Emerge: A Public Art Walkdown
In collaboration with OCAD University, five new-media pieces are launching in Toronto for the month of October. These coalesce around the theme of "emerging" - both in terms of emerging new artists and also in recognition of the emerging back into public spaces after prolonged pandemic isolation.
Emerge: A Public Art Walkdown is a sequel to The Next Fourteen Days from August 2020, which provided grants for 14 projects created by OCAD U senior students, recent alumni and faculty and spoke to a time of physical distancing and self-isolation. With the reopening of public spaces. Emerge presents a post-lockdown world as seen through the eyes of some of our most compelling new artists.
"Looking Up" (pictured above) is a reflection on 2020. Integrated into everyday surroundings, "hidden in plain sight," this installation is something one stumbles upon on their daily commute, which animates the environment and makes one pause for a moment.
My inspiration comes from the hand. We talk a lot about washing our hands, the hands of our frontline heroes, the hands that we are lucky to hold dearly, or the ones we might never hold again.
This installation is about human connection in the time of physical distancing. It explores the act of physical touch in the context where a touch can be dangerous and forbidden. We all might be six feet apart, but we are still together.
Location: OCAD U campus (51 McCaul St.)
Born in Kazakhstan, Anna Pogossyan moved to Canada at 16 to study and pursue a career in art and design. Having graduated from the Environmental Design program at OCAD U, Anna now designs spaces and experiences as an interior designer and multidisciplibary artist. Anna is interested in exploring collective and individual experiences, and a lot of her projects revolve around the topics of nostaligia, mortality, memory, and hope. Anna currently lives and works in Toronto.
Beach Beneath the Pavement
Beach Beneath the Pavement, is a binaural sonic walk that explores an imagined Toronto through the lens of 5 QTBIPOC individuals - project creators, Kasra Goodarznezhad, Tahreem Alvi, and Taymah Armatrading and invited community artists Marie Sotto and Siobhan Johnson. Each artist was invited to share a story, building a network of voices that have been systemically obfuscated within the city's landscape. Each story shares a moment that was meant to happen - connected and or inspired by a phsyical location within the GTA. We invite the viewer into this journey through a self-guided audio walk. Beach Beneath the Pavement stands as a way of activating physical community by enabling us to connect as individuals through storytelling despite the distance cause by the pandemic. Through this, a nuanced reflection of the QTBIPOC experience is etched into the spaces we occupy, emulating the city that we want to see.
Locations: - East York’s Ravine (89 Coxwell Blvd) - Unison Gender Clinic (Oakwood and Vaughan) - Christie Pits Park - The Village (Wellesley and Church Streets)
Displaced is a Toronto-based, QTBIPOC collective made up of Taymah Armatrading, Tahreem Alvi, and Kasra Goodarznezhad. As we are situated within different marginalized identities, coming together through this collective enables us to form a nuanced understanding of the diasporic experience that we further explore through our work. This shifts the projects we create past our subjective realities, allowing room for a multiplicity of voices to be heard. Displaced also represents a network of safety and support that is crucial in spaces that would otherwise be extremely vulnerable for each of us independently.
Real Indian was created in response to the 2019 amendments made to the Indian Act which sought to remove sex-based inequalities that disadvantaged Indigenous women. These revisions granted me and my sister, along with thousands of other Canadians, their certificate of Indians status and at age twenty I become a "real Indian" in the eyes of the government. The text is made using thermal sensitive pigments that invite the viewer to touch the words and watch them disappear beneath their hands. Real Indian reflects upon the voices and identities that have been erased throughout history due to the Indian Act and the historic giving and taking of status by the Canadian government.
Location: George Chuvalo Community Centre (50 Sousa Mendes St.)
Kora Empey is an emerging photographer and visual artist based in Calgary and Toronto. Before pursuing her BFA in Photography at OCAD U, Kora received a BBA in Marketing which continues to influence how she positions her work within the world. Her work seeks to explore issues surrounding identity and what it means to be human in our ever growing digital world. To view more of her work visit, www.koraempey.com.
LinJuan Dai & Kaleman A. Silva
Ephemeral Habitat explores a sense of balance within the landscape discipline and structure discipline of architecture and is surprised by how each element can influence the other. This installation comprises a rectangular modular structure that sets to be the framework for the plant composition. As the plants are being given away to the audience throughout the day, the rectangular form reveals itself in different conditions, responding to the fourth-dimensional aspect of time in architecture.
Location: Rendezview Art Park (229 Richmond St. W)
Kaleman and Lin both have degrees in Environmental Design. They are interested in how architecture and landscape influence each other. They seek to be surprised while exploring balances between the two disciplines. Kaleman is an evocative designer interested in the adaptability and resilience of architecture. He seeks what is beyond convention and is focused on conjuring creative solutions to structural problems and fabrication. Lin is interested in exploring the pace of nature in relation to architecture. She is working on grassroots public spaces activations inch-by-inch in collaboration with local organizations, and always tries to bring optimism in human conditions.
Nick Alexander & Priya Bandodkar
The courtyard of Mackenzie House in downtown Toronto will seem to be deconstructed, with familiar features repurposed into a wheeling starscape around the participants. Colonial-era stonework will serve as a projection surface for a digitally-reconstructed hyperreal kinetic rendition of the space, surrounding the guests. Attendees are invited to contemplate the nature of public space, and confront the contradictions inherent in the way history is preserved, by inhabiting a warped and abstracted reimagining of the courtyard.
Location: 82 Bond St.
Dates: October 20-22 and October 27-29
Priya Bandodkar is an award-winning designer, animation specialist and VR artist from India. Priya’s skillset extends between a multitude of disciplines from visual and experience design, animation and motion graphics to creative coding, extended reality, and physical computing. With an interest in creating work that addresses the needs of an increasingly complicated digital world, Priya moved to Canada to pursue a Master of Design in Digital Futures at OCAD University and successfully graduated in April 2021.
Nick is a multidisciplinary interaction designer specializing in immersive experiences. Their practice explores the relationship between performer, player, and space, and asks participants to play in altered realities.