• 05
  • 6
  • 7
THE NEXT 7 DAYS:     EVENTS (20)     +     OPENINGS (13)     +     DEADLINES (10)     +     CLOSINGS (12)
copyright ©2018

back [+]


Does the oyster sleep?
Sophie Bissonnette / Martin Duckworth / Joyce Rock, Maja Borg, Sara Eliassen, Silvia Gruner, Waël Noureddine

Curated by Pip Day and Irmgard Emmelhainz
March 10 – April 15, 2017

Opening Reception: Friday, March 10, 6 – 9pm
Reading love and politics: Saturday, March 11, 11am – 4pm

Does the oyster sleep? explores the relationship between love and politics—two realms of human experience often understood as antagonistic to one another. The exhibition rewrites the seeming conflict between shared interest and individual desire, imagining how they can be linked through a common longing to live differently in the world. Including film and video work by Sophie Bissonnette / Martin Duckworth / Joyce Rock, Maja Borg, Sara Eliassen, Silvia Gruner, and Waël Noureddine, Does the oyster sleep? addresses the forms of care and labour we enact for each other.

The exhibition takes its title from a passage in Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector’s 1973 novel Água Viva, in which the author describes the contortions of an oyster under drips of lemon juice. Just as the oyster is torn from its root, becoming exposed and vulnerable, can love tear us away from ourselves, toward others, or toward new relationships based on care, solidarity, and communal autonomy?

Using Lispector’s visceral image as a starting point, the exhibition imagines how this radical vulnerability can redirect our attention away from Modernist frameworks for human relationships. Featuring several long-form documentary and experimental works, and accompanied by a library of related poetry, fiction and non-fiction, Does the oyster sleep? welcomes sustained watching, reading, and thinking together.

Does the oyster sleep? was originally presented at SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art, Montreal, in 2016.

Read more here.

Accompanying Event:

Does the oyster sleep? Reading love and politics
Saturday, March 11, 11am – 4pm

Join us for a day of reading with Letters & Handshakes and John Paul Ricco, hosted by guest curators Pip Day and Irmgard Emmelhainz.

11:00am – 1pm:

Morning Study Session: Rethinking Political Acts of Love with Letters & Handshakes

Ten years ago the Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry organized a public conversation with philosopher Michael Hardt, taking up the question: Can love act as a political concept? Join us for a restaging of this question within our current social and political conjuncture.

Letters & Handshakes is a collaboration of Greig de Peuter and Christine Shaw. Previously, Shaw and de Peuter were members of the Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry (2005-2010).

Readings to be discussed include excerpts from:

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Multitude
Precarias a la Deriva, “A Very Careful Strike: Four Hypotheses”
Nancy Fraser, “Capitalism's Crisis of Care”
Sara Ahmed, “Selfcare as Warfare: Fragility, Militancy, and Audre Lorde’s Legacy”

To register for the study session and receive the readings, please email Daniella Sanader at

2 – 4pm:

Afternoon Reading Session: John Paul Ricco, Innocents and Others

Filmmaking and female friendship, pseudonymity and the telephone, the seductive power of an ear and a voice: John Paul Ricco reads from Dana Spiotta’s brilliant latest novel, Innocents and Others.

Dana Spiotta is the author of Eat the Document and Stone Arabia, and teaches at Syracuse University. John Paul Ricco is the author of The Decision Between Us, and teaches at the University of Toronto.

This reading will be followed by collective reading of poetry and prose in relation to Does the oyster sleep?

No registration or advance preparation required for the afternoon reading session.

For more information contact:

Daniella Sanader
Installation and Communications Coordinator

Image credit: Richard George, Oyster, 2011.

Gallery TPW
170 St Helens Ave., Toronto, ON M6H 4A1

Open Tuesday through Saturday, 12pm–5pm