September 16 – December 9, 2023

it’s because of the shimmer, the verge, and the yet.

Works by Erika DeFreitas
Curated by Sandy Saad-Smith

it’s because of the shimmer, the verge, and the yet. is the largest solo exhibition of works by Erika DeFreitas to date. This homecoming show spans a timeline of almost two decades, and serves as an invitation for viewers to become intimately acquainted with DeFreitas’ artistic practice.

Through photography, collage, sculpture, and video, DeFreitas addresses historical and archival absences, centering those who have been marginalized, misrepresented, and erased. Drawing on both personal and cultural histories, she undertakes an ongoing dialogue with a community of historically overlooked women, ruminating on the margins of representability and reframing historic accounts to centre peripheral figures.

DeFreitas’ practice deeply reflects on the notion of loss, post-memory, legacy, and objecthood. She circumvents traditional modes of working, exploring alternate paths in her investigation into the qualities ofabsence and presence. Guided by intuition, her conceptual approach embraces the spiritual, occupying a space between life and death, past and present, revelation and obscurity.

it’s because of the shimmer, the verge, and the yet. offers a pathway to a new terrain of perspectives. Erika DeFreitas’ meditation on loss, death, and history, reckons with and reveals systems of visual and intellectual strategies filled with omissions. She offers a rich, poetic reimagining of an alternate text that attests to the complexity of life and invites us into a realm of transcendental possibilities and new what-ifs.

it’s because of the shimmer, the verge, and the yet will expand into a satellite exhibition in the Instructional Centre Vitrines on the UTSC campus, opening October 18, 2023. The Yet highlights the works of three emerging Scarborough artists mentored by Erika DeFreitas during the summer of 2023. Destinie Adélakun, Alicia Reid, and Myuri Srikugan have produced new works that will be shown as part of this exhibition and mentorship program, generously supported by the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts.

About the Artist

Erika DeFreitas’s interdisciplinary practice includes performance, photography, video, installation, textiles, drawing and writing. Placing emphasis on gesture, process, the body, documentation and paranormal phenomena, DeFreitas mines concepts of loss, post-memory, legacy and objecthood. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including: Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery; Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts, Winnipeg; Gallery TPW, Toronto; Project Row Houses and the Museum of African American Culture, Houston; Fort Worth Contemporary Arts; and Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita. DeFreitas holds a Master of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto.