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The Virtual Garden

With works by Juan Ortiz-Apuy
Curated and Designed by Yasmeen Kanaan
In collaboration with Sarah Piché (EAHR)
March 2021

The exhibition can be viewed here.

In a high-key critique of fetishistic commodity culture, Juan Ortiz-Apuy amplifies the addictive and trapping sensation of instant gratification associated with junk-commodity culture through his vibrant and dynamic hand-cut collages.

Costa Rica–born Juan Ortiz-Apuy has lived and worked in Montreal since 2003. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Studio Arts at Concordia University. Working in his favored techniques of collage and assemblage, he makes art driven by thinking around consumer goods, often employing humor to explore the advertising and media strategies associated with them. His works—which he presents in the form of multimedia installations—draw inspiration from design, art history, and pop culture. His work has been shown in several museums and art centers across Canada as well as abroad, including the Fondation Phi pour l’art contemporain (Montreal), Birch Contemporary Gallery (Toronto), OPTICA, centre d’art contemporain (Montréal), ARTSPACE (Peterborough), the Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa), the IKEA Museum (Älmhult, Sweden), as well as at MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image in Montreal and Manif d’art 7 in Quebec City. In 2011 he was the beneficiary of the Halifax Regional Municipality Contemporary Visual Art Purchase Program. Upcoming projects include a solo show at Open Space (Victoria), and residencies at MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA, USA) and the Zentrum Für Keramik (Berlin). Ortiz-Apuy holds a BFA from Concordia University, where he now teaches, along with a postgraduate diploma from the Glasgow School of Art and an MFA from NSCAD University.

Presented in conjunction EAHR’s third annual Diversifying Academia Library Research Residency, focusing on bibligraphical sources of recent new BIPOC faculty in the Faculty of Fine Arts of Concordia University.

Presented by the Ethnocultural Art Histories Research Group (EAHR) with the support of EAHR|Media and the Concordia University Research Chair in Ethnocultural Art Histories. The EAHR Diversifying Academia Library Research Residency is organized in partnership with Concordia Libraries and supported by the Department of Art History. EAHR’s activities are made possible with the support of The Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art and the Department of Art History.

Poster Design: Sarah Piché

Editing: Alice Ming Wai Jim


Concordia University is located on unceded Indigenous lands. The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of the lands and waters of Tiohtià:ke/Montreal.

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