GUT_BRAIN 1 Public Programs (Part 2)

Hosted by The Blackwood, University of Toronto Mississauga

Dafna Maimon, Indigestibles: Heartburn, Instructional Do It at Home Video (still), 2021. Courtesy the artist.

GUT_BRAIN 1 Video Program (Part 2)

Saturday, February 17, 2024
12–4pm screening with an intermission
Small World Music Centre, Unit 101, 180 Shaw St, Toronto
Free; please register on Eventbrite.

Artists: Baum & Leahy, Patricia Domínguez, Duke & Battersby, Miriam Simun, Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill, Chandra Melting Tallow, Jeneen Frei Njootli and Tania Willard, Dafna Maimon, Mika Rottenberg, Tejal Shah, Alberta Whittle

Program introduction by curator and scholar Irmgard Emmelhainz

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 fourteen artists speculates on Other Destinies of Excess: practices of world-making in the face of dire ecological and existential threats, including waste, extinction, toxic drug supply, racism, and colonialism. It includes:

Mika Rottenberg’s Cosmic Generator (2017) follows the exchange of goods through a subterranean tunnel connecting an overflowing market in Yiwu, China, with a dollar store and Chinese restaurant in US–Mexico border towns. Featuring seductive textures, hypnotic sounds, and ASMR-inducing colours, the video offers a kaleidoscopic view on the impacts of globalization, geopolitics, and capitalism.

Tejal Shah’s Landfill Dance (Channel II, Between the Waves, 2012) is staged at a waste dump of an Indian city, featuring dancers who move like insects or robots. Employing upcycled costumes and a score evoking the inner ear, it humorously explores the relationships between living beings, ecology, and spirituality.

Duke & Battersby’s The Infernal Grove (2021) analyzes drug use, addiction, and recovery in dialogue with people who use drugs and harm reductionists. Drawing on the artists’ lived experiences of drug use, involuntary hospitalization, and outpatient rehabilitation, this work speculates on anti-carceral and anti-prohibition approaches to addiction.

Miriam Simun’s Interspecies Robot Sex (2022) investigates life, death, labour, technology, and interspecies sex in the late-stage capitalism and ecological crisis era. Focusing on forms of pollination, Simun considers extinction and interdependent ecosystems through their effects on the honeybee and pear tree.

Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill, Chandra Melting Tallow, Jeneen Frei Njootli, and Tania Willard’s Coney Island Baby (2018) follows the artists as they snare rabbits in Secwépemc territory. Centered on this vital skill shared by many Indigenous women, the artists illustrate the entangled economies of subsistence, domestic labour, care, and sexuality evoked by the hare.

Dafna Maimon’s Indigestibles: Heartburn A Do It Yourself Home Video (2019) is a sensorial exploration of the gut, where the body’s inside and outside are intertwined through digestion. Maimon considers the ancient knowledge living in our gut, and its role in affirming our inseparability from our outer environments.

Alberta Whittle’s RESET (2020) includes contributions from ten accomplices (performers, writers, artists), connecting emergent fears of contagion, moral panic, and xenophobia with a call to action to face injustices and cultivate hope in hostile environments.

Patricia Domínguez’s Matrix Vegetal (2021–22) emerges from the artist’s apprenticeship with Amador Aniceto, a curandero from Madre de Dios, Peru. Learning to connect with the multispecies language and knowledge of the vegetal world, Domínguez allies with plants, attuning to the more-than-human language of the earth and quantum world.

Baum & Leahy’s Sensory Cellumonials (2021) imagines a future transformed by a deeper understanding of cellular biology, inviting audiences to better connect with themselves at a cellular level.

Images (clockwise from top left): From GUT_BRAIN 1: Destructive Desires and Other Destinies of Excess (Part 2): (1) Ane Graff, THE GOBLETS (CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME) (detail), 2021. (2) Ines Doujak, Ghost Populations (detail), 2016-ongoing. From Pizandawatc / The One Who Listens / Celui qui écoute: (3) Caroline Monnet, Okikad, 2023. Photo: Carlie Leroy. Courtesy Blouin-Division Gallery. From Sediment: The Archive as a Fragmentary Base: (4) Louis Henderson, Bring Breath to the Death of Rocks (film still), 2018. All courtesy the artist.

Contemporary Art Bus Tour – Art Museum to The Blackwood

Sunday, February 18, 2024
Free; please register on Eventbrite.

Join us for a contemporary art bus tour! The program begins at the Art Museum (7 Hart House Circle) at noon with a tour led by Noa Bronstein. The bus then departs to the Blackwood Gallery (3359 Mississauga Road) for a curator-led tour by Irmgard Emmelhainz, returning to the Art Museum at 4pm.

Art Museum, University of Toronto:

Pizandawatc / The One Who Listens / Celui qui écoute
Caroline Monnet

January 17 – March 23, 2024
Curated by Mona Filip

Caroline Monnet’s first exhibition in a Toronto public gallery comprises a survey of her prolific production, including a new series of sculptures exploring language reclamation and intergenerational transmission. Engaging with the notion of territory from the perspective of cultural attachment and ancestral memory, the exhibition articulates new visions that harken both to Indigenous legacies and futures.

Sediment: The Archive as a Fragmentary Base
Sandra Brewster, Filipa César, Justine A. Chambers, Michael Fernandes, Louis Henderson, Pamila Matharu, and Krista Belle Stewart

January 17 – March 23, 2024
Curated by Denise Ryner

The artists in this exhibition re-imagine the archive as material fragments that may narrate presences, proximities, and solidarities. They present image, sonic, and performance recontextualizations of state and official repositories, as well as familial and personal documents, to engage the archival image as counter-image, collapsing time, embodying memory, witnessing, and storytelling.

Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga:

GUT_BRAIN 1: Destructive Desires and Other Destinies of Excess (Part 2)
Allora & Calzadilla, Baum & Leahy, Miguel Calderón, Jo Ann Callis, Minerva Cuevas, Ines Doujak, Ane Graff, Tsēmā Igharas, Lake Verea, Guadalupe Maravilla, Dana Prieto, Marina Roy, Dannielle Tegeder, Miguel Ventura, Alberta Whittle

January 8 – March 15, 2024
Curated by Irmgard Emmelhainz and Christine Shaw

Part two of GUT_BRAIN 1: Destructive Desires and Other Destinies of Excess focuses on artists who recognize that modern technologies at the centre of future worldmaking projects are linked to destructive desires, toxic masculinity, feminicide, dependency on fossil fuels, land dispossession, chemical contamination, remaindered and redundant populations, necropower, and the colonial technosphere to sustain life.

Visit the Art Museum and The Blackwood websites for complete program details.


Pizandawatc / The One Who Listens / Celui qui écoute and Sediment: The Archive as a Fragmentary Base are supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council. Additional support for Pizandawatc is from the Indigenous Art Centre, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada.

GUT_BRAIN 1: Destructive Desires and Other Destinies of Excess is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the University of Toronto Mississauga, and Office of Contemporary Art Norway. 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
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram