Anahita Norouzi | Jasmine Liaw | Brendan George Ko

Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography

Anahita Norouzi, Palimpsest of Unseen Pasts (detail), anthotypes of saffron on cotton, digital print on organza, 2023

Systema Naturae
Anahita Norouzi

Exhibition Dates: November 3 – December 9, 2023
Opening Reception: November 3, 6:00 – 8:00PM

Systema Naturae examines displacement, longing for homelands left behind and alienation within new and often hostile environments. The artist reflects on the migrations of plant species with a particular focus on the iris, a source of national pride in Iran, Anahita Norouzi’s ancestral homeland. By scrutinizing the disastrous legacies of colonialism globally, especially in Southwest Asia (or the “Middle East”), the artist sheds light on the ways in which hegemonic powers impact humans and other species alike, altering entire cultural traditions, demographics and ecologies.

For more information read Ci-gisent les iris (‘Here lie the irises’), an essay by cultural worker and writer Valérie Litalien with translation by Laura Demers.

Anahita Norouzi is a multidisciplinary artist originally from Tehran and based in Montreal and holds degrees in Fine Arts and Graphic Design from Concordia University. Articulated across sculpture, installation, photography and video Norouzi’s practice is research-driven, instigated by marginalized histories and the legacies of botanical explorations and archeological excavations, particularly when scientific research became entangled in the colonial exploitation of non-Western geographies.

Norouzi has exhibited at BIENALESUR, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Royal Ontario Museum, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and Musée d’Art Contemporain. She has received the Grantham Foundation Award, the Liz Crockford Artist Fund Award, the Vermont Studio Center Merit, the Contemporary Art Award of Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Impression residency at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize. Norouzi is a recipient of the 2023 MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award and is currently shortlisted for the 2023 Sobey Art Award.

Public Programming
An artist talk in conversation with independent curator Toleen Touq will take place during the run of the exhibition. Date and time to be announced.

Jasmine Liaw, visceral from plastic climbs, video still, 2022

plastic climbs
Jasmine Liaw

Exhibition Dates: November 3 – December 9, 2023
Opening Reception: November 3, 6:00 – 8:00PM

plastic climbs is an intimate, gnomic video artwork that explores the complex intersectionalities felt within the artist’s Asian diasporic identity. Jasmine Liaw questions her Asianness within the legacy of her Hakka Asian heritage and queerness, navigating cultural existence through dance-technology and reclaiming ideas of sensuality and delicacy through the ownership of her body. plastic climbs embodies ideas of multiplicity, exposure and vulnerability through physical entanglements with transparent materials. This gesture of queering diasporic culture allows for intimate existence, sensorial experimentation and investigation into the phenomenological consciousness of displacement.

Jasmine Liaw is an emerging Chinese-Canadian interdisciplinary artist based in so-called Toronto and Vancouver. Her practice in dance performance, new media art and experimental film explore the complexities of her contemporary views of her Hakka diaspora, queerness and environmental anxiety. Liaw is the Artistic Associate of Chimerik 似不像 Collective, working in interdisciplinary research and creation. She has recently presented with F-O-R-M Festival of Recorded Movement, Asian Arts and Culture Trust, Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen, and RT Collective. Liaw is also one of the five recipients of the 2023 Emerging Artist Digital Art Award.

Image courtesy of Brendan George Ko

you start dying the day you’re born (excerpt)
Brendan George Ko

Exhibition Dates: November 3 – December 9, 2023
Opening Reception: November 3, 6:00 – 8:00PM
(Members’ Gallery)

Growing up, Brendan George Ko moved around a lot, adapting to a new place, its culture, landscape, textures and accents, then eventually moving to another to call home. Each prior place eventually became dream-like in Ko’s memory—and, like most dreams—would fade deep in his mind. If it was not for his mother’s scrapbooks, filled with her stories, photographs, small illustrations and postcards found along the way, major details of his childhood would have been forgotten. Those scrapbooks inspired Ko to start making his own—each year for the past decade—for the sake of memory keeping so that in the years to come—the people he shared this decade with can revisit them and suddenly remember what they had forgotten.

Brendan George Ko is a visual storyteller that works in photography, video, installation, text, and sound. Ko received a BFA from OCADU and a MVS from the University of Toronto. Ko is a regular contributor of the New York Times and has worked for The New Yorker, Vogue, Time, Patagonia, Apple, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Flux Magazine, Hana Hou, Jacquemus, SSENSE.

G44 Digital is a platform to incubate and expand on research undertaken through exhibitions and residencies and consists of web projects, podcasts, exhibition walkthroughs and additional dialogues.

a pull from the right is a push from the left
A Project by Jocelyn Reynolds

a pull from the right is a push from the left demonstrates Jocelyn Reynolds’ enduring curiosity toward memory and the perception of time, drawing from their personal experience of entering into motherhood as a genderfluid person.

Vitrines Conversations
A Podcast with Laura Kay Keeling

Laura Kay Keeling and Caeden Wigston discuss themes of digital space, care, and collage—digging deeper into Keelings’ practice exploring the connection between the digital and the natural world.

A Landscape Photograph in the Land of the Dead Book Launch
A Podcast with Nic Wilson

A reading and Q + A, with Nic Wilson, author of A Landscape Photograph in the Land of the Dead, recorded at their book launch at Art Metropole.

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Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography is an artist-run centre committed to supporting diverse approaches to photographic and image-based practices through exhibitions, education programs and facilitating artistic production. Gallery 44 provides space and context for meaningful dialogue between artists and publics. Together, we offer an entry point to explore the artistic, cultural, historic, social and political implications of the image in our ever-expanding visual world.

Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 120
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8

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Maegan Broadhurst
Head of Communications and Development