Pansee Atta, Screencapture from Projections (2016), Animation (5 mins)
How do different creative practices and experiences help us reimagine different approaches to worldmaking? re*exhibition artists rudi aker, Pansee Atta, Amin Rehman, and Swapnaa Tamhane explore artistic processes through their mixed-media works that allow for remaking and rebuilding the worlds around us.
This Conversations in Contemporary Art edition features a discussion with the artists and curators: Manar Abo Touk, Lorraine Doucet Sisto and Varda Nisar.
Reception to follow at FoFA Gallery, 6:30 – 8:00pm
MANAR ABO TOUK (CO-CURATOR)
Manar Abo Touk (she/her) is a Syrian-born Canadian independent Art Curator and a PhD student in the Department of Art History at Concordia University. Her dissertation project focuses on contemporary Syrian art post 2011. Specifically, it analyzes displacement on representations of identity by Arab diasporic artists in Canada, Germany, and France. She holds an MA in Museum and Gallery Studies from Kingston University, London, UK, and a BA with double majors in History and Theory of Art and Arts Administration from the University of Ottawa. Manar has worked at the Canadian War Museum and Studio Sixty-Six Gallery in Ottawa, and the aluCine Latin Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto. She was the Arts Manager and Curator at Al Riwaq Art Space in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and most recently as the Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, Alberta.
LORRAINE DOUCET SISTO (CO-CURATOR)
Lorraine Doucet Sisto (she/they) is an Art History MA student at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), where she previously completed her BA in Communications. A Canadian of settler origin, she is currently working as a research assistant and curator for the Worlding Public Cultures (WPC) research project. Lorraine assists Professor Edith-Anne Pageot (UQAM) in mapping the history of textile arts in Quebec through her contributions to the project Une géographie des réseaux de production et de diffusion de la fibre dans l’art moderne et contemporain au Québec. Informed by critical art history, as well as decolonial and transcultural perspectives, her primary research interests are queer and feminist imaginaries, aesthetics and ethics. She is studying contemporary art practices dealing with skin that are simultaneously poetic and political.
VARDA NISAR (CO-CURATOR)
Varda Nisar (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in Concordia’s Department of Art History in the Faculty of Fine Arts. She has been actively involved in centering art education and community outreach in her former role as the founder of a children's art festival in Karachi, and later as the head of educational programming for the Karachi Biennale.
Varda was a 2015-16 Arthink South Asia Fellow and worked with Spark Arts for Children, as part of her secondment. In 2021, she organized and convened a speaker series titled, (Art+Micro)History: Contemporary Artistic Voices from the South, which drew attention to the specific concerns and artistic modes of resistance in Pakistan. Her current doctoral research focuses on the role that museums in Pakistan are playing in nation-building by positioning them within the global political dynamic.
RUDI AKER (ARTIST)
rudi aker is a wolastoqew auntie, artist, organizer, and curator from St. Mary’s First Nation in Sitansisk (Fredericton, New Brunswick) and, for now, a guest on Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyaang (Montreal, QC). Their artistic and research practices center relationality, placehood, and visibility, with a focus on the traversal of (un)colonized spaces through conceptions of counter-cartographies and barrier-breaking. Their ongoing research-creation project, topographies of a homeplace, explores the boundaries of cartographic practice through beaded spatial representations – hand-held topographical maps accompanied by historically and personally informed auto-writing on site-specific experiences. This work, in various iterations, has been included in Space, Place, Home (Louise-et-Reuben Cohen Art Gallery), Tactics for Staying Home in Uncertain Times (MSVU Art Gallery), HOST (third space gallery), window winnipeg, these are our monuments (Owens Art Gallery), ehpituwikuwam (Beaverbrook Art Gallery), and [espace variable | placeholder] (La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse).
PANSEE ATTA (ARTIST)
Pansee Atta is an Egyptian-Canadian visual artist, curator, and researcher living and working on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabe nation in Ottawa. Using a variety of new media, her work examines themes of representation, migration, archives, and political struggle. Previous residencies include the Impressions Residency Award at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, the SparkBox Studio Award, and at the Atelier of Alexandria. Previous exhibitions have taken place in collaboration with SAW Video in Ottawa, at Galerie La Centrale Powerhouse and Z Art Space in Montréal, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, and other contemporary Canadian arts spaces. Her curatorial projects include UTOPIAS, a community-based performance art festival in Kingston, Ontario, and Home/Making, an exhibition at the Canada Council Art Bank. Her ongoing research and activist practice centers community-based responses to colonial projects of collection, display, study.
AMIN REHMAN (ARTIST)
Amin Rehman is a multidisciplinary visual artist who has been working since the1980s. Originally from Pakistan, he studied at the historic National College of Arts and the University of Punjab in Lahore. He received a Masters from the University of Windsor, Ontario in 2011. Rehman has exhibited extensively in a number of exhibitions across Canada, notably Other Histories at the Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery (2008); Hope at the Art Gallery of Regina (2014); A is for… at the McIntosh Gallery at the University of Western Ontario (2012) and White Wash at the Art Gallery of Mississauga, (2011). Rehman received the Canada Council for the Arts Project Grants to Visual Artists in 2014, 2017 and 2021. He also received the prestigious Chalmers Fellowship Award from the Ontario Arts Council twice, once in 2008 and then in 2017. He has received the grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council 11 separate times since 2008. He was honoured with SAVAC’s (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) ‘Artist of the Year Award’ in 2005. Recently, his exhibition the Bleeding Borders was exhibited at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, Alberta from November 25, 2021 to March 20, 2022.
Swapnaa Tamhane is an artist, writer, and curator. Her visual practice is dedicated to drawing, making handmade paper, and working with the material histories of cotton and jute. Her interests extend to material culture, and with designer Rashmi Varma, she wrote SĀR: The Essence of Indian Design, Phaidon Press (2016). Curated exhibitions include In Order to Join – the Political in a Historical Moment (2013-2015) an exhibition of global feminisms at Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, and CSMVS, Mumbai, India; HERE: Locating Contemporary Canadian Artists (2017), Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, and CONSTITUTIONS (2021) at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal. She has an MFA in Fibres & Material Practices, Concordia University, where she is currently an Artist-in-Residence. Her artwork and research has been supported by SSHRC, Canada Council for the Arts, and Ontario Arts Council. She was a Research Fellow with the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (2009), and an International Museum Fellow with the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (2013-2014). In 2019, she was the Ontario juror for the Sobey Art Award, and is currently on the board of SAVAC. She has exhibited her work at articule, Montreal; Museum der Moderne, Salzburg; Serendipity Arts Festival, Panjim; and has held a solo exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. In 2021, she was commissioned by the V&A Dundee, Scotland, to create a body of work around jute histories, which is currently on view.
Institutional and Funding Partners
The WPC 2023 Worlding Tiohtià:ke/Montreal colloque and exhibition ask three main questions: To what extent do current scholarship in global art histories, museum studies, and radical pedagogies demonstrate critical awareness of and engagement with, diverse ethnocultural communities who are at home in diaspora and/or unsettled racialized arrivants on unceded Indigenous lands? How can we understand Global South and Global North not as binary categories, but as overlapping networks and territories? How are these networks emerging in and being engaged within Montreal’s culturally and linguistically diverse art and cultural landscape? This line of questioning in fact arose from the second, equally important part of our goal, which is to showcase, with intentionality, what we have learnt from the four WPC academies—lessons that range from heretofore indiscernible injustices to intellectual growth and research synergies.
WPC 2023 Worlding Tiohtià:ke/Montreal is the last in a series of five international gatherings of the four-year Trans-Atlantic Platform project, ”Worlding Public Cultures: The Arts and Social Innovation” (WPC), exploring how global, transnational and transcultural public narratives are being represented in universities and museums worldwide. The previous four international academies were held at Carleton University in 2019, Amsterdam University, and TATE and University Arts London in 2021; and by Heidelberg University at Dresden State Art Collections in 2022.
Join us for Day 1 of the discussions tackling these questions and more!
For the full conference schedule and how to register for Day 2 (in the EV Building) here.