I am land that feels

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October 27, 2021 to February 22, 2022
Union Station, Toronto

Carolina Caycedo, Anique Jordan, Día de los Muertos Collective, Amber Webb, Glenna Cardinal, Florence Yee

Curated by Maya Wilson-Sanchez

Between a global pandemic, calls of justice for Black lives, world-wide protests against femicide, and finding remains in former residential schools, many have had to recently endure grief. I am land that feels offers a public space for mourning, where death is tied to systemic violence and issues of injustice. This first part of I am land considers how artists document loss. It proposes art-making as a method for working through grief and examines how collective conversations about loss in public space can lead to healing. From Glenna Cardinal’s and Carolina Caycedo’s mourning of land, to Anique Jordan’s work on Black grief and remembrance, Amber Webb’s memorial to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, Florence Yee’s text-based works asking what we seek during times of loss, and a participatory and community-based altar by the Día de los Muertos Collective, this exhibition explores grief through a myriad of themes and forms. Set in a public space, it works to demonstrate the power of collective mourning in the personal and the political.

I am land that feels is the first instalment of the I am land exhibition series curated by Maya Wilson-Sanchez for ArtworxTO – Toronto’s Year of Public Art.

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Carolina Caycedo, The Collapsing of a Model (detail), 2019, photomontage of satellite imagery and aerial photography. Courtesy of the artist.

How does land inform our stories? What kinds of histories are shown publically? When do our personal stories become part of dominant history?

I am land is a three-part exhibition series that explores the role of the artist as a chronicler. Many artists have a deep interest in representing the past, exploring the present, and imagining the future. This series and its public programs highlight and celebrate how individuals and communities have the power to create their own histories. The titles of the exhibitions are inspired by Fausto Reinaga, a Quechua philosopher who wrote “I am land that thinks” as a way to explain the interconnectivity and collective assemblages of land, humans, and non-humans. The stories and histories that make up who we are created through our links to place and our affiliations and kinship to those around us. By exploring varied themes and diverse artistic practices, these exhibitions explore the process of creating history publically and collectively.

Set in Union Station, a busy transportation hub, the exhibition series also reflects on the nature of public space and public gathering. It questions who is able to access public spaces, who is welcomed in public while others are policed, and what kinds of actions are allowed within such spaces. I am land explores what kinds of histories, bodies, emotions, and ways of being are allowed to exist in public and pushes the boundaries to welcome those that have been excluded.

Exhibition Dates

I am land that feels
October 27, 2021 to February 22, 2022

This exhibition offers a public space for mourning, where death is tied to systemic violence and issues of injustice. Showing how artists document loss, it proposes art-making as a method for working through grief, and examines how collective conversations about loss in public space can lead to healing.

I am land that remembers
March 2 to June 14, 2022

Exploring monuments and archives, this exhibition questions what we remember, how we remember, and who makes those choices. It includes artworks that examine and question the processes of history-making while creating new relationships to the past and the future.

I am land that speaks
June 22 to October 2, 2022

This exhibition brings attention to stories that come directly from the land. Engaging with story-telling practices specific to a certain place, the artworks in this show highlight history-making as a site-specific exercise. Exploring embodied connections to land, it also includes off-site gardens made by artists that involve participatory and community-based methods for learning and growing together.


For information about upcoming public programs and events, click here.

Please contact hubsouth@artworxto.ca for questions or media inquiries.

Directions
The exhibition is located in the West Wing and Oak Room inside Union Station. These spaces can be accessed from Front Street, or within the station, and located immediately west of the Great Hall. There is also an installation in the Front St. Promenade Vitrine. Wayfinding signage is present.

This exhibition series is accessible.

Hours
Union Station is open daily from 5:30 am to 12:45 am

About ArtworxTO
ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022 is a year-long celebration of Toronto’s exceptional public art collection and the creative community behind it. Working closely with artists and Toronto’s arts institutions, the City of Toronto is delivering major public art projects and commissions, citywide, from fall 2021 to fall 2022. Supporting local artists and new artworks that reflect Toronto’s diversity, ArtworxTO is creating more opportunities for Torontonians to engage with art in their everyday lives. This year, explore your city and discover creativity and community–everywhere. Visit artworxTO.ca for full details.

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