nichola feldman-kiss: refuge (SIREN)

refuge (SIREN) 2023 [screen grab] ©nichola feldman-kiss and Matheuszik and 2023

McMaster Museum of Art is pleased to present a new virtual exhibition by nichola feldman-kiss

refuge (SIREN) is an immersive web exhibition and digital dissemination project created as an extension of nichola feldman-kiss’ solo exhibition Scapegoat, presented at the McMaster Museum of Art in the Winter of 2022. This exploratory site is an excursion through oceanic passages, diasporic imaginaries and existential transitions. Submerged into the unsettling depths of descent and ascension, accompanying texts, audio works and images are remixed together in this virtual space and portal through tenacious journeys into new possible cartographies, honouring life’s urgent will to survive and thrive.

refuge (SIREN) guided video tour is an exploratory excursion into the digital underwater world created by feldman-kiss & Matheuszik with SPATIAL-ESK (aka Samual Kapasa). Narrator, SPATIAL-ESK, responds to the artwork with spoken words precipice and panacea, while guiding visitors through the ebb and flow of refuge (SIREN) virtual reality space in a diasporic remix with guest voices Anita Girvan and Luther Konadu. During the guided tour, visitors encounter underwater ephemera, debris, the suspended detritus of culture. Animated underwater elements, mysterious siren creatures, the scales of justice, laboratory chairs, undrowned portraits, human tolls and an explorable iceberg are adapted from feldman-kiss’s recent media installations, SIREN (2023), Scapegoat (2022), and the King’s two Bodies (2016). Passing through the space, we encounter the polycultural voices of women in collective ululation, marking transitional events of joy and sorrow. refuge (SIREN) is a portal of remixed sounds, images, words and virtual sculpture.

Experience the virtual exhibition here: refuge (SIREN)
This exhibition will be available through the McMaster Museum of Art website until May 8, 2023.

McMaster Museum of Art and nichola feldman-kiss gratefully acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council. is a project of feldman-kiss & Matheuszik generously funded by Canada Council for the Arts Digital Now 2022. Research, creation and production of SIREN (2023), Scapegoat (2022), and the King’s two Bodies (2016) have been generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council.


nichola feldman-kiss creates across disciplines with emphasis on relational, lens and hybrid media technologies presented as social engagement, institution intervention and public installation. feldman-kiss’s process-rich research proposes identity as a fugitive concept while focusing on the body as a contested site of cultural production. The artist’s 25 year oeuvre is an ongoing critique of the Colonial paradigm (the violent ingestion of land, resources, peoples and cultures). Their artworks and installations lay bare the entanglements of globalised order that insist rights onto some while withholding the same entitlements from others, and ask us to reconsider difficult questions about what it means to be conscious social bodies within the contemporary moment. nichola feldman-kiss art and technology innovations and institution interventions have been hosted by the National Research Council of Canada, the Ottawa Hospital Eye Institute, Canada’s Department of National Defence, and the United Nations among others.

nichola feldman-kiss holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. feldman-kiss is a first-generation Canadian of the Caribbean diaspora and a repatriated citizen of Germany and Jamaica working between Toronto (Tkaronto) and rural Newfoundland (Ktaqmkuk).


The McMaster Museum of Art is a meeting space for both the University campus and the community situated within the traditional territories of the Mississauga and the Haudenosaunee nations. The M(M)A engages and inspires through arts presentation and promotion, as well as by: growing an awareness of the interconnectivity of the past, present and future; advancing de-colonization; engaging in innovative and imaginative research; dismantling institutional and ideological boundaries; partnering and collaborating with intentionality; diversifying the collection; and building capacity.

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