I am land that speaks

ArtworxTO Hub South | Union Station

I am land that speaks at ArtworxTO Hub South: Union Station

June 14 to October 2, 2022
Union Station, Toronto

Opening Reception: June 14, 2022
Curator Tour – 6:15pm to 7pm
Reception – 7pm to 9pm

Curated by Maya Wilson-Sanchez

Artwork by Eric Gallardo, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Ishtar’s International Network of Feral Gardens, Alvin Luong, MADEYOULOOK, Chris Mendoza, Lisa Myers, Waard Ward, and Tania Willard

About the exhibition

This exhibition brings attention to stories that come directly from the land. Engaging with storytelling practices specific to a certain place, the artworks in this show highlight history-making as a site-specific exercise. I am land that speaks is the third and final chapter of the I am land exhibition series that considers how artists take on the role of chroniclers. From Eric Gallardo’s and Tania Willard’s collaboration with and acknowledgment of other-than-humans, to Lisa Myers’s, MADEYOULOOK’s, and Chris Mendoza’s exploration and criticism of land development and private property, the show reflects on the destructive relationship we continue to have with our environment while also proposing changes that will improve our collective existence. It also expands on the work of the chronicler by opening up time into non-linear explorations of the future, with artists Alvin Luong and Cannupa Hanska Luger presenting documents of speculative futures. Exploring embodied connections to land, this exhibition also includes off-site gardens and virtual programs that involve participatory and community-based methods for learning and growing together. I am land brings up ideas of public history and empowers collective history-making, demanding that our public spaces reflect our past, present, and future.

I am land that speaks is the third and final chapter of the I am land exhibition series curated by Maya Wilson-Sanchez for ArtworxTO – Toronto’s Year of Public Art.

We Live Future Ancestral Technologies Entry Log, 2min 55s, 2019. Single channel video, audio poem, The One Who Checks & The One Who Balances regalia. 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.

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

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. Wayfinding signage is present.

This exhibition series is accessible.

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.

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

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