Artists-in-Residence - EMILIA–AMALIA

May 1 – August 4, 2017


Affidamento, or “entrustment,” is one of the most important, and most challenging, practices of 1970s Italian feminism. It asks women to not only acknowledge the disparities between them—in age, experience, and competencies—but to make these differences a generative force in their relationships, allowing them to support, learn from, and urge one another on.

Over the course of their three-month residency at the AGO, EMILIA–AMALIA explored the resonances of relationships of entrustment between artists, curators, and writers, and to experiment with modes of public engagement that activate the productive differences between feminists and to ask how we can want differently together.

The residency hosted a series of related activities, including the production of a set of chapbooks that have emerged from the group’s recent programming, “How to Ask a Question”; interventions into the AGO’s library; a free public screening; and guest residencies by emerging feminist artists Oreka James, Camille Rojas, and Shellie Zhang. This new chapter of the group’s activity investigated gestures of withdrawal, refusal, non-cooperation and abandonment as feminist strategies of resistance.

EMILIA-AMALIA’s 20 Questions for the AGO

Read all 20 questions

In the summer of 2017, the AGO invited artists in residence EMILIA–AMALIA to collaborate on a video project related to these newly installed permanent collection galleries of modern art, exploring issues of representation, collecting and exhibition-making. As a response, they formulated 20 questions for Kenneth Brummel, the AGO’s Assistant Curator of Modern Art.

Emilia Amalia 20 Questions


EMILIA–AMALIA is an exploratory working group based in Toronto that employs practices of citation, annotation, and autobiography as modes of activating feminist art, writing and research practices. The group is initiated by Cecilia Berkovic, Yaniya Lee, Annie MacDonell, Gabrielle Moser, Zinnia Naqvi, Leila Timmins, and cheyanne turions.

Through readings, screenings, discussions, and writing activities, the group investigates historical and intergenerational feminisms, as well as relationships of mentorship, collaboration, and indebtedness between artists, writers, thinkers, curators, and practitioners. In tracing these lines, the group aims to elucidate the histories of feminism that have been obscured and overlooked in the narratives of 1970s, or “second-wave” feminism, that we have inherited.

EMILIA–AMALIA critically examines how we fit in with these past iterations, and also, how we might update and extend them so that they can respond to contemporary questions. Motivated by a desire to think through these questions collaboratively. The group has been meeting monthly in Toronto, and each monthly meeting is structured around a text, a conversation, and a writing activity. EMILIA–AMALIA is an open group that invites all levels of engagement. We are all experts. No one is an expert. Expertise is not expected.

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