GUT_BRAIN 1 Public Programs (Part 1)

Regina José Galindo, La Sombra (The Shadow) (video still), 2017. Single-channel video, 8 min, 40 sec. Courtesy the artist.

GUT_BRAIN 1 Video Program (Part 1)

Saturday, October 7, 2023
12–5pm screening with an intermission and catered lunch
Small World Music Centre, Unit 305, Artscape Youngplace
180 Shaw St, Toronto
Free to attend; please register on Eventbrite.

Artists: Ignacio Acosta, Adrián Balseca, Paloma Contreras Lomas, Patricia Domínguez, Regina José Galindo, Tala Madani, Marisa Morán Jahn, Yoshua Okón, Teresa Serrano, Laureana Toledo, Miguel Ventura, Alberta Whittle

Curated by Irmgard Emmelhainz and Christine Shaw

Part of GUT_BRAIN 1: Destructive Desires and Other Destinies of Excess, this program of short videos by twelve artists explores extractivist capitalism, feminicide, remaindered populations, labour rights, the fallen dreams of modernization, metabolic rifts, penetrative potency, bodily sovereignty, and healing rituals, and includes:

Tala Madani’s The Womb (2019), an animation that depicts a fetus who can see the history of the world projected inside the womb and decides to take radical measures.

Patricia Domínguez’s Madre Drone (2019–20), a mirage where a serpent-woman has a luminous encounter with a robot that could be human, delivering a kind of cosmic enunciation that connects us with recent student protests in Chile.

Laureana Toledo’s Order and Progress (2013–15), a visual history of the transformations of the Istmo de Tehuantepec, a geographic region that spans the states of Oaxaca and Veracruz, from the past forty years linked to the fallen dreams of modernization, extractivism, and cultural colonization.

Miguel Ventura’s Mexican War Fair (2010), a sci-fi experimental video in which the artist imagines a dark future where peoples across Mesoamerica are colonized by a fascist regime that instrumentalizes language, high culture, and chocolate to indoctrinate its subjects.

Yoshua Okón’s Canned Laughter (2009) features a fictitious factory in which dozens of maquiladoras from Juárez were hired by the artist as consultants and performers, and instructed to generate different forms of laughter, destined to be canned in a factory, and exported and served to North American consumers.

Paloma Contreras LomasGold Fever (2023), an experimental sex-melodrama that addresses the dark outcomes of political organization living on after the peak of syndicalism in the 1980s.

Tala Madani’s Overhead Projection (Crowd) (2018), an animated comedy about the phallic domination of masculinity.

Teresa Serrano’s La Piñata (2003), a performance of feminicide, simultaneous male hate, and desire for the female body, translated to the Mexican children’s ritual of breaking a piñata.

Adrián Balseca’s Suspensión 1 (2019), a performance that allegorizes the modern desire to progress at the cost of extractivism and a metabolic rift with the earth.

Regina José Galindo’s La sombra (The Shadow) (2017) documents a performance in which the artist is persecuted by a military tank for as long as she can run, alluding to US military occupation and intervention in Central America.

Alberta Whittle’s business as usual: hostile environment: a REMIX (2021) explores the colonial history of the Fourth Clyde canal in central Scotland and the role of waterways in the voluntary and involuntary movement of people. This new iteration of the film includes ‘the horrors of COVID-19’ and the racial inequalities it has exposed.

Marisa Morán Jahn’s Snatchural History of Copper (2023) renders a multimedia project in which the artist traces “where the copper in my snatch comes from.” What unfolds is a cosmological exploration of a mineral that lives with(in) us and on which our households, cities, digital desires, and selves depend.

Alberta Whittle’s from the forest to the concrete (to the forest) (2019), a reflection on colonialism, climate change, inequality and the legacies of slavery in the context of the wreaking havoc on several Caribbean countries after hurricane Dorian.

Ignacio Acosta’s Litte ja Goabddá [Drones and Drums] (2016–18) examines the use of drone technologies in the protests by activists and Sámi people against a mining exploration project Gallák in Jåhkåmåhkke (Jokkomokk), Norrbotten Country, Sweden.

Lorena Wolffer and Kira Sosa Wolffer, darme-darse-darnos at Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, March 2023. The projection reads: “Sí. Es algo natural y que todo ser humano tiene que tener. No es un tabu.” (Yes. It is something natural and that every human being has to have. It is not taboo.). Photo: Carmen Suárez.

hook up – hooked up – hooking up

Thursday, November 9, 2023
Isabel Bader Theatre
93 Charles St W, Toronto
Free to attend; please register on Eventbrite.

Artists: Lorena Wolffer with Kira Sosa Wolffer

hook up – hooked up – hooking up is a performance conceived by Lorena Wolffer to make young people’s perceptions and experiences regarding sex visible through a public conversation with Kira, her teenage daughter. This unrehearsed conversation revolves around Kira’s perceptions and positions, framed with the voices, stances, and experiences of other young people on the subject, both in dialogue and in the form of video projections. The project aims to question gender today through the sexual practices of a generation of young adults who have at once grown up with a sexual education derived from normative pornography and experienced their bodies, genders and sexualities in more free and egalitarian forms than the generations that preceded them.

First performed in Madrid under the title darme-darse-darnos—three conjugations of the verb “darse” (to give oneself), a common phrase used by Spanish-speaking youth to denote “making out”—this iteration renames the performance with an equivalent slang and involves the circulation of an anonymous questionnaire among young people between the ages of 18-25 at the University of Toronto, across the GTA and in Mexico City. Together with Kira’s own experiences, the responses inform the questions and topics addressed during the performance.

Call for Participation

To participate in the anonymous questionnaire, please complete this submission form by Friday October 20, 2023.

The video and performance programs are both free to attend; please register on Eventbrite. Visit the Blackwood website for complete program details, including artist bios and venue accessibility notes.

Adrián Balseca, Suspensión I (Suspension I) (video still), 2019. Single-channel video, 5 min. Courtesy the artist and Han Nefkens Foundation.


GUT_BRAIN 1 Video Program and hook up – hooked up – hooking up are presented as a part of GUT_BRAIN, an exhibition series inspired by the primary movements of the digestive system. Curated by Irmgard Emmelheinz and Christine Shaw and staged in six movements in sites between Mississauga, Canada and Oaxaca, Mexico, the project moves from injury to potential, from separation to symbiosis, from damage to possible futures. The first movement, Destructive Desires and Other Destinies of Excess, is on view from September 2023–March 2024 at the Blackwood Gallery, across the UTM campus, and other auxiliary locations.


GUT_BRAIN 1 is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the University of Toronto Mississauga. Christine Shaw’s research was supported in part by a Curatorial Research Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

The Blackwood
University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Rd.
Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6
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