Diaspora Dialogues: Archiving the Familiar
October 4, 2023 to December 2, 2023
Exhibition Location: Sur Gallery, 39 Queens Quay East, Suite 100
Curated by Sarah Shamash and Tamara Toledo
Wednesday, October 4, 7-9pm
In-person Event at Sur Gallery
Curator Tour with Sarah Shamash:
Saturday, October 7, noon-1pm
In-person Event at Sur Gallery
Women & Art: Political Praxes of Memory
Virtual Screening of Video Art: Chile and Brazil of the 1970s-80s
October 21 to November 4, 2023
Artist Talk with Amanda Gutie?rrez and Gabriela Aceves Sepu?lveda:
Thursday, October 19th, 7-8pm
Latin American Speakers Series: Presentation by Claudia Calirman
Feminist or Feminine?
Thursday, October 26, 7-9pm
Artist Talk with Cecilia Araneda, Rosalina Libertad Cerritos, and Soledad Mun?oz:
Thursday, November 9, 7-8pm
Curator Tour with Tamara Toledo:
Saturday, November 25, noon-1pm
In-person Event at Sur Gallery
“…the archive represents the end of a certain kind of creative innocence, and the beginning of a new stage of self-consciousness, of self-reflexivity in an artistic movement.” -Stuart Hall
Stuart Hall’s quote underscores the significance ofsituating this exhibition as a moment of self-reflection on the contributions of Latin American diaspora media artists to Canadian media art histories. The contested terrain of both the terms “archive” and “diaspora” requires deeper consideration since this exhibition asks what is the meaning behind making these two terms form a dialogue with one another. Diaspora Dialogues:Archiving the Familiar features contemporary artworks by Cecilia Araneda, Rosalina Libertad Cerritos, Amanda Gutiérrez, Soledad Fátima Muñoz, and Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda. All from the Latin American diaspora, these artists apply a variety of critical and aesthetic approaches to archiving. In addition, the exhibition is in dialogue with a virtual screening of video art by women artists from the 70s and 80s hosted on VIVO Media Arts Centre website entitled Women & Art: Political Praxes of Memory. This dialogue that has been established between Latin American video artist pioneers from Brazil and Chile foregrounds the diaspora’s relationship with “original” culture, “copy”, and“archive”.
The syncretic nature of diaspora peoples and cultures, the doubling of places, the passages and slippages between past and present, here and there, mother tongues and adopted tongues, all foreground the fluidity and porousness of diaspora identities and ways of being as dialogic. This exhibition engages with (dis)articulations of the archive as syncretic through formal and conceptual experimentations of master codes and narratives. Diaspora archives interrupt racist nationalism and border enforcement ideologies by making visible histories of violence and interventionism in the Global South all of which have created the conditions for being in diaspora in the settler-nation-state, on stolen Indigenous lands, known as Canada.
Diaspora Dialogues opens an inquiry into how archival memory can articulate diaspora histories, experiences, and knowledge. How does looking at these artworks that engage the archive produce a contemporary historical experience? What new possibilities does this exhibition open up as we engage with intergenerational Latin American and diaspora media histories and futures? The archive as a negotiable terrain linked to the collective imaginary calls into question the absences, gaps, and silences of an archive that is mediated by hierarchies and power structures. Colonization,patriarchy, white supremacy, racial capitalism have all shaped historical narratives, collective memory, and how we access and interpret information. In the field of media art, archival safeguarding and archeology continue to pose very practical problems of how to ensure the legacy of artworks that use digital and analogue machines, computer languages, pixels, binary digits, and the numeric codes used to mediate diasporic stories.
The initial impulse for this exhibition is the result of a documentary film project which dialogues with Latin American media art archives through an intergenerational and feminist perspective. This exhibition intends to follow its lead and establish an ongoing dialogue with Latin American diaspora women, working within the Canadian settler-nation-state, using archives as a strategy of inquiry and resistance. Through dialogic meaning-making processes, these artworks highlight how our social, and political situatedness in the world intersects with memory and power. The artworks in Diaspora Dialogues make visible the living political memory of the diaspora through diverse media art languages, manifesting affective approaches to the archive as a site of interpretation, contestation, and negotiation. Here, the archive is personal, familiar, familial, political, gendered, fragmented, embodied, and living.
Diaspora Dialogues: Archiving the Familiar ultimately produces a curatorial archive that aims to generate further dialogue on the significant contributions, knowledge production, and archival safeguarding of diaspora communities within and despite the nation state. It is important to highlight how border regimes have been catalysts for the conditions of migration and diaspora within Canada. The hemispheric dialogues between North and South speak to ongoing violent histories of Indigenous genocide, dispossession,occupation, and oppressive forms of government. Diaspora histories are thustied to the violence of borders with its walls and wars. The exhibition thus creates dialogic mediations between the artists, their communities, and their histories, disrupting neoliberal national discourses of multiculturalism. The archive is gendered, racialized, and political; these artists are agents telling and safeguarding their own diasporic histories through the language of media art.
Co-curated by Sarah Shamash and Tamara Toledo
Financially supported by the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Cecilia Araneda is a Winnipeg-based Chilean-Canadian filmmaker and curator. Her works have screened at venues such as Visions du Reél, Ann Arbor, Images, RIDM, Documenta Madrid, Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano, Bienal de la Imagen en Movimiento, TIFF Wavelengths, Film Anthology Archives, and Maysles Documentary Center. Araneda’s debut feature film, INTERSECTION (starring Carmen Aguirre) was released in the fall of 2022. She has also been awarded art residencies by LIFT: The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto as the inaugural recipient of the Roberto Ariganello Prize (2017) and by Q21 in Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier (2019). Araneda is also a nationally-recognized media art curator and is a past recipient of the national Canada Council for the Arts Joan Lowndes Prize for curation in the visual and media arts. She was a co-founder of the WNDX Festival of Moving Image and served as Executive Director of the storied Winnipeg Film Group / Winnipeg Cinematheque from 2006 to 2017. Araneda holds a BFA from York University, an MFA from the University of British Columbia, and is additionally a three-time alumna of Film Farm.
Soledad Fátima Muñozis an interdisciplinary artist, cultural worker, and researcher born in Canada and raised in Chile. Muñoz studied piano at an early age performing in bands and voice ensembles. This interest in music developed into a more experimental approach to sound, focusing on the deconstruction, modular synthesis, instrument building, and the physical/material aspects of sculpting in space with sound. Muñoz uses live computer sampling, single oscillator synthesizers, her voice, and handcrafted instruments for her live performances and installations. Muñoz studied Film at Universidad ARCIS in Santiago, Chile, she has a Diploma in Textile Arts from Capilano University in North Vancouver Canada, a BFA from Emily Carr University of Arts + Design, and an MFA from the Department of Fiber and Material Studies of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Muñoz is the recipient of the City of Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Artist, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago New Artist Society Full Merit Scholarship, the Emily Carr University of Art + Design President’s Media Award, and the Textile Society of America Student and New Professionals Award.
Rosalina Libertad Cerritos was born in Mexico City - her cultural inheritance is from El Salvador, Central America - she grew up in the Canadian West Coast. She attended the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in Concordia University, in Montreal where she graduated with a Film Production Degree with a focus on Experimental Cinema. She also has a Digital Visual Effects Diploma from Capilano University in North Vancouver. She recently graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada. In her artistic research and studio practice she explores themes that navigate personal and collective experiences and histories and how these unfold through identity, culture, language, place, memory and intergenerational experiences of trauma, nostalgia, celebration and hope. Her practice is multidimensional and multi-sensorial. In her work she is exploring and imagining new narratives and new futures through a process and exercise of reconstruction, reconciliation, and reconnection to her memories and history. She works and lives in the unceded, traditional and ancestral territories of the Coast Salish people, that includes the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh nations.
Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and is a media artist and cultural historian with a research focus on feminist media art, research-creation and Latin American art and its diasporas. She is Associate Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University (SIAT) that occupies the unceded territories of the Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, Kwantlen, Katzie, the Kwikwetlem (k?ik????? m), and the Qayqayt First Nations. As a media artist, she produces video installations, sculptures, digital projects, print media and live performances that investigate the body as a site of cultural, gendered and techno-scientific inscriptions. Aceves Sepúlveda is a member of art/mamas, a Vancouver-based collective of artist mothers and sono(soro)ridades, a group of feminist sound artists, activists, and scholars interested in investigating the affective and political dimensions of sound. She is also the Vancouver regional coordinator of TFAP (the Feminist Art Project) Rutgers University and is a member of CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts.
Amanda Gutiérrez was born in Mexico City and is currently based in Montreal. Gutiérrez explores the experience of political listening and gender studies by bringing into focus soundwalking practices. Trained and graduated as a stage designer from The National School of Theater, Gutiérrez uses a range of digital media tools to investigate everyday life aural agencies and collective identities. Gutiérrez completed her MFA in Media and Performance Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Arts and Humanities at Concordia University in the Arts and Humanities Doctoral program. Gutiérrez has held numerous international art residencies such as FACT, Liverpool in the UK, ZKM in Germany, TAV in Taiwan, Bolit Art Center in Spain, and her artwork has been exhibited internationally in venues such as The Liverpool Biennale in 2012, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Harvestworks in NYC, SBC Gallery, Undefined Radio in Montreal, Errant Bodies Studio Press in Berlin, among others.
ABOUT THE CURATORS
Sarah Shamash is an Assistant Professor of Critical and Cultural Studies at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Her work as a media artist has been supported by arts council funding and comprises a wide variety of formats; her works have shown in curated exhibitions and film festivals internationally. Her most recent documentary project, From Chile to Canada: Media Herstories premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival (2022) and is currently showing in festivals internationally. Her scholarly research examines Latin American and diaspora film and media cultures with a focus on Brazil. She lives on the unceded and ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Waututh First Nations in Vancouver.
Tamara Toledo is a curator, scholar, and artist based in Toronto. She is a graduate of OCAD University, with an MFA from York University, and is currently a PhD candidate in Art History and Visual Culture. Her research focuses on hemispheric connections, decolonial methodologies and practices, diasporic histories, and the legacies of the Cold war era in contemporary art. Toledo is recipient of various grants, scholarships, and awards and has been published by ARM Journal, C Magazine, Fuse, Canadian Art, and Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture Journal of the University of California. She has participated in various conferences and symposiums across Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Toledo is currently the Director/Curator of Sur Gallery.
Wednesday to Friday: noon-6:00PM
Saturdays: 11 AM-5 PM