Fall Exhibitions at Hamilton Artists Inc.


Jana Omar Elkhatib, Another retelling to the young, 2018. Performance. Photo: Lila Lavereau.

To see and see again

Jana Omar Elkhatib, Alex Jacobs-Blum, Rajee Paña Jeji Shergill, Felix Kalmenson, Jinyoung Kim, and Zinnia Naqvi

Curated by Abedar Kamgari

September 4 – November 2, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 7, 7:00-9:00 pm

The phrase “to see and see again” (from the Farsi: دید و بازدید) describes the customary practice of visiting one’s relatives, wherein each person is indebted to returning the visit in a seemingly endless cycle of guesting and hosting. In her 1999 memoir of the same title, Tara Bahrampour recounts her experiences of growing up between two different cultures, and eventually abandons the comforts of her Western life to experience her childhood home once more. To see and see again explores the artistic impulse in individuals who have experienced displacement to want to visit or revisit a lost place of origin.

The six artists in this exhibition take up returning – whether in a physical, psychological, or metaphorical sense – as a creative strategy for making sense of their experiences of displacement. For some, the return is directly connected to the place they were born or knew as a child; for others, it is tied to an ancestral homeland that is further distanced through the passage of time, or is now entirely out of reach. Using photography, video and performance, the artists attempt to recreate accounts of the past in order to reconcile the challenges of the present. Archival materials such as family photographs and home movies, oral histories passed down through the generations, and personal recollections inform the intricate process of navigating longing and belonging.

The projects in this exhibition represent incredibly personal, intimate depictions of each artist’s exploration of identity, origins, and place. Yet when nostalgia rubs up against the bitterness of reality, we suddenly glimpse the larger forces that necessitate the movement of our bodies from one place to another. Undeniable are intergenerational experiences of displacement, trauma, and injustice, and the desire to revisit these difficult histories in an effort to work toward a better future.

Auxiliary Programs:

Performance of Another retelling to the young by Jana Omar Elkhatib
Saturday, September 7, 8:00 pm

Super Crawl Festival (Extended Gallery Hours)
Friday, September 13, 4:00-11:00 pm
Saturday, September 14, 12:00-11:00 pm
Sunday, September 15, 12:00-5:00 pm

Performance of I see in the sea a sea by Jana Omar Elkhatib
Saturday, September 14, 8:00 pm

Discussion between Alex Jacobs-Blum and Jinyoung Kim
Saturday, October 5, 2:00-4:00 pm

Performance of An Ethic for New Soil by Felix Kalmenson
Saturday, October 19, 2:00-4:00 pm

Click here to learn more.


Alex Murphy, Just Married, 2015. Pencil on film.

Minding the Archive

Derek Jenkins, Tyler Matheson, and Alex Murphy

September 4 – November 2, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 7, 7:00-9:00 pm

What is an archive? Some archives are official, organised and public — historical documents housed in libraries or museums. Some archives are messy, private and personal — family letters, photographs and keepsakes stashed away in basements and attics or under the stairs. The artists in the exhibition Minding the Archive draw on personal archives to question the politics of remembrance, heteronormativity, authority and the passage of time.

Alex Murphy creates layered, time-intensive drawings that speak to the historical preservation of certain narratives and the systemic erasure of others. His intricate works honour individuals and communities whose histories have seldom been maintained in public records. Using an abandoned wallet as the impetus behind his multimedia piece, Derek Jenkins explores the idea of authority: how the past is re-interpreted in the present, how the present is informed by the past, and the inherent weight of the future on both. Tyler Matheson uses cyanotype processes to transform family photographs into unconventional self-portraits that map his identity through places and people of the past. The resulting works point to the performative nature of gender and class, and probe complicated notions of queerness, kinship and family. The artists in Minding the Archive each mine archives in different ways to tell their stories and bring new histories to light.

Click here to learn more.


Hamilton Artists Inc.
155 James Street North
Hamilton, ON L8R 2K9
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Accessibility: The Inc. is a fully accessible venue. Click here for detailed information.

Visiting: Admission is free. Regular gallery hours are Wed-Sat 12-5 pm, Fri 12-6 pm. Located in downtown Hamilton, the gallery can be reached by city bus routes, and GO transit. Municipal parking is available along James Street North.

Contact: Programming Director, Abedar Kamgari at programming@theinc.ca.

Hamilton Artists Inc. gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council, City of Hamilton, Canada Council for the Arts, Incite Foundation for the Arts, and all of our members, donors, sponsors, and programming partners.