EXHIBITION: this bridge between starshine and clay

October 14, 2023 - November 25, 2023

Artist(s): Renee Gladman, Adee Roberson, and Rashid Zakat
Curator(s): Safia Siad

Critical Distance is pleased to present this bridge between starshine and clay, an exhibition that explores and illuminates sonic innovations and architectures that create and hold space for Black aliveness. Using Lucille Clifton’s won’t you celebrate with me as a poetic entry point, this collection of work across mediums weaves through themes of geography, movement, rhythm, (un)knowing, vibration, and sound. Bringing together new works by  artists Renee Gladman, Adee Roberson, and Rashid Zakat, the concept of musical bridge becomes literal, creating portals and possibilities.

Programs, Events, and Public Art

Opening reception + Live performances
Friday, October 13th
6:00 pm: Opening reception followed by an activation and performance by artist Adee Roberson, who will present in the gallery channeling oceanic and cosmic sounds through synthesizer, percussion and voice.

6:30 pm: Artist Rashid Zakat will perform Revival!: part dance party, part live video art performance, Revival! is a celebration of the visual and sonic frequencies that are contained within and spill out of Black ecstatic experiences. Using two turntables and a mixer, Zakat live-edits an archive of personal and public films, found footage and animation to produce a spontaneous and thoughtful audio-visual narrative.

ASL interpretation and a Deaf performance will feature alongside the Revival! performance from artist Rashid Zakat.

Public art: Billboard on Shaw
A public art billboard by artist Adee Roberson will be on view at 180 Shaw Street throughout the run of the exhibition. 



This exhibition was developed through the Ways of Attuning curatorial study group facilitated by WaveForm Collective (Liz Ikiriko and Toleen Touq).

Thank you to our partners and funders

this bridge between starshine and clay is made possible through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Critical Distance gratefully acknowledges funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Image: Adee Roberson, Never Run Away (Black Harmony), 2023, Screenprint on paper. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid.

About the Curator(s)

Safia Siad

Safia Siad is a curator and DJ. She is currently a graduate student in the department of Art History at Concordia University and works with the Afrosonic Innovation Lab.  

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About the Artists

Rashid Zakat

Rashid Zakat is a professional filmmaker and video artist based in Philadelphia. He uses video, photography, design, audio and the web to encourage people to find as much beauty, joy and wonder as possible.

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Adee Roberson

Adee Roberson is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is a meditation on symbolism and texture. Synthesizing performance and installation, her work melds vibration and technicolor visions through paintings, video, and melodic compositions.

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Renee Gladman

Renee Gladman is a writer and artist preoccupied with crossings, thresholds, and geographies as they play out at the intersections of poetry, prose, drawing and architecture.

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