in the living room

Teaneck (2012) by Jorian Charlton

Teaneck (2012) by Jorian Charlton

curatorial statement

How do bodies become racialized, gendered, sexualized and made hyper- or invisible? What are the legacies and consequences of these processes? How do our public institutions, cultural discourses and individual practices sustain, reproduce and legitimize them? How might we reclaim, subvert or otherwise undermine the western male gaze that has traditionally objectified and assigned meaning to raced, gendered and sexed bodies? 

These are broad questions that artists have engaged with throughout their multidisciplinary practices for decades, and whose answers are complex, nuanced and often contradictory. In particular, black Canadian artists have engaged with these themes to explore the ways in which black bodies have been historically erased, misrepresented and demeaned in visual culture. Through their exceptionally layered and aesthetically captivating practices, black Canadian artists have and continue to expand the dialogues (re)imagining black histories, realities and futures. 

Staged in the living room tableau of Mickalene Thomas’ Femmes Noires exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, “In the Living Room” centres the voices of six Toronto-based artists speaking to pertinent issues within the larger theme of black representation. The living room space represents an intimate gathering where family, friends and guests find refuge in each other’s company and engage in meaningful dialogue. Through in-depth conversations between artists of various social locations and creative praxes, this series of talks aims to present and critically engage with the multiplicity of black subjectivities represented through visual arts.

In the Living Room is a series of three conversations programmed and moderated by artist Ojo Agi and held in the Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires exhibition on the AGO’s Fifth floor Contemporary Tower.

In the Living Room: The Dis/Appearing Black Body
with Jorian Charlton and Shantel Miller
2 pm Saturday January 19, 2019

In the Living Room: The Ethics of Black Aesthetics
with Amber Williams-King and Oreka James
2 pm Saturday February 9, 2019

In the Living Room: Space, Race and Gender  
with Noah Brown and Adrienne Matheuszik
2 pm Saturday March 2, 2019

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