Ella Cooper, V-Formation. Video still.
Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood is the AGO’s much-acclaimed response to Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations of 2017. Instead of joining in the celebration, the exhibition engages in a more critical conversation about whose history is told where and when, whose voices have been marginalized or left out completely, and what myths about Canadian identity continue to reverberate in our culture.
Co-curated by Andrew Hunter, Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, and artist Anique Jordan, the exhibition was born out of conversations with Canadian artists, over 50 of whom are represented in Every. Now. Then. Naturally, those conversations are now bursting out of the AGO walls. They’re landing in two Toronto communities in a project called The Public, organized by Jordan.
The Public involves two events that use performance, video installation and discussion to explore themes of land and body at two community sites: Black Creek Community Farm and the newest and only artist- run centre in Scarborough, Y+ contemporary.
The first edition of The Public took place last weekend as part of Urban Agriculture Week at Black Creek Community Farm, an eight-acre property in the Jane and Finch community that includes farmland, a heritage farmhouse and barn. The Public – Land and Body (West) involved several artists whose work can be found in Every. Now. Then.—Yu Gu, Lisa Myers, and Lisa Hirmer—paired with local artists Ella Cooper and Joshua Vettivelu.
But don’t worry – there’s still one event left you can attend! The Public – Land and Body (East) takes place this Saturday, September 23 from 5 – 8 pm at Y+ contemporary, an artist-run studio and storefront gallery space in Scarborough. Every. Now. Then. artists Abedar Kamgari and Esmaa Mohamoud will be joined by Jo SiMalaya Alcampo, Paul Ohonsi, and Qendrim Hoti.
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