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AGYU 2019: THE FUTURE IMPERFECT

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The Art Gallery of York University’s 2019 program unfolds along a continuum that considers hybrid identities as forms of cultural kinship and survival with transgressive potential: to constitute new forms of visual culture and aesthetics; to challenge popular culture and its universalisms; and to innovate models of communication between cultures, geographies, and—this winter—gaming platforms!


Ready to play?

Join us Thursday, January 17, from 6 to 9 pm for the free public reception of Ready Player Two, an exhibition by British Columbia-based artists Brendan Lee Satish Tang and Sonny Assu, who animate the exhibition with a talk and tour beginning at 6:30 pm. The exhibition continues through to March 17, 2019.


Mixed Messages from the Mushroom Kingdom

Informed by Lee Satish Tang and Assu’s mixed-race backgrounds and experiences of Canadian life in the 1980s and 1990s, Ready Player Two brings together found objects, selections of previous works, and new collaborative pieces to create immersive spaces that evoke the sanctuaries of the artists’ adolescence: the basement, the arcade, and the comic book store.

Familiar references from the artists’ youth illustrate the complicated representations of race that existed, and continue to exist, in popular media. Ready Player Two combines elements from science fiction, comic book, and gaming cultures to consider how these forms alternately reinforce and transcend racial boundaries in suburban youth culture.


Chaotic Overlappings and Temporal Hybridities

Evoking the ease and fluidity of image-making as an adolescent, York MFA candidate Naz Rahbar harnesses the urgency of child-like honesty and mark-making to record difficult emotions and tell tales of belonging and becoming. This new work made for AGYU Vitrines speaks-back to the construction of a transnational queerness and exceeds boundaries of gender, sexuality, and place.


Dysfluent Poetics and Adaptive Redaction

In 2015, Jordan Scott became the first poet to gain access to the detention camps at Guantánamo Bay. Met with layers of bureaucratic censorship and silencing, Scott recorded as much noise as he could over five days. Lanterns at Guantánamo, presented on the AGYU Audio Out Listening Bench, transgresses these boundaries to make dysfluency (a state of transgressing language) and redaction (a textual practice with double meaning, both recombinant and reductive) the subject of this thoughtful and quiet contemplation of the state of redaction-as-foreign-policy. Lanterns at Guantánamo is edited by Vancouver-based composer, teacher, and critic Jason Starnes.


Welcome to the Suburbs!

AGYU fully embraces our own hybrid identity as a university-affiliated, public-gallery located on the periphery of the downtown art community but in the centre of the GTA’s public. Our 2019 program commits itself to learning from what a syncretic point of view might holistically impart as an institutional practice that articulates identity from an outsider point of view as a central feature of belongingness.

For more information on public programming presented in conjunction with AGYU’s winter exhibition, please visit: http://AGYU.art

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.

AGYU promotes 2SLGBTQIAP positive spaces & experiences and is barrier free.
Everything is FREE

Directions: 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 Subway Station, North Exit.

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. Ready Player Two is organized and circulated by The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford. Curated by Laura Schneider. This project is made possible through generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts. The AGYU’s presentation of Ready Player Two is supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage, Museums Assistance Program through the Exhibition Circulation Fund component.

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For more information or to request images or interviews with the artists, please contact Emelie Chhangur, Interim Director/Curator at Emelie@yorku.ca or 416.736.5169.

Image Credit: Courtesy of the artists

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