April 20 – May 20, 2017

for there are many stories here

Works by Andrea Chung, Shelley Niro, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson & Alize Zorlutuna
Curated by Jaclyn Quaresma

Additional materials by and about Doris McCarthy, Ana Mendieta, Nicholas Poussin, Elizabeth Simcoe and a reproduction of the prehistoric La Cueva de El Castillo

for there are many stories here engages in a conversation that spans some 40,800 years between contemporary, historic, and prehistoric artists and writers. Central to the conversation is the consideration of agential acts performed by Andrea Chung, Doris McCarthy, Ana Mendieta, Shelley Niro, Elizabeth Simcoe, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Alize Zorlutuna. The stories take the form of archive ephemera, books and diaries, soundscape and video, and pursue self-determination as a form of resistance and remembrance. This exhibition brings together works that address multiple iterations of ‘here’, from the specific location of the exhibition to the expanded notions of place and presence. This geographic exploration asks: how do the stories that are located in this place carry over time?

Images of the cave and the bluffs bracket the exhibition. They offer two distinct ways of thinking with the land and through the stories it holds. The cave, an early place of ritual, provides a model of care, preservation and protection. The cave nods to emergence, the origin of human consciousness, knowledge and truth as well as the safekeeping of tradition, whereas the bluffs present something altogether different. Bluffs, constant in their erosion, are continually releasing the past. As the grains and detritus of the rock wall leave its surface, they recalibrate amongst the waves, coming together to make a new landmass. This formation can take tens and hundreds of years but eventually the bits of old come together to make something new. Within this framework, for there are many stories here considers small acts of resistance and the stories that carry through them.

This exhibition is child-friendly. Children’s books in the Book Nook provided by Groundwood Books.

Chance the trek and download Alize Zorlutuna's MAP (PDF, 17 MB) and SOUND WALK (MP3, 37 MB) to accompany you on your own search for Ana Mendieta's El Laberinto de Venus in the Scarborough bluffs.

This exhibition is produced as part of the requirements for the MVS degree in Curatorial Studies at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto.

About the Artists

Andrea Chung is a Caribbean-American artist who is based in San Diego, California. Her multi-media practice addresses the colonial impacts of tourism on local cultures and they way tourists may conceive of locals as outside of their fantastic reality in paradisal spaces. Central to her practice are the histories of migration and labour in the Caribbean and the United States of America. In 2008, she received a Masters of Fine Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Andrea has exhibited her work extensively in the USA including at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego,CA (2017), New Image Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2016), an Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA (2016), and overseas. This will be the first exhibition of her work in Canada.

Shelley Niro is a member of the Turtle Clan, Bay of Quinte Mohawk from the Six Nations Reserve. Working in photography, painting, sculpture and film, Niro frequently utilizes parody and appropriation in her works to challenge stereotypical images of Aboriginal peoples, and women in particular. Often humorous and playful, her works address the challenges faced in contemporary Indigenous North American society. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art, Niro received her Master of Fine Art from the University of Western Ontario. Niro's work has been broadly exhibited in galleries across Canada and can be found in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, Canadian Museum of Civilization, and Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. Her award-winning films, including "Honey Moccasin" have been screened in festivals worldwide. Most recently, her video "The Shirt" was presented at the 2003 Venice Biennale. Shelley Niro lives in Brantford, Ontario.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and. Her work breaks open the intersections between politics,  story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity. Working for over a decade an independent scholar using Nishnaabeg intellectual practices, Leanne  has lectured and taught extensively at universities across Canada and has twenty years experience with Indigenous land based education. She holds a PhD from the University of Manitoba, is currently faculty at the Dechinta Centre for Research & Learning in Denendeh (NWT) and a Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the Faculty of Arts at Ryerson University. Leanne's books are regularly used in courses across Canada and the United States  including Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back. As a writer, Leanne was named the inaugural RBC Charles Taylor Emerging writer by Thomas King. She has published extensive fiction and poetry in both book and magazine form. Her second book of short stories and poetry, This Accident of Being Lost is a follow up to the acclaimed Islands of Decolonial Love and will be published by the House of Anansi Press in Spring 2017. Leanne is also a musician combining poetry, storytelling, song writing and performance in collaboration with musicians to create unique spoken songs and soundscapes. Leanne's second record f(l)light produced by Jonas Bonnetta (Evening Hymns), was released in the fall of 2016 on RPM Records. Leanne is Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg and a member of Alderville First Nation.

Alize Zorlutuna is an interdisciplinary artist who works with installation, video, performance, and material culture, to investigate themes concerning identity, queer sexuality, settler colonial relationships to land, culture and history, as well as labour, intimacy, and technology. Her work aims to activate interstices where seemingly incommensurate elements intersect. Drawing on archival as well as practice-based research, the body and its sensorial capacities are central to her work. Alize has her MFA from Simon Fraser University and is currently an educator at OCAD U, in Toronto.

About the Curator

Jaclyn Quaresma is an artist, curator and Master of Visual Studies: Curatorial candidate at Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design, University of Toronto. Her work in both fields explores the tension between the survival of the environment as we know it and our own survival in the mediated environments we create for ourselves. Her work has been exhibited at the Peter MacKendrick Gallery, 47, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Blackwood Gallery, and Justina M. Barnicke Gallery. Jaclyn was once the co-director of the exhibition space 47 in Parkdale, Toronto.