Let me take you there

Katherine Takpannie, Sedna | ᓴᓐᓇ #6, 2021. Courtesy Olga Korper Gallery.

Let me take you there

May 13 – July 22, 2023
Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough

Works by Clovis-Alexandre Desvarieux (Montreal, QC), Miruna Drăgan (Drumheller, AB), Sara Khan (Vancouver, BC), Hea R. Kim (Montreal, QC), Emily Jan (Edmonton, AB), Kosisochukwu Nnebe (Montreal, QC), Marigold Santos (Calgary, AB), Eve Tagny (Montreal, QC), Katherine Takpannie (Ottawa, ON)

Curated by Mona Filip

The stories we tell about the world – how it was made, what forces influence its course, and what our place is in its ecosystem – articulate who we are as much as who we could be. Passed on through many generations, these beliefs, legends, or parables never belong to the past; their teachings continue their work in the present as they keep showing us how we can forge boundless paths forward, constantly rebuilding the world. Even if sometimes forgotten and lost, they may linger in our inherited subconscious and be recalled intuitively through our receptive bodies.

Let me take you there is a multimedia exhibition that brings together a group of Canadian artists whose practices mine ancestral histories and knowledge accessed through oral traditions, folklore, spiritual practices, and embodied awareness to envision possible futures. Inspired by cultural stories of creation, transformation, and rebirth, as well as instinctively conceived rituals of empathy and repair, these artists propose new ways of being in community and a rethinking of social and natural systems, interpersonal relations, and beyond-human connections. As the title suggests, the project is an invitation to collectively reimagine and dream the world anew.

Kosisochukwu Nnebe, video still, Ndi nna nnanyi na ezuko maka na anyi zukoro / Imaaqai, suvulivut katittut katisimagannuk / The ancestors are meeting because we have met, 2022. Single channel video, 22:01. Courtesy of the artist.

Reception and Public Programs

All programming is free and all are welcome, some programs require registration. For in-person programs, please see the DMG website for visitor information. Please contact dmg.utsc@utoronto.ca with any accommodation needs and gallery staff will follow up with you as necessary.

Opening Reception
Saturday, May 13, 2 – 4 pm
Location: Doris McCarthy Gallery
Free shuttle bus from OCADU departs at 1 pm, returning at 4 pm. To register for the bus, email dmg.utsc@utoronto.ca.

Join us to celebrate the opening of Let me take you there at this public reception, including remarks by curator Mona Filip and artists Miruna Drăgan, Emily Jan, Hea R. Kim, and Kosisochukwu Nnebe at 2:30 pm. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be offered.

Artist Talk by Katherine Takpannie
Wednesday, May 31, 1 – 2 pm
Location: Online
Registration required: dmg-vals-takpannie.eventbrite.ca

Katherine Takpannie is an urban Inuk artist and writer, whose family is originally from Nunavut and continues to hold strong ties to its land and community. Working primarily with photography, Katherine captures performative and political gestures, set against both natural and built environments, including intimate portraits of women. She honours the Inuit worldview through her lens, using the medium to reclaim her identity, explore her lived experiences, and assert a vision that is strongly grounded in social accountability and unity.

Part of the Visiting Artist Lecture Series, co-presented by the Studio program, Department of Arts, Culture & Media, U of T Scarborough.

Curatorial Tour by Mona Filip
Thursday, June 8, 1 – 2 pm
Location: Doris McCarthy Gallery

Curator Mona Filip will lead a drop-in exhibition tour of Let me take you there, discussing the artworks and curatorial themes.

Let me take you there: Observational Poetry Walk with Sheniz Janmohamed
Saturday, July 22, 2 – 3:30 pm
Location: Highland Creek Valley Trail, U of T Scarborough
Registration required: lmtyt-poetry-walk.eventbrite.ca

Led by poet, educator, and nature artist Sheniz Janmohamed, participants will walk through the Highland Creek Valley with the imagined presence of a biological or cultural ancestor. They will be given gentle prompts to write about their own creation myths, stories, and folk tales. Where does magic unfold in our daily lives? Where do we witness ancestral signs? What can the outside world tell us about ourselves? At the end of the walk, participants will create their own nature altars as offerings to their ancestors.

Sara Khan, Those who came before us, 2020. Watercolour and pencil on paper, 30 x 55.9 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Doris McCarthy Gallery
University of Toronto Scarborough
1265 Military Trail
Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4

Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 11 am to 4 pm; Wednesday, 11 am to 7 pm; Saturday, 11 to 5 pm. Admission is free. Open to the public. The gallery is wheelchair accessible.

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Image descriptions:
1) Photograph of a woman laying on an expanse of snow, propped up on her elbows, with her back to the camera. She looks like a mermaid, with long dark green/blue hair and bare shoulders, clothed in a tube dress with an iridescent scale pattern that ends in a fishtail. Behind her and swirling around her head are plumes of grey, blue, and purple smoke.
2) Still of a splitscreen video. On the left, a Black man with a short white beard, with his head and upper body in frame, holds a wooden object in front of him. On the right, a wider shot shows the same man sitting in a chair between two women, also sitting in chairs. The man holds the wooden object in front of his face. In front of him on the floor are a bowl and a bottle. The women, one Inuk and one Black, are facing each other and appear to be listening to the man.
3) A watercolour painting featuring two figures walking, viewed from the side. Their bodies are patterned, one with a pink floral motif, and the other featuring orange and yellow leaves. They are walking in a landscape of pink and blue hills, with orange trees in the background. Below them, sprinkled on the hill they are walking on, are a series of small disembodied faces.