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THE NEXT 7 DAYS:     EVENTS (16)     +     OPENINGS (11)     +     DEADLINES (7)     +     CLOSINGS (10)
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Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca
Art Gallery of York University (AGYU)

“I like to think about social ‘margin’ as something much more related to what escapes from the control of the established power than to what is isolated by a geographical limit.”
– Bárbara Wagner



The Art Gallery of York University’s (AGYU) spring 2018 exhibition brings together recent work in film and photography by internationally renowned Brazil-based artistic duo Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca. The exhibition opens with a free, public reception on Wednesday, April 18, from 6 – 9 pm and continues until Sunday, June 24, 2018. Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca is curated by AGYU’s Interim Director/Curator Emelie Chhangur and is a Primary Exhibition of Toronto’s Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, presented in conjunction with the 2018 Images Festival Off-Screen program.

Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca’s work celebrates—while at the same time reframing—vernacular cultural forms as they have manifested through time. Using quasi-documentary strategies, the artists examine cultural change-as-it-happens—as an “in-between” space, where cultural forms of the past adapt in response to changing economic conditions: as popular traditions become pop culture, for instance. Wagner and de Burca particularly look at emerging economies or post-colonial geographical contexts where popular genres persist through cultural mixing and diasporic refashioning.

This is the artists’ first solo exhibition in a public gallery and the first presentation of their work in Canada. An AGYU-commissioned film that brings Wagner and de Burca into collaboration with Scarborough’s RISE (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere) EDUTAINMENT and spoken word poets from across the GTA is currently in production. The film is co-produced with the WEXNER Centre for the Arts, Ohio, and will premiere in July at FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art.

Wagner and de Burca are represented by Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo, Brazil, and are the AGYU’s 2017–18 artists-in-residence.


Subway Cypher: Poetry and Rap Mobilized

Get on AGYU’s Subway Cypher and witness some of Toronto’s best and brightest spoken-word poets and rappers! Featuring: Nasim Asgari, Nathan Baya, Bidhan Berma, Timaaj Hassen, Michael Morales, T dot Rap Starz, and Thunderclaw Robinson. The transit pilgrimage and performances continue to York University Station for the opening of Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca’s AGYU exhibition.

Artist Talk | Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 2 pm | AGYU

Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca expand on their work’s themes, production methodologies, and social-political contexts; explore the role of documentary photography in their research-process; and look at filmmaking as a performative strategy for picturing cultural change-as-it-happens. The artists discuss the development of their AGYU-commissioned film that features spoken word poets from across the GTA. Coincides with the Contemporary Bus Tour.

Jane Street Speaks | Friday, May 4, 2018 @ 7-10 pm | AGYU

Jane–Finch community activist Jhaavani, Rapper Nathan Baya, and AGYU join forces for Jane Street Speaks, a monthly open mic that provides a platform for West end artists to speak their truth through spoken word poetry, rap, and music. Don’t miss the series kick-off inside Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca’s exhibition.

An important contributor to Toronto’s vibrant independent music scene Nathan Baya is a dancer, spoken word artist, and rapper who lives in the Jane–Finch community.

Student Tour Series | Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 6–7 pm | AGYU

Tanzanian filmmaker and MFA candidate in Film Production at York University Amil Shivji discusses Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca’s surrealistic approach to narrative realism as an aesthetic strategy of picturing the worlds of the oppressed, whose protagonists dance through time as an expression of aspiration.

Unaligned Seminar: The We Love Édouard Glissant Edition!

“To move from the oral to the written is to immobilize the body, to take control…”, so writes Édouard Glissant, and, so, to free up that body, we have decided to move from the written back to the oral, putting our bodies into motion, aided and abetted by the TTC. Hosted by Toronto musician, poet, and academic Jonathan Adjemian, this version of our occasional Unaligned Seminar is a peripatetic reading series of Glissant’s poems. Visit our website for an up-to-date schedule.

Beside, Outside: Solidarity and/as Performance | Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 2–4pm | Special Projects Gallery, CFA, YorkU

From rallies, marches, and protests to hacktivism, citizen journalism, and hashtag activism, today we have more tools at our disposal than ever to organize for social justice. This round table asks: How is solidarity performed? Is it necessarily embodied? How has solidarity activism changed since the advent of the internet and social media? Speakers from the Latin American Working Group, Mining Injustice Solidarity Network, Idle No More, and Black Lives Matter TO examine how this performativity manifests in their particular contexts. Curated by Zoë Heyn-Jones.

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The AGYU is located in the Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto.
Gallery hours: Monday to Friday, 10 am – 4 pm; Wednesday, 10 am – 8 pm; Sunday, noon – 5 pm; and Saturday, closed.

TTC: Ride LINE ONE to York University Station: the gallery entrance faces the south exit.
Driving: Enter YorkU Keele Campus via The Pond Road. Park in the Student Services garage.
WheelTrans: the closest WheelTrans stop is York University Station, north exit.

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.

AGYU promotes 2SLGBTQIAP positive spaces and experiences and is barrier-free.

Everything is FREE


To request images or interviews with the artists, please contact Emelie Chhangur, Interim Director/Curator at or 416.736.5169.

Image: Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, FAZ QUE VAI / SET TO GO, 2015. 2K, HD, colour, sound, 16:9, 12min. Still (Part I) RYAN, Frevo / Electro 140bpm. Courtesy of the artists and Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo





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