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 present 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
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.
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.