early 2018​.​

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THROUGH LINES

September 13–November 25, 2018

Featuring LISE BEAUDRY, SCOTT BENESIINAABANDAN, MICHELE PEARSON CLARKE, LEILA FATEMI, MARIA HUPFIELD, RAAFIA JESSA, and NADIA MYRE
Curated by NOA BRONSTEIN

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 13, 2018 from 7–9 pm

Presented in partnership with the Koffler Gallery, Through lines is an exhibition that brings together works of seven artists that challenge notions of redaction, tackling its typical devices of shredding, blacking out, editing, and covering up.  Continue reading

FORWARD FACING

April 21–June 3, 2018

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

Dayna Danger, Kandace (Billboard), 2018, digital print on adhesive vinyl, 8 x 8 feet, from Forward Facing curated by Cass Gardiner, Critical Distance Centre for Curators, 2018. Installation documentation by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Billboard on Shaw: Dayna Danger | Kandace

April 21–June 3, 2018

Billboard on Shaw curated by Cass Gardiner with the exhibition Forward Facing, presented in partnership with Aboriginal Curatorial Collective–Collectif des commissaires autochtones and featuring Kandace by Dayna Danger.

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 GardinerForward Facing is an exhibition that examines intersectionality within Indigenous identity. Continue reading

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. Continue reading