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AGYU Winter 2017: Out There in the Construction Zone

Illusion of Process
Marvin Luvualu Antonio, Miles Collyer, Maggie Groat
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 19, from 6 – 9 pm
“Death is a Tunnel,”
a performance by
Marvin Luvualu Antonio at 7:30 pm


Surrounded in what seems like a never-ending construction site, we are waiting for the subway to be completed; its entrance beckoning mere feet from the gallery’s front door. We are middling in the change as it’s taking place; process, an illusion from our embedded perspective. And when the subway opens another transformation will begin, again. Such is way the built form evolves and our relation to it proceeds: almost imperceivably. [You did note that we changed our exhibition opening dates from Wednesdays to Thursdays, right?]

This might seem a little too philosophical – it’s just a subway, after all. But we’ve been working with artists Marvin Luvualu Antonio, Miles Collyer, and Maggie Groat, following their recombinant processes and learning a lot by witnessing the ways in which their work has settled into the gallery space. As unique, autonomous propositions, these new works, made specifically for the gallery, give material form to the Illusion of Process.

While Marvin, Maggie, and Miles’ work draw upon different source material and techniques—from actual concrete to the concretization of concepts and beliefs, for instance—their work does share a strategy. Even as an illusion of process, all artists draw upon the construction site (i.e. the rebar and concrete of Miles, the chain and brick of Marvin, the detritus of cultural-products past of Maggie) in order to mine the site’s philosophical potential, liberating it from the profane cycle of the commodity and inventing it anew on its (and their) own terms. The so-called stasis of their “finished” work in the gallery reminds us that permanence is always … impermanent.

In this exhibition, as in the artists’ work, the abstract collection of matter and objects are transformed through use and proximity, articulating the complexities of built space and the never-ending construction of meaning. Political discourse is inherent in all three artists’ work without the articulation of overt narratives, allowing the power of the conditional material to do the heavy lifting.

Illusion of Process is curated by AGYU Assistant Curators Suzanne Carte and Michael Maranda.

Get on the Performance Bus – before it stops!

2017 marks the last year of The Performance Bus as we usher in a new era with the AGYU Subway opening early 2018. For the third-last iteration of this 14-year-long project, we welcome writer and philosopher Kevin Temple as host. Temple treats riders to a performative critique of Graham Harman’s Object Oriented Ontology (OOO). In fact, Kevin maintains that Graham Harman’s philosophy is better understood as performance art—that Harman is secretly an artist performing the role of philosopher as an art practice. For Kevin, the only answer to Harman’s seamless, decade-long philosophical charade is to risk a performance of his own, as an art critic.

The free Performance Bus departs OCADU (100 McCaul St.) to the opening of Illusion of Process on Thursday, January 19, at 6 pm sharp and returns downtown at 9 pm.

AGYU Vitrines – What you see is where you go

Chinese-born, Toronto-based artist Xuan Ye is an artist and performer who works with media ranging from sound, body (vocalization, choreography, intervention), writing (coding-as-writing, performative drawing), moving and still images, to sculptural objects. In this commissioned, site-responsive installation for the three vitrines that line the exterior wall of the AGYU gallery, Xuan explores how human-machine interactions that use graphical user interfaces have drastically changed our way of seeing as well as our perception of time and space. Comprised of enlarged icons denoting “loading,” “pointing,” and “typing,” WYSIWYG is itself coded to magnify this cognitive shift and perhaps point us toward new ways of thinking location as just another Illusion of Process.

AGYU: Out There changing as it happens

TTC: Take the subway to either Downsview or Sheppard station. Take the 196 York University Express bus direct to YorkU Keele Campus. Driving: Enter YorkU Keele Campus via The Pond Road. Park in the Student Services parking garage. WheelTrans: the closest WheelTrans stop to AGYU on YorkU campus is VARI HALL.

The Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) is a public, university-affiliated, non-profit contemporary art gallery supported by York University, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of Ontario through the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, and by its membership.

The AGYU is located in the Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto. Gallery hours are: Monday to Friday, 10 am–4 pm; Wednesday, 10 am–8 pm; Sunday from noon–5 pm; and closed Saturday. AGYU promotes LGBTQ2 positive spaces and experiences, is barrier-free, and all events out there are free.


For more information or to request images or interviews with the artists, please contact Emelie Chhangur, Assistant Director/Curator at or 416 736 5169.

Image credit: Courtesy of AGYU