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

Critical Distance is pleased to present Signals & Sentiments, a two-part exhibition that examines how gesture functions as a mechanism for the production of identity. In CDCC’s third floor gallery, Signals & Sentiments takes the form of an intimate group show for which five Toronto-based artists, Sebastián BenítezPetar BoskovicShelby FenlonMaxwell Hyett, and Mickey Mackenna, consider the inner workings of the gestural urge. Placing a varied selection of sculpture and photo-based objects in context with each other, exhibition curator Katelyn Gallucci investigates how seemingly divergent artistic gestures might fundamentally derive from inadequacies of language, disposition, desire, and whim.

In Artscape Youngplace’s expansive stairwell spaces, three site-specific installations address the more exterior and transitory dynamics of gesture. Extending themes of self-discovery, the relationship between perception and memory, and the search for emotional connection through time, these encompassing spatial interventions by Maggie Groat and Jimmy Limit (working in collaboration), Karen Henderson, and Josée Pedneault condition the viewer’s bodily response as much as they embody gestural acts and intentions themselves.

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Spring 2017 Billboard on Shaw: Mountainburger by Aislinn Thomas

Critical Distance is pleased to announce the selected artwork for the Spring 2017 Billboard on Shaw, a partnership with Artscape Youngplace through which we are providing opportunities for curators and artists to present large format printed artworks for the freestanding mural/billboard outside our building on Shaw Street.

Mountainburger is an 8-foot image by Kitchener-based artist Aislinn Thomas to be unveiled this week in conjunction with our opening for Signals & Sentiments. (Note above image is placeholder. We will update this post with the actual image and a description after April 27th).

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You’re invited: Workshop with Ella Dawn McGeough, and Precious Commodity closing reception

Tools for Touching | Ella Dawn McGeough and Daniella Sanader
Sunday, March 26, 2017 | 2–4 pm

Join us for this free experiential workshop considering touch and the tools that extend it: the brush we paint, the hammer we wield, the spoon we stir. The things we handle, particularly when used in repetition, are things we forget. Artist Ella Dawn McGeough and writer Daniella Sanader will facilitate a conversation, a reading, a series of experimental gestures between subjects and objects, methods of (potential) care.

Comfortable clothing recommended; no advanced reading necessary. As space is limited, please email info (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca with RSVP in the subject line and include your name and number attending in the message to reserve your spot(s). Thank you!

Event Location

Studio 305 — Artscape Youngplace
180 Shaw Street, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5
See Google map of location

Tools for Touching will take place in just a few doors down from Critical Distance on the third floor of Artscape Youngplace. Precious Commodity, the exhibition featuring work by Ella Dawn McGeough as well as Biliana Velkova, Juan Ortiz-Apuy, and Eunice Luk, will be on view in Suite 302  from 12–5 pm for those who would like to see it before or after the workshop.

About the Artists

Working across disciplines, Ella Dawn McGeough‘s practice attempts to make things leak from research that often centres on a process of historicisation, myth-making and speculative feminism. This research responds to the relay between apprehension and representation. This is an aesthetic process. A metamorphic process. A process in which art and its exhibition play the important function of suspending events within a sphere of speculation – possibly a beautiful one where objects and images are stilled and their meaning gains weight or transforms completely through time. Caught mid-pose/static/frozen-in-time, their physicality acts as a manifestation of their poiesis. With artists Colin Miner and Liza Eurich, McGeough founded in 2012, which produces online contemporary arts publications among other project-based activities. She is also the co-founder of Garden Avenue, a summer-time exhibition space; Ray~Ray, a project that produces limited edition jewelry and jewelry-like work by contemporary artists; and Friends of Ogden Park.

Daniella Sanader is a writer and arts worker who lives in Toronto. In her work, she regularly explores associative and speculative modes for thinking and writing about contemporary art, ones that emphasize queer/feminist frameworks, messy feelings, and embodied experience. She holds an MA from McGill University, and has written essays and reviews for arts publications and galleries across Canada. She has curated projects for Vtape and Oakville Galleries, and currently works at Gallery TPW in Toronto.

image: Ella Dawn McGeough, Ogden’s Tools, 2015. Found objects and wax. Dimensions variable.

Biliana Velkova, Untitled Spruce Tree, fluorescent light tubes, 2014.

Precious Commodity Closing Reception
Sunday, April 9, 2017 | 3–5 pm

Can’t make the workshop? Join us for the closing reception of Precious Commodity, curated by Alison Cooley. The curator will be in attendance and refreshments will be served. All are welcome.

Event Location

Critical Distance Centre for Curators
Suite 302 at Artscape Youngplace
180 Shaw Street, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5
See Google map of location

We hope you can join us for this Canadian Art Must-See show!

Call for Submissions: Spring 2017 Billboard on Shaw

In partnership with Artscape Youngplace, Critical Distance is pleased to issue this call for submissions for the 3rd in our series of Billboards on Shaw, an initiative through which we are providing opportunities for curators and artists to propose site-responsive, large-format, print-ready public artworks for the freestanding mural/billboard on our building’s front lawn.

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Opening Sunday: Precious Commodity | Eunice Luk, Ella Dawn McGeough, Juan Ortiz-Apuy, and Biliana Velkova, curated by Alison Cooley

Critical Distance is pleased to present Precious Commodity, a group exhibition of recent 
works by Eunice LukElla Dawn McGeoughJuan 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

In House 2017: Art Show + Silent Auction to Benefit Paperhouse Studio

Paperhouse Studio presents

A Benefit Art Show for Paperhouse Studio | February 24–28, 2017.
Yael Brotman, Melanie Chikofsky, Doug Guildford, Tessar Lo, Tim Manalo, Roula Partheniou, Meghan Price, and Natalie Wood, curated by Sonya Filman

Critical Distance is pleased to host the second annual In House Benefit Art Show for Paperhouse Studio. For 2017, Paperhouse has collaborated with eight emerging and established artists to create new work exploring contemporary approaches to working with handmade paper. These artists, whose practices feature an emphasis on materiality and process, took to working with handmade paper in a myriad of different ways. The resulting works highlight strong interconnections between notions of labour and temporality, contextualized in relation to personal histories, geologic time, and commonplace objects.

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Opening Thursday: The Path, The Divide | Brynn Higgins-Stirrup


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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New Billboard on Shaw: Lost in Shape by Ruth Adler

Critical Distance is pleased to present the second artist’s project in our newest initiative, the Billboard on Shaw, through which we are providing opportunities, in partnership with Artscape Youngplace, for curators and artists to propose large format printed artworks for the freestanding mural/billboard outside our building on Shaw Street.

Lost in Shape is an 8-foot image by Toronto and Tel Aviv-based artist Ruth Adler to be unveiled the week of January 18 (note above image is placeholder — see the exhibition page for the actual image). As she poignantly states,

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Call for Proposals: CDCC Exhibition at Toronto Art Book Fair


Artists’ Books x Archives x Alternative Narratives
Critical Distance Centre for Curators at Toronto Art Book Fair
Fair dates: June 15–18, 2017
Submission deadline: March 15, 2017

In partnership with the Toronto Art Book Fair, Critical Distance is pleased to announce this call for proposals for an exhibition or curatorial project to take place in our third floor gallery during TOABF 2017, happening building-wide at Artscape Youngplace from June 15–18 this year.

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Happy Holidays and News in Brief at CDCC


Thanks to everyone who has participated and attended our exhibitions and events this fall, including guest curators Astarte Rowe, Earl Miller, and Matthew Kyba; all the exhibiting artists (listed below) from InFuture, The Amoebic Workshop, the Billboard Project, Crossing the Line, and Edition Art Book Fair; event partners Drain Magazine, SAVAC, Gallery44, and VisualAIDS; exhibition supporters Artscape Youngplace and the Danish Arts Foundation; and all of our wonderful volunteers, interns, board members, book fair selectors, writers, criticscommunity sponsors, and local and international audiences.

Extra special thanks to the amazing artists who made it all worthwhile this Fall: Morehshin AllahyariMaria Flawia LitwinManuel SaizMarianna Milhorat, and Terence NanceTamara GayerJessica DrenkGabriel Lalonde, and Claudia Wieser; Martine SymsLauren AndersonHannah BlackMarco BraunschweilerErin Christovale & Amir GeorgeDavid HarttSara Knox Hunter, and Diamond Stingily; Eve Fowler, Claire Goodwin, Leslie Hewitt, Matt KeeganMichael Queenland & Lori SalmonKevin HaasSophie Calle, Tings ChakManar Moursi & David Puig, Steven Beckly, and Jeannette EhlersPatricia KaersenhoutSøren Thilo FunderJens HaaningMaj HasagerTina HelenStine Marie JacobsenJane Jin Kaisen, and Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen.

CDCC wishes you a relaxing and reinvigorating holiday, and looks forward to making more news with you in 2017!



Our friends at Montreal-based Les Territoires have issued their annual portfolio of fundraising editions, which we are happy to share here. If you’re still looking for a gift for that special someone, check out the collection of works by nine different artists.

Shown above is the contribution by Dawit L. Petros, titled Signal (Overlapping and intertwined territories that fall from view IV). Taken from his Stranger’s Notebook series, the image centres on a new arrival to Italy, interrogating the transhistorical entanglements that bind Europe to Africa.


Please join us in welcoming Cynthia Mykytyshyn to CDCC as our 2016-17 Curatorial Resident. Cynthia is an arts administrator and emerging curator based in Toronto. She earned a Masters Degree in Cultural Studies in 2012 from Queen’s University, where her studies focused on the intersection of art practices and natural environments and culminated in a self-directed curatorial project titled Where the Wild Things…Aren’t? (2012) exploring the relationship between the human and the other-than-human. Recent curatorial projects include If These Walls Could Talk: The Ongoing Story of 401 Richmond (2014) at Urbanspace Gallery, and Nuit Blanche Toronto Independent Projects Built for Art: A Living Archive (2015) and Built For Art: A Secret Garden (2016) at 401 Richmond. Cynthia continues to be concerned with site-responsive art practices in alternative and unexpected spaces.

We are also pleased to welcome our first OCADU Academic Placement intern, Reece McCrone. Reece is a third year Publications student who has an interest in learning more about the process of curation. We look forward to working with both Cynthia and Reece over the next several months as we share knowledge and work collaboratively on all aspects of curating, arts administration, and exhibition-making in the nonprofit environment.


Our beautiful winter show, The Path, The Divide | Brynn Higgins-Stirrup, curated by Oana Tanase opens January 19th — look for our WINTER UPDATE early in the new year, which will have much more news on upcoming events and opportunities!