CDCC E-Shop Launch and Celebration

Critical Distance is pleased to participate in Art Book Week in conjunction with the 2018 Toronto Art Book Fair. For our third year of art book-related programming in support of TOABF, we will launch our newly stocked e-shop with a celebration and sale on Saturday, July 7th from 4–7 pm.

Watch our Instagram and Facebook feeds for previews of new and bestselling titles selected by CDCC team members and participants, featuring such publishers and artists as: Contemporary& (Berlin), Half Letter Press (Chicago), Kayfa-ta (Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis, Cairo), Independent Curators International (NY), Domenica (LA), and Maake (US); and Qiana Mestrich (Brooklyn), Khaled Hourani (Palestine), Ed Panar (Pittsburgh), Ciprian Muresan (Romania), Jeanette Ehlers (Denmark), Maggie Groat (Ontario), Sara Knox Hunter (Queens, NY), and Tings Chak (Toronto); plus a selection of catalogues and editions produced by TYPOLOGY Projects and Critical Distance Centre for Curators.

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Opening | June 23 | … move or be moved by some ‘thing’ rather than oneself.

Nadege Grebmeier Forget

Critical Distance is pleased to present … move or be moved by some thing rather than oneself., an exhibition that considers curating and choreography as materials and subjects. Bringing together the work of Guillaume Adjutor Provost, Adam Basanta, Adrienne Crossman, and Nadège Grebmeier Forget, the exhibition is curated by Florence-Agathe Dubé-Moreau and Maude Johnson. The title, taken from a quote by choreographer Yvonne Rainer, echoes the curators’ desire to question the potentialities of artworks as well as presentation contexts from the position of transdisciplinary instability.

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Workshop | April 22 | Make Your Own Bike Tube Flogger with Dayna Danger

Bike Tube Flogger Making with Dayna Danger
Make your own mini flogger from rubber bike tubes in this hands-on workshop with Dayna Danger, who will be here from Montreal for FORWARD FACING’s opening weekend. Workshop is PWYC, and materials will be provided.

Date and Location
Sunday, April 22 from 2-4 pm
Artscape Youngplace
180 Shaw Street, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5

To Register
Even though this workshop is PWYC, space is limited so pre-registration is required.
Please contact us at rsvp (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca to inquire/register.

Location within Youngplace to be confirmed upon registration.


image: Dayna Danger, Kandace, 2017

Opening | April 21 | FORWARD FACING | Exhibition presented in partnership with ACC-CCA

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).


Opening Weekend Events

Saturday, April 21 from 2-4 pm
FORWARD FACING Reception with Curator’s Talk
Please join us in the gallery (Suite 302 at Artscape Youngplace) for a very special reception with Toronto/Brooklyn-based curator Cass Gardiner, featuring a tour of the exhibition followed by beverages and bites courtesy of Pow Wow Cafe. Stay for artists’ performance at 5 pm.

Saturday, April 21 starting at 5 pm
Performance featuring DAYNA DANGER, LACIE BURNING, and KANDACE PRICE
Three collaborators negotiate time, boundaries, and songs. Starting location to be announced at the opening.

Sunday, April 22 from 2-4 pm
Bike Tube Flogger-Making Workshop with DAYNA DANGER
Make your own mini flogger from rubber bike tubes in this PWYC hands-on workshop with Dayna Danger.  Materials will be provided. Space is limited so please contact us at rsvp (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca to inquire/register. Location to be confirmed upon registration.

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Workshop | April 15 | Labour+Love: On the Intersections between Parenthood+Artistic Practice

In partnership with Gallery 44, we are pleased to host this very special workshop exploring the intersections of parenthood and artistic practice.

Despite well-documented actions and attempts by individual artists and collectives over the past 60 years (and longer) to dismantle patriarchal attitudes toward mothers/caregivers in the arts, little has changed with regard to expectations and pressures on art-working people who parent. Although attention to these issues seems to be increasing, the arts sector still functions on the assumption that everyone participating has unlimited time, money, resources and abilities to devote to the arts world’s success. This assumption is obviously not true for many people, including mothers/caregivers. The answer, when combined with the demands of daily caregiving, is often a catch-22: burnout or dropout.

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Screening | April 14 | The Informants | A co-presentation with ImagineNATIVE for the 2018 Images Festival

Critical Distance and imagineNATIVE present The Informants for Images Festival 2018
Saturday, April 14 from 9:30-11 pm
Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave.

Through video and performance, “The Informants” examines the desires of indigeneity in the myths, dreams, political foundations of the so-called Americas. Guest curated program by Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys.

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Workshop | March 3+4 | Maha Maamoun: And What Did The Animal Say? | Presented in partnership with SAVAC

In partnership with South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC) and Gallery 44, we are thrilled to bring Cairo-based artist Maha Maamoun to Toronto for a free 2-day intensive workshop culminating in an artist talk as part of SAVAC’s Views on the 4th in conjunction with We Look At Animals Because.

In Mathieu Kassovitz’s film La Haine, Vinz and Sayid walk through the clashes between police and residents in their suburb, and Vinz becomes sure he has seen a cow crossing the street. It is not clear if he is the only one who saw it, if it’s even real, a symbol of the collapse of the urban order, or possibly an omen of his imminent death.

Why look at animals? Do we use animals as symbols or proxies for other subjects? Is our interest in them driven by a desire to reach beyond the confines of our bodies, subjectivities, knowledge and practice? How are these interests or desires finally translated in our work? In this workshop, animals will be our starting point to explore the personal, the cultural and the political. By engaging with the work of a selection of contemporary writers, artists, film-makers and others who use or reflect on the use of animals in their work, this discussion-based workshop aims to explore different modes and languages of observation and how they are translated into images and texts.

— This is a rare opportunity to participate in a small group setting with international artist Maha Maamoun.
— Workshop is FREE but space is limited.
— If interested, email toleen@savac.net with a 150-word statement of intent and a link to examples of your work.
— Workshop takes place over two full days, Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4.
— Confirmed participants will receive detailed program information by the end of the week.
— Participants will be encouraged to bring an example of recent animal-related news items.
— Workshop location is The Commons on the 4th floor of the 401 Richmond building.

About the Artist
Maha Maamoun has exhibited her work internationally in biennials and exhibitions at such venues as the Sharjah Art Foundation, New Museum, Berlinale 64, Tate Modern, 9th Gwangju Biennale, Witte de With, MoMA NY, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Haus der Kunst. She is a co-founder of the independent publishing platform Kayfa-ta and a founding board member of the Contemporary Image Collective (CiC), an independent non-profit space for art and culture in Cairo.

Special thanks to Gallery 44 for partnering with us on this event. We would also like to acknowledge the support of the Toronto Arts Council for this exhibition and related events.


image: Maha Maamoun, Dear Animal (film still), 25:30 mins, 2016

Artist Talk: Alex Sheriff

Alex Sheriff, Undiscovered Man-made Islands (detail), 2016-17

Critical Distance and South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC) present a free artist talk with Los Angeles-based Canadian artist and filmmaker, Alex Sheriff.

Focusing on the arbitrary division between human and natural history, Sheriff will discuss contested forms of living in the Anthropocene. He will reveal his concept of “droopy history,” born of science, pseudoscience and mythology, which he uses to navigate the space of this imagined division.

Alex Sheriff received his BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCADU before moving to New York where he received his MFA in Fine Art. He now lives in Los Angeles and works in painting, drawing, sculpture and film. www.alexsheriff.com

Two works on paper from Sheriff’s recent exhibition at Praxis Gallery (NY) are included in our current exhibition, “We Look At Animals Because,” produced in partnership with SAVAC, and curated by Toleen Touq and Nahed Mansour. A selection of sculptures is on display as well. 


Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 5PM
Suite 107, Artscape Youngplace – 180 Shaw Street

Admission to both talk and gallery are free. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome. Building and gallery are both fully accessible.

Film Screening: TASKAFA, Stories of the Street

Andrea Luka Zimmerman, TASKAFA: Stories of the Street (still), 2013

Critical Distance and South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC) invite you to a free film screening of TASKAFA: Stories of the Street, directed by UK-based artist, activist, and filmmaker Andrea Luka Zimmerman, as part of “We Look At Animals Because.”

Structured around readings by renowned critic and essayist John Berger, TASKAFA (2013, 66 mins) offers a brilliantly incisive meditation on urban space and city life by investigating the complex history of Istanbul’s street dogs. Despite several major attempts by Istanbul’s rulers, politicians and planners over the last 400 years to erase them, the city’s street dogs have persisted thanks to an enduring alliance with civilian communities that recognize and defend their right to co-exist.

TASKAFA gathers the voices of diverse Istanbul residents, shopkeepers, and street based workers, all of whom display a striking commitment to the well-being and future of the city’s canine population. Interwoven to this narrative are readings by Berger from his novel “King,” a story of hope, dreams, love and resistance, told from the perspective of a dog belonging to a community facing disappearance, even erasure.

Andrea Luka Zimmerman is an artist, cultural activist and filmmaker. She is the first director to be shortlisted for both the Grierson and Jarman Awards, and in 2017 Zimmerman received the Artangel Open Award for her feature drama Cycle, produced in collaboration with Adrian Jackson. Currently she teaches at Central St. Martins in London, where she also studied for her PhD. www.fugitiveimages.org.uk


Sunday, February 25 at 5PM
Small World Theatre – Suite 101, Artscape Youngplace – 180 Shaw Street

Admission to both screening and gallery are free. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome. Building and gallery are both fully accessible.