Art Gallery of Guelph Online Symposium: Spectres of History

Join the conversation: free online symposium on May 26, 2022

Organized by the Art Gallery of Guelph (AGG), Spectres of History is a one-day symposium that features artists, curators, writers, and historians who will take up the propositions presented by Dawit L. Petros’ recent AGG exhibition, Prospetto a Mare. Probing themes of migration, the archive, knowledge production, labour, and technology that are intertwined within Petros’ work, speakers will address the cultural and historical matrices that result from the pursuit of empire, the ways in which actions of the past re-emerge in the present, as well as offering ways of thinking through and beyond modernism’s narratives.

Online Symposium: Spectres of History
Thursday, May 26 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Free | Online
For more information and to register, click here >

Prospetto a Mare (previously on view at AGG from October 21, 2021 – April 14, 2022) focused on how both mobility and colonization have informed diasporic experiences and stories of migrancy. Referencing archival materials such as photographs, journals, and other publications, the artist has created an interwoven body of work in photography, video, and printmaking that explores a complicated history that is little-known in the West – Italy’s occupation colonization of East Africa, including Petros’ country of origin, Eritrea – as well as its postcolonial and transnational legacies.

With the 1933 transatlantic flight of twenty-four seaplanes from Italy to the United States deployed by Mussolini as the motif around which Prospetto a Mare is centred, the artist alludes to the ways in which the mythologizing of notions of progress, inherent to Eurocentric narratives of modernity, obscure the often detrimental effects on those who are located in the Global South. Connecting past to present, the exhibition also points to the diverse and yet quite cohesive ways that landscapes today remain entwined within this politics of space with its unstable, asymmetrical assertions of power.

Speakers include artist, researcher and educator Dawit L. Petros (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago) in conversation with Shiben Banerji, architect, city planner, and historian (School of the Art Institute of Chicago); artist and writer Mary Walling Blackburn; Curator of Arts of Global Africa and the Diaspora Julie Crooks (Art Gallery of Ontario); curator and academic Ming Tiampo (Carleton University); as well as Associate Curator of Photography Lisa Volpe (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston).

Presented by the Art Gallery of Guelph with the support of the Arts Across Canada program of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Image: Dawit L. Petros, Spectre (Floating Dock), 2021, archival pigment prints, CNC router etching, and smoked gray Plexiglass

Art Gallery of Guelph
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