The People United
September 22-November 26th, 2022
About the Exhibition
Rise up, there is still hope, the people united, will never be defeated. Fear and apathy no longer dominate, injustices are far too great, and the risks outweigh the opportunity to change systems of power. Artists all over the world voice their discontent and defy elitist colonial legacies with its destructive imperialist and capitalist footprints. Artists are not afraid to communicate their outrage against neoliberal policies that impoverish the most vulnerable, they actively denounce corporate machines that destroy our environment, and question systemic racism and sexism embedded in our daily lives. They do not shy away from denouncing Canadian corporations that extract resources, they condemn racial discrimination and violence, patriarchal systems of power, and gender inequalities. Today, people unite and embrace the strength found within numbers and within each other as a collective. People demand a different outcome, a different future, a transformed worldview, removed from colonial legacies that perpetuate a state of coloniality.
Through the work of the Beehive Collective, LASTESIS, Carlos Colín, Cristián Ordoñez, and Syrus Marcus Ware, the exhibition dares to reflect on the power of people that follow a path of transformation seeking a different outcome. The Beehive Collective marks the history of colonization and capitalism throughout Mesoamerica, celebrating social movements that resist neoliberalism and extractivist developmentalist projects, while highlighting inspiring stories of collective action during times of climate change. LASTESIS share their anti-patriarchal message through public interventions as their performances evolve into viral forms of protest worldwide. Carlos Colín offers the individual an opportunity to multiply, spread voices of solidarity, with the message that the power lies within us, within the collective. Cristián Ordoñez captures images of combative youth underlining their courage and resilience, as well as their organizational capacity
to change the course of Chilean history. And finally, Syrus Marcus Ware offers a space of hope as they imagine the collapse of capitalism and a not too far away future where social restructuring is based on care, acknowledgement, respect, and relations. The exhibition The People United renders struggle and hope. It offers moments in time of resurgence, contestation, and emancipation but most importantly acknowledges the power and hope that lies within people as well as a vision into what could be our future.
- Curated by Tamara Toledo
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
THE BEEHIVE COLLECTIVE is an all-volunteer, activist art collective, motivated and dedicated to “cross-pollinating the grassroots” by creating collaborative, anti-copyright images as educational and organizational tools. They work anonymously as word-to-image translators of complex global stories, gathered through conversations with affected communities. Since 2000, they have disseminated more than 150,000 posters throughout the Americas, entirely by grassroots, hand-to-hand distribution. Their graphics have tackled issues from globalization, trade, and resource extraction, to energy, biotechnology, and climate change. They strive to create holistic and accessible images that inspire critical reflection and strategic action.
COLECTIVO LASTESIS is an artistic, interdisciplinary, and feminist collective from Valparaíso, Chile, founded by Daffne Valdés Vargas, Paula Cometa Stange, Lea Cáceres Díaz, and Sibila Sotomayor Van Rysseghem. The collective is dedicated to spreading feminist theses and demands through performance and video performance, combining performance, sound, graphic and textile arts with history, philosophy, and social sciences. Their performances include Patriarchy and Capital is a Criminal Alliance (2018); The Rapist Is You (2020); RESISTANCE or the Vindication of a Collective Right (2021), The City of the Future alongside Delight Lab (2022) and the street performance A Rapist in Your Path, replicated in more than 50 countries worldwide. In addition, they have published several books, such as: Antología Feminista (Debate, 2021); Quemar el miedo (Planeta, 2021) translated into German (S. Fisher, 2021), Italian (Capovolte, 2022) and English (Verso, 2022); and About Wild Capitalism & its Patriarchal Performance in Our Lives (En Why Theatre? Golden Book, NTGent, 2020); among others. The collective has also participated in multiple festivals, workshops, lectures, fairs, conferences, and feminist gatherings in Chile, Chile, Argentina, the United States, Sweden, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, France, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. LASTESIS has received multiple awards including the Jaime Castillo Velasco Award from the Chilean Human Rights Commission (2020); the Design of the Year Award in the digital category The Design Museum, UK (2020); and The TIME100: Most Influential People 2020.
CARLOS COLÍN is a visual artist, pedagogue, and PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program at UBC who currently lives and works between Mexico City and Vancouver. Colín studied his undergraduate program in Visual Communication and Design (2004) and received MFAs at the National School of Fine Art UNAM, in Mexico City (2011) and at the University of British Columbia in UBC (2013). His work explores and connects the cultural, theoretical, socio-political, religious, and artistic manifestations through baroque’s system as a colonial legacy in contemporary Mexico, Latin America, and by extension its migration. He is represented by Fazakas Gallery in Vancouver. His work has been exhibited in venues such as the BIENALSUR 2021; AWA Cultura in Caracas, Venezuela; Aramauca Contemporary Art Platform in Chiapas, Mexico; The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbostford; Grunt Gallery in Vancouver; Sur Gallery in Toronto; Galería de la Raza in San Francisco; and Rufino Tamayo Museum, Mexico City; among many others. Colín was awarded the 2016 Emerging Artist, Mayor’s Arts Awards for the City of Vancouver in Visual Arts, and the 2017 Artist Studio Award Program.
CRISTIAN ORDÓÑEZ is a Chilean photographer based in Toronto. Ordo?n?ez has exhibited his work in multiple group and solo exhibitions in Canada, Chile, United Kingdom, Russia, Greece, the United States, and Netherlands. He has also participated in various art fairs in Santiago, Toronto, and Vancouver. Using the medium of photography he collects impressions of the world, gravitating towards the parallels between ideas, memory, and belonging. He observes time and space through human absence and presence, captures natural and urban vestiges, explores the vastness and intimacy of landscape, and focuses on blurring the lines between nature, urban structures, and portraiture. His work has been collected by the National Gallery of Canada, Library & Archives, the National Library of Australia, the State Library of Victoria in Australia, and the San Telmo Museum in Spain.
SYRUS MARCUS WARE is a Vanier scholar, visual artist, activist, curator, and educator. Syrus uses painting, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks and Black activist culture. His work has been shown widely, including in a solo show at Grunt Gallery, Vancouver; the 2019 and 2022 Toronto Biennial of Art; the Bentway’s Safety in Public Spaces Initiative in 2020; and group shows at the Never Apart in Montreal; Art Gallery of Ontario; the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery; Art Gallery of York University; the Art Gallery of Windsor; and at Nuit Blanche 2017. His performance works have been part of festivals across Canada, including at Cripping the Stage (Harbourfront Centre, 2016, 2019), Complex Social Change (University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, 2015) and Decolonizing and Decriminalizing Trans Genres (University of Winnipeg, 2015). He is the co-editor of the best-selling Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada (URP, 2020). Marcus Ware is part of the PDA (Performance Disability Art) Collective and co-programmed Crip Your World: An Intergalactic Queer/POC Sick and Disabled Extravaganza as part of Mayworks 2014. Syrus is cofounder of Black Lives Matter – Canada and a co-curator of Blackness Yes!/Blockorama. He has won several awards, including the TD Diversity Award in 2017, was voted “Best Queer Activist” by NOW Magazine (2005), and was awarded the Steinert and Ferreiro Award in 2012. Syrus earned his PhD at York University in the Faculty of Environmental Studies and is Assistant Professor at the School of the Arts at McMaster University.
Thursday, September 22nd 6-9 pm EST at Sur Gallery
Curator Tour with Tamara Toledo
Thursday, October 6th, 7pm ET via Zoom
Workshop with Beehive Collective
Saturday, October 15th, 1pm ET at Sur Gallery
Workshop with Colectivo LASTESIS
Saturday, November 5th, 1pm ET at via Zoom
For more information about the exhibition please visit Sur Gallery Virtual.
Thursdays and Fridays: noon-6:00PM
Saturdays: 11 AM-5 PM
Sur Gallery Exhibition: 39 Queens Quay East, Suite 100.