May 4 - June 30, 2023
About the Exhibition
This exhibition refers to forms of representation and interpretation and how Latinx bodies are rendered as other by a Eurocentric gaze. By challenging fetishized and exoticized codifications of race and ethnicity, the artists Nahúm Flores, Helena Martin Franco, Juan de Dios Mora, Diana Rosa, and Francisco González Rosas propose alternative ways of understanding mestizaje. They radicalize conventional paradigms of how certain identities are perceived and constructed to fulfill colonial structures that perpetuate systems of invisibility and omission. The artists in the exhibition portray cultural, social, and personal manifestations of identity and they mark the intricacies and nuances built after centuries of colonialism and decades of imperialism.
Identity preoccupations are often explored by artists from the diaspora, yet the richness of its multiplicity does not rely on nationalist histories or romanticized visions of culture. The artists in Overcoming Otherness critique the exclusionary production of identity politics. They offer sites of liberation and disrupt the notion of a harmonious mixing of cultures and ethnicities, often attached to ideas of mestizaje. The idealization of mestizaje renders Indigenous identity as static, archaic, and of the past. Feminist sociologist and activist Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, counterposes with the Aymara concept of ch’ixi – a parallel coexistence of difference – to ideas of multiculturalism and hybridity which are seen as a perpetuation of coloniality. This parallel coexistence does not erase but complement the very nature of multiplicity. The exhibition insists on a different understanding of identity and as such it problematizes notions of mestizaje and instead presents a nuanced and layered concept of what and how Latinx bodies shape and define their own representation in Canada.
Curated by Tamara Toledo.
Thursday, May 4, 7-9pm
Performance: Confessions of Elephant Woman with Her Hands in the Air by Helena Martin Franco
Thursday, May 4, 8pm
Curator Tour with Tamara Toledo:
Saturday, June 3, 3-4pm
Artist Talk with Francisco González Rosas:
Thursday, June 15, 7-8pm
Screenprinting Workshop with Azul Baez
Saturday, June 17 and 24, 12-2pm
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
JUAN DE DIOS MORA was born in Yahualica, Mexico. In 1998, his family immigrated to the United States. In 2009, he received a BFA in Painting and in 2011 an MFA in Printmaking. He acquired both degrees from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). He currently works in the art department at UTSA as an Assistant Professor of Art. Mora concentrates in the printmaking technique of relief to create narratives of Mexican American experiences. His experiences living along the border provide an awaking of social and political concepts that heavily influence his artistic, aesthetic, and conceptual ideas. Mora’s work has been exhibited at the McNay Art Museum, TX; National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL; El Paso Museum of Art, TX; Museo de Arte de Ciudad Jua?rez, Mexico; and Kyoto Municipal Museum, Japan. Institutions that have acquired his work include, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, OR; McNay Museum, San Antonio, TX; University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, HI; National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL; The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC.
NAHÚM FLORES was born in Danli?, Honduras and immigrated to Canada at the age of seventeen, after living in Mexico and the United States. He holds a BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCAD University and is currently an MFA student at OCADU. He has been awarded grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. The syncretism of Honduran traditions informed by social and environmental issues influence his mixed media artworks. His painting and drawing installations have been widely exhibited in North America, Europe, and Latin America. He is co-founder and active member of Z’otz* Collective.
FRANCISCO GONZÁLEZ-ROSAS is a performance and new media artist born in Chile, and currently is based in Tiohtia?:ke/Montre?al. Their creative research practice revolves around the constant mediation of reality in contemporary life, using performance as a generative device for inquiry rather than an end. Gonza?lez- Rosas holds an MFA in Intermedia from Concordia University (Montre?al, Canada) and a BA in Acting from Finis Terrae University (Santiago, Chile). Solo exhibitions include Techniques of the Narcissist in 2019 at Elektra Gallery (Montreal) and the museum of the copy/pasted identities in 2022 at McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology (Toronto).
HELENA MARTIN FRANCO was born in Cartagena, Colombia and is based in Montreal since 1998. She studied in Colombia and received an MFA from the National University of Colombia and a master’s degree in visual and media arts from Université du Québec à Montréal. Her interdisciplinary practice explores the blending of different artistic processes and the hybridization between traditional and new technologies. Martin Franco is a founding artist of the feminist collectives La Redhada (network of women artists from the Colombian Caribbean), CAVCA (Community of Visual Artists of Cartagena and Bolívar), Las meninas emputás! (anti-colonial feminist collective), and the contemporary art dissemination collective L'Araignée in Montreal. She is recipient of the 2018 Powerhouse Prize and has exhibited her work extensively throughout Canada and Colombia as well as in Argentina, Mexico, France, Iran, Spain, among many other countries.
Born and raised in Cuba DIANA ROSA is currently based in Brampton, Ontario. She received her bachelor’s in art history at Oriente University in Santiago de Cuba and worked as a curator prior to immigrating to Canada. She paints colourful storytelling autobiographical landscapes that explore questions of identity, love, and the relationships between the environment and people. Rosa connects realism to fantasy and her work has been exhibited at various art fairs and galleries in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris, among other cities across North America.
Gallery Hours (during exhibition):
Thursday - Friday noon-6:00PM
Sat 11 AM-5 PM
100-39 Queens Quay East, Toronto