Oct. 27 - Dec. 15 2021
Curious Criticism Symposium
How does criticism operate today? Which of its practices are suited to the present? Which are not? Who speaks, for whom, about what, and how? Can the discipline challenge categorical, colonial, and canonical thinking toward a more compelling, generous, and polyvocal discursive landscape in the arts? If so, how? The Curious Criticism programming series brings together writers, critics, artists, curators, and other thinkers to take up these questions in relation to their manifold practices of reflecting on contemporary art and culture. With a focus on form, Curious Criticism plays on “curious” as a method (engaged, eager, inclined to plunge) as well as a descriptor for certain creative-critical leanings (unorthodox, strange, queer). This series seeks to facilitate deep, meaningful engagement with the objects, images, texts, and experiences that we encounter in art—considering all the while what it means to do so in the midst of global crisis.
Join us for talks, conversations, workshops, and round tables featuring Harry Dodge; Zoe Todd, TJ Shin, Miriam Jordan-Haladyn; Jas M. Morgan, Tairone Bastien; Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, David Garneau; Nehal El-Hadi; Fan Wu, Benjamin de Boer, Lucy Wowk; Jeanne Randolph; Alex MF Quicho; Azza El Siddique, Patrick Cruz, Tazeen Qayyum, Golboo Amani, Léuli Eshrāghi; Sean Lee, and Amanda Cachia.
See below for detailed event information.
This symposium is part of C Magazine’s ongoing program, Experiments in Criticism.
All events are FREE and held on Zoom. We will be using Zoom’s auto-transcription feature for all programs. Please contact email@example.com with any additional accessibility requests.
Curious Criticism Events
My Meteorite: An Artist’s Inter-Genre Writing Methodology
October 27, 2021
Video recording now available
Los Angeles-based visual artist Harry Dodge gives a talk on his writing methodology. He discusses his writing practice through the approach he took with My Meteorite: Or, Without the Random There Can Be No New Thing (Penguin, 2020), a New York Times Book Review editors’ choice and one of LitHub’s most anticipated books of 2020. The form of My Meteorite weaves artistic subjectivity with theory, life, literature, history, apocalyptic ideation, and eclectic deep-dives. He also explores the relation between his writing and visual art practices within the larger context of critical and creative writing in the art world.
The talk will run for approximately 60 minutes, followed by 15 mins for Q&A.
Harry Dodge (he/him) is a writer and visual artist. His recent book of literary non-fiction, My Meteorite: or, Without the Random There Can Be No New Thing, which has been described as “brilliant,” “exhilarating,” “transcendent,” “breathtaking,” and a “high-pressure, poetic approach to narrative and language,” was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and one of LitHub’s most anticipated books of 2020. Dodge’s sculpture, drawing, and video work have been exhibited at venues nationally and internationally. His solo and collaborative work is held in numerous institutions, such as the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Hammer Museum, LA; Museum of Contemporary Art, LA and his writing has appeared in publications including Art Forum, The Paris Review, and Harper’s. In 2017 Dodge was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. In the early 90s, Dodge was one of the founders of the now-legendary San Francisco community-based performance space, The Bearded Lady, which served as a touchstone for a pioneering, queer, DIY literary and arts scene. During that time Dodge also wrote, directed, and performed several critically-acclaimed, evening-length, monologue-based, multimedia performances, including Muddy Little River (1996) and From Where I’m Sitting (I Can Only Reach Your Ass) (1997). In the latter part of 90s, Dodge co-wrote, directed, edited and starred in (with Silas Howard) a narrative feature film, By Hook or By Crook, which premiered at Sundance in 2002 and went on to garner several awards including the audience favorite award at South-by-Southwest. Dodge, who is married to writer Maggie Nelson, has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 2001. He holds an MFA from Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College and teaches at California Institute of the Arts where he is currently serving as Program Director.
Expanding Criticism through Accessibility
Sean Lee & Amanda Cachia
November 3, 2021 at 7 PM ET
Video recording now available
In this conversation, Sean Lee and Amanda Cachia discuss ways that critical disability and accessibility practices enable new methods of approaching, understanding, and responding to art through writing and other textual practices. They consider the ways that a nuanced and complicated understanding of Mad, Deaf, and disabled artists and their work allow for new kinds of “access” to criticism more broadly—whether for those who are underrepresented or those for whom contemporary art and criticism does not seem particularly welcome or accessible. Together, they brainstorm ways of doing art criticism that give rise to this kind of world and work. This conversation pays particular attention to the poetics opened up by disability cultures, as well as formal strategies used not only by art writers but also institutions (galleries and museums, with their catalogues, didactic panels, way-finding, and so on).
The conversation will run for approximately 45 minutes, followed by 15 mins for Q&A.
This event will be live translated into American Sign Language and, as with all Curious Criticism events, include captions produced by Zoom’s auto-transcription feature.
Amanda Cachia (she/her) is a curator and critic from Sydney, Australia. She received her PhD in Art History, Theory & Criticism from the University of California San Diego in 2017. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary art; curatorial studies and activism; exhibition design and access; decolonizing the museum; and the politics of embodied disability language in visual culture. She is currently working on two book projects: a monograph based on her dissertation entitled Disability, Art, Agency: Participation and the Revision of the Senses solicited by Duke University Press, and the edited volume Curating Access: Disability Art Activism and Creative Accommodation that includes over 30 contributors from around the world and which is under contract with Routledge to be released in December 2022,. Cachia currently teaches art history, visual culture, and curatorial studies at Otis College of Art and Design, California Institute of the Arts, California State University Long Beach, and California State University San Marcos. She serves as the Field Editor for caa.reviews, West Coast Exhibitions (2020-2023).
Sean Lee (he/him or they/them) is an artist and curator exploring the assertion of disability art as the last avant-garde. His methodology explores crip curatorial practices as a means to resist traditional aesthetic idealities. Orienting towards a “crip horizon,” Lee’s practice explores the transformative possibilities of accessibility as an embodied politic, and disability community-building as a way to desire the ways disability can disrupt. They hold a B.A. in Arts Management and Studio from the University of Toronto, Scarborough and is currently the Director of Programming at Tangled Art + Disability. Previous to this role, they were Tangled’s inaugural Curator in Residence (2016) and Tangled’s Gallery Manager (2017). Lee has been integral to countless exhibitions and public engagements throughout his tenure at Tangled Art + Disability. Additionally, Lee is an independent lecturer, speaker, and moderator, adding his insights and perspectives to conversations surrounding Disability Arts across Canada, the United States, and internationally. He currently sits on the board of CARFAC Ontario, Creative Users Projects, and is a member of the Ontario Art Council’s Deaf and Disability Advisory Group and Toronto Art Council’s Visual Arts / Media Arts Committee.
Criticism and Aesthetic Gatekeeping
Tairone Bastien & Jas M. Morgan
November 10, 2021 at 6 PM ET
Video recording now available
In this conversation, Tairone Bastien and Jas M. Morgan discuss the role criticism plays in aesthetic gatekeeping. Particularly, they consider how practices of art criticism determine not only what constitutes “good” or “bad” art, but also what constitutes contemporary art at all. In doing so, they make space for a diversity of ideas, forms, tones, visual languages, and styles of writing. Which works receive attention through art criticism and which continue to go under-recognized or under-covered? What exactly constitutes “good art” versus “bad art,” “ugly art,” “kitsch art,” “outsider art,” and how does criticism play into this? What impacts do equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives have on aesthetic gatekeeping? What are some of the ways that writers and critics can push against and expand out beyond limiting conceptions of what constitutes art and aesthetics? And how can galleries, museums, journals, magazines, subscribers, and granting bodies support such an expansive conception? This conversation focuses primarily on contemporary Indigenous art, while also looking to the broader contexts of contemporary art practices on the stolen, colonized lands of so-called Canada. Both Bastien and Morgan will consider their own practices and experiences as part of the conversation.
The conversation will run for approximately 45 minutes, followed by 15 mins for Q&A.
Jas M. Morgan is a Toronto-based SSHRC doctoral scholarship recipient, a McGill University Art History Ph.D. candidate, and an Assistant Professor in Ryerson University’s Department of English. They previously held the position of Editor-at-Large for Canadian Art. Morgan’s first book nîtisânak (Metonymy Press, 2018) won the prestigious 2019 Dayne Ogilive Prize, a 2019 Quebec Writer’s Federation first book prize, and has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and an Indigenous Voices Literary Award.
Tairone Bastien (he/him) is an independent curator based in Toronto and an Assistant Professor in the Criticism and Curatorial Practice at Ontario College of Art and Design University. Bastien co-curated the inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art in 2019 and is collaborating on the second edition in 2022. From 2011-2016, he established the arts program at Alserkal Avenue and the Alserkal Residency in Dubai for artists, curators, and researchers in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. From 2005-2010, he was a curator for Performa in NYC, co-organizing the first three editions of the ground-breaking biennial of live performance art. Bastien holds a Master of Arts from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, New York, and a Bachelors in Art History and Minor in Queer Studies from the University of British Columbia.
Who Speaks, For Whom, and How?
Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò & David Garneau
Nov 17, 2021 at 6 PM ET
Video recording now available
In this conversation, Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò and David Garneau discuss the problem of publicly speaking for others and speaking on given topics, particularly when it comes to publishing criticism of a given work of art or cultural text. Grounding the conversation in their respective practices —Táíwò as a musician, writer, and philosopher, and Garneau as an artist, critic, and curator—the two think through the relationships between art criticism, philosophy, and positioning. Drawing from frameworks such as standpoint epistemology and Black, Indigenous, and decolonial thinking, they consider such questions as: who speaks, for whom, on what, and how? Who can or should write about art by Black or Indigenous artists? Does consent play a role in criticism—in the sense of a writer or critic needing consent, or permission, to write about a given work—and why or why not? What forms might writers take up when speaking for or about others with whom they may or may not have a relation? The two brainstorm strategies for critics when it comes to approaching a given work and looking at, reflecting on, and producing responses to artworks via writing, oral critique, and other practices.
The conversation will run for approximately 30-45 minutes, followed by 45 mins for Q&A.
Olúfemi O. Táíwò (he/him) is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. His research and teaching focuses on social/political philosophy and ethics, with an emphasis on figures and themes out of anti-colonial and anti-capitalist intellectual and activist histories, including the Black radical tradition. His forthcoming book Reconsidering Reparations (November 2021, Oxford University Press) considers linkages between climate justice and reparations.
David Garneau (he/him) (Métis) is Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Regina. His practice includes painting, curation, and critical art writing. He is interested in creative expressions of contemporary Indigenous identities. Garneau recently curated Kahwatsiretátie: The Contemporary Native Art Biennial (Montreal, 2020) with assistance from Faye Mullen and rudi aker; co-curated Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound with Kathleen Ash Milby at the National Museum of the American Indian (New York City, 2017); co-curated With Secrecy and Despatch with Tess Allas for the Campbelltown Art Centre (Sydney, 2016); and co-curated Moving Forward, Never Forgetting with Michelle LaVallee at the Mackenzie Art Gallery (Regina, 2015). Recent essays include: “From Indian to Indigenous: Temporary Pavilion to Sovereign Display Territories” in the book In Search of Expo 67 (2020) and “Electric Beads: On Indigenous Digital Formalism” in the Visual Anthropology Review (2018). Garneau has given keynote talks in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and throughout Canada on issues such as misappropriation, public art, museum display, and contemporary Indigenous art. His paintings are in numerous public and private collections.
Cultivating Narrative Complexity in Art and Cultural Criticism
November 20, 2021 at 2 PM ET
Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to request a spot.
In this workshop, Nehal El-Hadi leads participants to explore increasing narrative complexity in their art and cultural criticism. Here, narrative complexity refers to the intentional and deliberate inclusion of the environments, histories, and nuances that are at play when considering an object, issue, or event, in order to generate intricate and context-driven cultural criticism. Drawing from her experience as a journalist in art and science, a researcher, and an editor, El-Hadi facilitates discussion and guides participants in hands-on exercises. With the goal of refining each individual’s approach, the workshop moves through the process of finding, developing, and integrating important and perhaps unexpected connections in critical writing.
Pre-registration is required. The workshop runs for 2 hours with breaks and is capped at 15 participants, seven of which are reserved for self-identifying BIPOC participants. Please email email@example.com to request a spot, and specify if you’re a BIPOC participant.
Nehal El-Hadi (she/her) is a writer, researcher, and editor whose work explores the intersections of and interactions between the body, place, and technology. A science and environmental journalist by trade, she completed a PhD in Planning at the University of Toronto, where she studied the relationships between virtual and material public urban spaces. El-Hadi is currently based in Toronto, where she is the Science + Technology Editor at The Conversation Canada, an academic news site, and Editor-in-Chief of Studio, a magazine dedicated to contemporary Canadian craft and design.
Originary Scenes of Ficto-Criticism: Then to Now
November 24, 2021 at 6 PM ET
Video recording now available
Jeanne Randolph gives an embodied history of ficto-criticism—a term she coined in 1983 to describe a form of art criticism she practiced while living as part of the arts community in Toronto’s Queen and Spadina neighborhood. This method emerged as a way for Randolph to navigate the enmeshed personal-public-professional lines in this 1980s contemporary art scene, often writing about artists who were friends, lovers, and neighbours. Randolph sees fictionalization, commingled with storytelling and theory (including psychoanalytic theory), as a form of creativity and strategy for art writing. To be clear, there was nothing “authentic” about the autobiographical as it came to bear on her criticism: rather, autobiographical anecdotes were told in a parafictional way, to prompt viewers and readers to question whether or not that thing actually happened. Her performance lecture looks to the history and present-day stakes of ficto-criticism as a practice that playfully engages artworks and the communities that surround them while—she hopes—evading scholarly apprehensions and academic ways of accounting for art through “a highly motivated rhetorical gambit.”
The performance lecture will run for approximately 45 minutes, followed by 15 mins of Q&A.
Dr. Jeanne Randolph is a psychoanalyst, cultural critic, writer, and performance artist. One of Canada’s foremost cultural theorists, she is the author of the influential book Psychoanalysis & Synchronized Swimming (1991) as well as Symbolization and Its Discontents (1997), Why Stoics Box (2003), Ethics of Luxury (2007), Shopping Cart Pantheism (2015) and My Claustrophobic Happiness (2020). Randolph’s most recent exhibition, Prairie Modernist Noir: The Disappearance of the Manitoba Telephone Booth, happened in May 2020 at Paul Petro Contemporary Art in conjunction with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. She is also known for her curation and as an engaging lecturer, performance artist, and musician. Randolph has spoken on topics ranging from the aesthetics of Barbie to the philosophy of Wittgenstein in universities and galleries across Canada, England, Australia, and Spain. Parking Lot Pandemic (2021) is Randolph’s second exhibition at Paul Petro Contemporary Art, where she has also given readings and launched her last two books.
On More- and Other-Than-Human Material Practices
Miriam Jordan-Haladyn, Zoe Todd, and TJ Shin
December 1 at 6 PM ET
Video recording now available
In this conversation, Miriam Jordan-Haladyn, Zoe Todd, and TJ Shin discuss their experiences working as writers, artists, and researchers with more-than-human and other-than-human materials and beings—including bacteria, fungi, compost, stones, and fish. How do these multi-species practices, collaborations, and relationships energize how we conceive of the connection between looking at and responding to art, and open up new ways of imagining the forms that art writing can take? How do these relations highlight the embodied reality and placed-ness of a critic on a given land, and with a given body, mind, gut? Moving between practices that span a range of natural materials, lands, and waters, Jordan-Haladyn, Todd, and Shin share their experiences as a way of dialogically cultivating formal strategies for art critics today. As part of this, they reflect on how their work deepens shared understandings of the relationships between contemporary art and ecologies.
The panel will run for approximately 60-75 minutes, followed by 15 mins for Q&A.
TJ Shin (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist working at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and speciesism. Inspired by decentralized ecologies and queer sociality, they create living installations to decolonize the neoliberal status of the “Human” and imagine an ever-expanding self that exists beyond the boundaries of one’s skin. Previous collaborators include microbiologists, anthropologists, chefs, symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria (SCOBY), fungal spores, fermented proteins, protozoa, indigenous mold microorganisms, and other organic membranes. Shin is a 2020 New York Community Trust Van Lier Fellow and 2020 Visiting Artist Fellow at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn. They have exhibited internationally at Doosan Gallery, Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery, Cuchifritos Gallery, AC Institute, Abrons Arts Center, all in New York City, NY; Knockdown Center, Queens, NY; and Cody Dock, London, UK, among others. Shin was an artist-in-residence at Recess, Brooklyn; Wave Hill, the Bronx; Artist Alliance Inc., New York City; Coalesce Artist Residency at University at Buffalo, New York City; and Col(LAB) Visiting Artist at Princeton University, New Jersey.
Miriam Jordan-Haladyn (she/her) is a First Nations writer, artist, and scholar. She the author of Groundwork for a Haudenosaunee Philosophy (2020) and Dialogic Materialism: Bakhtin, Embodiment and Moving Image Art (2014), as well as numerous writings on contemporary art and Indigenous cultural history. With Julian Haladyn, she curated Ways of Being: Yhonnie Scarce and Michael Belmore (2019-2020) and The Films and Videos of Jamelie Hassan (2010).
Zoe Todd (she/they)(Métis) is an expert in Indigenous perspectives on freshwater fish conservation in western Canada (specifically, Alberta). Their fish philosophy work brings together Indigenous science, art, social studies, stories, and legal thinking about fish as more-than-human kin. Their current projects examine how Indigenous governance shapes and refracts western fish conservation paradigms. They are the co-founder of the Institute for Freshwater Fish Futures (2018), which is an international collective of scientists, artists, writers, landscape architects, architects, environmentalists, journalists, and community leaders dedicated to honouring reciprocal responsibilities to freshwater fish in watersheds locally and globally
I Against I: Creative Nonfiction and Porous Criticism
Alex MF Quicho
December 4, 2021 at 2 PM ET
What is the function of the first-person voice in criticism today, when “the individual” is so frequently mobilised as a late-liberal construct—with its impermeable boundaries, prioritised self-interest, and exclusion through difference? At the same time, social experience is shaped by networked fragmentation, migratory dispersal, and forms of self-representation that twist down a hall of algorithmically-determined funhouse mirrors, altering our sense of the “self” and its stability. How can the “I” appear against all odds—when it is shattered, locked up, deracinated, denied, spectral, or multiplied — and what formal strategies can be adopted to surface a deviant “I” that, in turn, resists a general audience expectation for universalism and identification? In this workshop, Alex MF Quicho leads participants in exploring strategies for both cohering and dispersing the “I” in criticism. To do so, Quicho draws from Cathy Park Hong’s fragmentary “docu-poetics,” Kim-Anh Schreiber’s paranormal ficto-criticism, and Johanna Hedva’s biomedical theory. Through conversations and hands-on exercises, participants in this workshop will reconsider the scale of “the self” as an observing and observable agent: considering cellular, microbial, satellite, swarm, and informational perspectives as ways to challenge the precondition of having a body to narrate from.
The workshop runs 2 hours with breaks and is capped at 15 participants, seven of which are reserved for self-identifying BIPOC participants.
Alex Quicho (she/her or they/them) is a writer whose work has appeared in The New Inquiry, The White Review, Art Review, Real Life, C Magazine, and others. Small Gods (2021), her book on drones in contemporary art, is published by Zero Books and supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. She holds an MA in Critical Writing from the Royal College of Art and is from Manila, Vancouver (unceded Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh territory), and London.
Perverse Conversions: A Workshop on Criticism, Translation, and Play
Fan Wu, Benjamin de Boer, and Lucy Wowk
December 11, 2021 at 2 PM ET
Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to request a spot.
In this workshop, Fan Wu, Benjamin de Boer, and Lucy Wowk invite participants into the space of perversion: a form of play that rejects predetermined structures of propriety and dogma. Participants bring a piece of criticism, autotheory, or theory that is of special importance to them. They will then be guided in exploring perverse conversions of the text in three successive stages. The first stage is guided by Wowk: in pairs of two, one workshop participant reads or otherwise interprets a piece of selected text (in any language) while the other transcribes their perception thereof. This process will be repeated in iterations, with the intention of breaking down the original text as mediated by the interpersonal, embodied interaction. The second stage is guided by Wu, and follows from his work in “prismatic” translation, in which an original text is filtered through the prism of another object, text, or theory. Translation is figured here as a perverse non-reproductive act, the creation of a monster in the confluence of two unlike worlds. Finally, de Boer asks participants to cast off language systems which deploy reason, causation, and temporality, thus facilitating a period of enjoyment, of ludic conviviality.
Pre-registration is required. The workshop runs 3 hours with breaks and is capped at 15 participants, seven of which are reserved for self-identifying BIPOC participants. Please email email@example.com to request a spot, and specify if you’re a BIPOC participant.
Fan Wu (he/they) is a roan-wet gyre in the ever-leaning-toward gravity of any given situation. He wonders if, according to Zhuangzi, the butterfly dreams of humankind, then what’s the mindscape of the social butterfly’s nightmares?
Benjamin de Boer (he/they) is a coefficient tacked to the functional trajectory of the collective question. A forever believer in the Beautiful Idea. Now taunts the asymptote shape of one’s own pulsion.
Lucy (she/they) works at the intersection of ethics and aesthetics and is interested in collaborating on projects that involve rigorous research, intentional design, and empathetic encounters.
On Working With and Writing in Non-English/Non-French Languages in Canada
Azza El Siddique (Arabic), Patrick Cruz (Tagalog), Tazeen Qayyum (Urdu), Golboo Amani (Farsi), moderated by Léuli Eshrāghi (Sāmoan/Persian/Cantonese)
December 15, 2021 at 6 PM ET
Video recording now available
In this roundtable, participants discuss their experiences working with and writing about and around art in languages other than English and French—the two official, colonial languages in so-called Canada. Grounded in the contexts of their respective practices, participants share what has compelled them and worked for them, as well as the challenges they’ve faced and the possibilities they see for poly-lingual conversations in contemporary art and writing. In reflecting on their experiences and comparing notes, they’ll consider issues of creation, translation, and interpretation not only in making art but in the reception of such work in criticism.
The roundtable will run for approximately 60-75 minutes, followed by 15 mins for Q&A.
Golboo Amani (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist best known for her performance and social practice works. Amani often relies on familiar social engagements as a point of entry into her practice. Critical of systemic social patterns, the artist views social situations as ready-made sites for aesthetic intervention. Amani’s work often addresses the conditions of knowledge production that render epistemic violence as invisible, insignificant, and benign. By expanding sites of pedagogy to include the streets, backyards, homes, and public transit, Amani intends to produce non-hierarchical pedagogical experiences that speak to collective agency and egalitarian epistemology. Amani’s work has been shown nationally and internationally in venues including The Toronto Biennial of Art, Creative Time Summit, Art Gallery of Ontario, articule, Xpace Cultural Centre, The Hemispheric Institute, Union Gallery, The Blackwood Gallery, Rats9, The Rhubarb Festival, FADO Emerging Artist Series, TRANSMUTED International Festival of Performance Art, 221A, and the LIVE Biennale of Performance Art.
Patrick Cruz (he/him) is an interdisciplinary Filipino-Canadian artist, organizer and educator born and raised in Quezon City, Philippines, currently living and working on the unceded land of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Cruz studied painting at the University of The Philippines Diliman, and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Guelph, and a certificate in Pochinko clowning. Cruz is a co-founding member of Kamias Special Projects (KSP), a curatorial collective that hosts the Kamias Triennial in his hometown of Quezon City.
Azza El Siddique (she/her, b. 1984, Khartoum, Sudan) works in sculpture and installation that trace the invisible and residual to understand entropy. These multi-faceted installations, composed of architectural structures and materials, use a catch-and-release system to address the manifestation of mortality, science, mythology, and spirituality in systems of power. They propose questions on how these systems use belief and identity to oppress, and how the oppressed navigate such systems. El Siddique received an MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2019 and a BFA from OCAD University in 2014. She was a participant at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2019. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, Canadian Art, and Border Crossings. Past exhibitions include Begin in smoke, End in Ashes, Helena Anrather, NYC; let me hear you sweat, Cooper Cole, Toronto; Material Tells, Oakville Galleries, Ontario; and RAW, The Gardiner Museum, Toronto.
Tazeen Qayyum (she/her, b. 1973) is a contemporary Pakistani/Canadian artist. She received her BFA in Visual Arts from the National College of Arts Lahore, Pakistan in 1996. Her work has received several critical reviews, in Canadian Art (2018), The New York Times (2009) and The Globe and Mail (2011 & 2015). She was nominated for the Jameel Prize (2013), the K.M. Hunter Award (2014), and received the Excellence in Art Award from the Canadian Community Arts Initiative in 2015. Qayyum has been awarded many grants throughout her career, including a UNESCO bursary (2000) to work and exhibit in Vienna. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and is part of several private and public collections including TD Canada Trust Permanent Collection, University of Vienna, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Doris McCarthy Gallery, National Gallery of Amman, and the National Art Gallery in Nepal, among others. Primarily trained as a miniature painter of the South Asian and Persian tradition, Qayyum continues to explore new materials and processes through mediums such as drawing, installation, sculpture, video, and performance. Drawing from complex issues of belonging and displacement within socio-political and religious contexts, her art is a way for her to navigate her identity and beliefs living in the diaspora. You can find her work at: tazeenqayyum.com and IG: @tazeenqayyum.
Léuli Eshrāghi (ia/they) is a Sāmoan/Persian/Cantonese interdisciplinary artist, writer, curator, and researcher working between Australia and Canada. They intervene in display territories to centre global Indigenous and Asian diasporic visuality, sensual and spoken languages, and ceremonial-political practices. Through performance, moving image, writing, and installation, ia/they engage with Indigenous futurities as haunted by ongoing militourist and missionary violences that once erased faʻafafine-faʻatane people from kinship and knowledge structures. As a curator, speaker, and educator, ia/they contribute to growing international critical practice across the Great Ocean and North America through residencies, exhibitions, publications, courses, and rights advocacy. Eshrāghi has realised commissions for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, Sharjah Biennial 14, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center among other group and solo presentations in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and United States. Eshrāghi has lectured at gatherings Creative Time, Hawaiʻi Contemporary Art Summit, Experimenter Curators’ Hub, March Meeting, Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange, Dhaka Art Summit, Pacific Arts Association, and Asia Pacific Triennial, as well as at universities in Europe, Asia and North America. Eshrāghi was inaugural Horizon/Indigenous Futures postdoctoral fellow at Concordia University. Their award-winning research includes a PhD in Curatorial Practice from Monash University, and a BA (Honours) in Francophone Literature from University of Melbourne.
C Magazine acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Council for the Arts’ Sector Innovation program. We also wish to thank the various organizations that participate in and support the Experiments in Criticism program.