An alternative art space with no agenda but its own experimental one.
Shaheer Zazai: Here Now Back Then
A culmination of what began as (and to a certain effect, remains) a meditative, unconscious process and a vested interest in the culture and history of tribal practices in Afghanistan, where in ancient carpet weaving the reminder that god is in the detail can be compelling. Regardless, in ancient carpet weaving, contemporary art, and in all things we undertake, we would do well not to take shortcuts. These digitally-produced carpets, painstakingly created in Microsoft Word with millions of individual manual keystrokes, can be seen as a surprising and profound dichotomy between East and West. In contemplating this work, a dialogue is generated using a voice that is in itself a contradiction – a compelling combination of both visual and digital language. Viewers are invited to peer closer at the minutiae of the characters that comprise the vast fields of colour.
Toronto-based Afghan-Canadian artist Shaheer Zazai works in the mediums of painting and digital media. His practice currently focuses on exploring and investigating the development of cultural identity in present geopolitical climates and diasporas. Zazai received a BFA from OCAD University in 2011, and was the OCAD University Digital Painting Atelier Artist-in-Residence in 2015 for the production of his first Digital Carpet. A recipient of a Canadian Ontario Arts Council grant, Zazai has since had solo and group exhibitions such as those at the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Hazelton Lanes Art Festival and Project Gallery.
We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.
Craig Leonard: Maquettes for Non-Trivial Characters
[...] a rescue is made a biased verdict an act of terror fleeing in disguise fleeing and hiding obstacle placed in path of pursuers series of disguises rescue from being destroyed a leap to another location unrecognized arrival claims of a false prophet a difficult task resolution of a task solution before a deadline fulfillment of a request pious deeds embarrassment averted a gift of an immaterial nature salvation exposure of the enemy new physical appearance the building of a fortune change of fashion [...]
Craig Leonard lives and works in Halifax, NS. He has taught Intermedia at NSCAD University since 2006 after graduating from the MVS program at University of Toronto. Recent exhibitions include Central Art Garage (Ottawa), Acme Project Space (London, UK), Make Work Projects (Saskatoon), Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax) and the Esker Foundation (Calgary).
Mark Kasumovic’s Instrumental II (2018) brings together recent video work and photographs from the past four years that focus on sites of advanced research, information collection and technology. The appropriately chosen title can be read as a double entendre; both how instrumental scientific research becomes in our daily life and the fact that complex instruments are required throughout the research process. In our modern society, knowledge production and technology exist in an endless feedback loop, mutually necessary for each other in the relentless pursuit of progress.
Additionally, through another instrument—Kasumovic’s camera—these spaces are converted into visual information we can read, albeit subjectively and with limited explanation. His titles, largely didactic, provide only a vague explanation of the spaces function, but it is enough to spark our curiosity. Rigidly composed and immaculately printed in large scale, Kasumovic’s photographs invite close inspection. Primarily devoid of human presence, we are left to question what strange and unique activities take place in these unfamiliar spaces. Some spaces bear obvious marks of modern technology, such as “Caution—Laser Laboratory,” where others such as “Bedroom—Assisted Living Laboratory” appear practically domestic at first glance. However, upon closer examination one notices the cold industrial doors and computerized monitoring equipment.
Considering that documentary photography often claims to reveal the unseen and underappreciated for public benefit, Kasumovic’s work is well positioned within this tradition. Even if hidden in plain sight, we haven’t seen the spaces he records because they remain restricted from public view, accessible only by specialized personnel. Ultimately, Kasumovic’s Instrumental II explores the ways in which technology and photography constantly define the way we live our lives and affect how we perceive the world around us.
Mark Kasumovic is a Hamilton, Ontario born artist. His current body of work investigates the relationships between photography, technology and knowledge production within the context of scientific research. He holds a BFA from Ryerson University and an MFA from NSCAD University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Fine Arts and Visual Culture at Western University (2013-2018). Kasumovic’s work has recently been acquired by The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, The Beaverbrook Provincial Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Peel. His work has been supported by emerging artist grants from Culture Nova Scotia, The Ontario Council for the Arts, The Social Science and Humanities Research Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Mark Kasumovic - Control Suit (Space Exploration Laboratory) - 2015
Mark Kasumovic 2018 Book Excerpt (Photograph & Text), Archival Pigment on Archival Cold Press 22" x 12" Edition of 50 + 5 Artist's Proof
Mark Kasumovic - Control Suit (Space Exploration Laboratory) - 2015 (detail)
2018 Book Excerpt (Photograph & Text), Archival Pigment on Archival Cold Press 22" x 12" Edition of 50 + 5 Artist's Proof
BING! BANG!! BOOM!!! (Official Launch)
In the blink of an eye, it has been a year since we have moved from Liberty Village into our new digs which consist of the print shop, studio and project space. This echoes the moves of many galleries and art spaces to the Lower Junction like: Stephen Bulger, Cooper Cole, ESP, Angell, Clint Roenisch, Daniel Faria, TPW and the long awaited reopening of MOCA in spring 2018. This will complete the major shift of the gallery district in Toronto officially to the west-end of the city's Lower Junction.
We celebrate this new micro art ethos that we are now part of along with our official launch of to the project space and our first year of programming and exhibitions.