Marton Robinson: Un Lugar Para Enterrarla – A Place To Bury

Marton Robinson: Un Lugar Para Enterrarla – A Place To Bury

Curated by soJin Chun

August 26 – October 21, 2023
Opening Reception & Artist Talk: August 26, 3-6 pm (talk at 5 pm)
White Water Gallery, North Bay

Marton Robinson’s exhibition, Un Lugar Para Enterrarla (A Place to Bury), delves into the socio-political contexts implicitly embedded in urban and so-called “natural” landscapes. In turn, these unspoken codes determine the presence and absence of bodies within these spaces. Landscapes are never neutral or unbiased. Robinson questions what happens when “Othered” or racialized bodies enter these landscapes subverting the reading of these sites. Through this exhibition, he creates an all-immersive installation that mimics a billboard shop. Using structures similar to signage and advertising billboards on the side of highways, he readapts representation of Black bodies inspired by the myriad of Global representations of blackness and his cultural background as a Black Costa Rican. This show is in part inspired by the landscapes of Northern Ontario as well as other colonized landscapes and their role within a global capitalist market.

Utilizing “Ethnopornograpy as a conceptual apparatus”, Robinson reconsiders the relationship between landscapes and those that have been erased from the dominant discourse whether in his birthplace of Costa Rica or where he resided in the United States and Canada. Ethnopornogrphy as a concept lays out the ground to consider how ethnography and pornography have a parallel lineage through the history of enslaved people and displays of racialized bodies as entertainment from the late 1800s. Ethnography paved the way to conceive racialized bodies as “Other” which used a similar process to create a narrative of hypersexualized black bodies in late 19th-century pornography. These processes were colonial tools to create a dynamic of power and control upon Othered identities. Robinson’s exhibition brings this narrative into the 21st century to expose the deeply embedded histories of colonization and subjugation in our contemporary times.

This is the last exhibition of the Archives of Resistance project curated by soJin Chun, which brings together contemporary artists that work with alternative archives as raw material for their work. This project includes online exhibitions by Jennifer Dysart (Canada), The Archive of Trans Memory (Argentina), and Catrileo Carrión Community (Chile/USA). Artists presented works that illustrate stories of resistance providing an intimate and nuanced look at the community history they represent.

About the Artist

Marton Robinson is based in Toronto, Ontario, and Los Angeles, California. The Costa Rican artist and academic has an interdisciplinary background informed by his integral health and visual art and communication studies. Robinson creates installations and performances investigating modes of communication and translation–of history, culture, and identity–that challenge the conventions of blackness in art history, mainstream culture, and “official national narratives”, particularly those of Costa Rica. In addition, the artist is interested in currencies of knowledge and informal economies, and the effect they have on the acquisition and redistribution of generational wealth. Robinson has participated in exhibitions at The Getty Center, Fundación Ars TEOR/éTica, X Bienal Centroamericana, Le Palais de Tokyo, Museo Amparo, 21st Biennial Contemporary Art Sesc Videobrasil, Trienal Internacional de Performance Deformes, and The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Robinson is a recipient of the University of Southern California Artist International Fellowship, Alter-academia Residency, The Fountainhead Residency, Eyebeam Fractal Fellowship, and Office for Contemporary Art Norway Residency.

About the Curator

soJin Chun is a Toronto-based curator, artist, and educator that explores the alternative dialogues that emerge in-between cultures and disciplines. With a focus on collaboration, her work unpacks identities and narratives that exist outside of dominant representations. soJin’s diverse art practice has been informed by her personal experience living in the Korean diaspora in Bolivia and Canada while recognizing her colonized subjectivity as an English, Spanish, and Portuguese speaker. Through International artist residencies, soJin has developed a collaborative art practice working with local communities to resist stereotypes, gentrification, and displacement.

Chun has participated in international film festivals such as the Cine Toro Film Festival (Colombia), Oberhausen International Film Festival (Germany) and Videofromes (France). She has exhibited Internationally in DIY art spaces, galleries, and museums. In 2021, she participated in a group exhibition titled, Bop, Art & Labour at Alternative Artspace Ipo in Seoul, Korea. soJin’s video works are represented by GIV (Montreal), CFMDC (Toronto), and V-Tape (Toronto). Chun has a B.A. in Applied Arts from Ryerson University and a Masters in Communications and Culture from Ryerson/York Universities. She is currently an Assistant Professor at OCAD University in Toronto.

White Water Gallery
White Water Gallery is a not-for-profit Artist-Run Centre committed to supporting artistic practices that prioritize risk and innovation. Understanding the need to advance the public’s threshold for viewing contemporary art, the gallery encourages outreach programming that promotes accessibility and shared knowledge.

Founded in 1974 and incorporated in 1977, the White Water Gallery was originally created to facilitate opportunities for local artists in need of professional development who were unable to find accommodating venues for their research and dissemination projects. This need, combined with the dedication of many local artists, founded an institution devoted to the support of artistic development prioritizing research, risk-taking and experimentation in the arts. Today many of Canada’s most established and successful artists acknowledge the role WWG has played in advancing their careers.

Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC) logo

Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC)
Established in 1967, CFMDC is a not-for-profit, non-commercial media arts distributor. We specialize in independent, artist-made work on film and video, including works from historically underrepresented communities. CFMDC advocates for a holistic understanding of production, distribution and exhibition that prioritizes artist rights, accessibility and the creation of new audiences through education and critical thinking. We have one of the most important collections of artist-made moving image on film in Canada that includes 16mm, 35mm and (s)8mm films.

Through a unique and successful national and international distribution service, CFMDC’s collection is available for preview, rental or sale for the purposes of research, exhibition, screening, and broadcast as well as for institutional and private acquisition. We distribute through physical media and online streaming; on multiple formats including celluloid, video, digital, and DCP.

Thanks to CFMDC for their partnership in this project as well as funders, Canada Council for the Arts & Ontario Arts Council.

White Water Gallery
159 Main Street East
North Bay, ON P1B 1A9
(705) 476-2444

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