Nostalgia Interrupted

September 15 – December 10, 2022
Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough

Curated by Ingrid Jones
Core Exhibition in the 2022 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

The DMG presents a new exhibition this fall – in the gallery and online, the group exhibition Nostalgia Interrupted is a hybrid presentation of eight artists exhibited digitally in partnership with Aegis Design, and five artists exhibited in person at the Doris McCarthy Gallery.

Exhibition at Doris McCarthy Gallery with works by Chantal Gibson, Caroline Monnet, Howardena Pindell, Dima Srouji, and Shellie Zhang

Digital Exhibition designed by Aegis with works by Joi T. Arcand, Alyssa Bistonath, Janice Chung, Chantal Gibson, Caroline Monnet, Howardena Pindell, Dima Srouji, and Shellie Zhang (launches September 29, 2022)

Chantal Gibson, Braided Book, 2011, Mixed media altered book sculpture. Book, photo, black waxed linen thread. Photo: Chantal Gibson & Adrian Bisek.

In the past few years, nostalgia has made a comeback. Not just in the form of flared denim, Barbiecore or oversized shades, but in our political climate, media and legislation. Unlike the expected rose-coloured idealism, this resurgence is of insidious proportions. It whispers sweet nothings to a white base fearful of globalization with slogans such as “We want our country back” and “Make America Great Again.” It touts The Great Replacement and asks its followers to “…stand up for the values that make this country great” while threatening to screen potential Black and brown immigrants for “Canadian values.” This sentimentality is not inclusive. It is a stark reminder of the complexities involved in BIPOC nostalgia, one consistently interrupted by terror, inequality, disposability, fear and aggression.

Nostalgia Interrupted highlights the reminiscence and perseverance of BIPOC communities through lens-based media, text, and installation. Eschewing whitewashed notions of sanguine sentimentalism as portrayed by a dominant hierarchy, this exhibition explores the aspirations, resistance, and heartbreak of marginalized communities within the context of systemic racism, xenophobia and oppression.

Reception and Public Programs

All programming is free. ASL interpretation and other access features provided where noted, or available upon request by contacting Please see the DMG website for visitor information and up-to-date COVID guidelines.

Opening Reception
Saturday, September 24, 2 – 5 pm
Curator and artist remarks at 3 pm (with ASL interpretation)
Tour and shuttle bus pickup from Arsenal Contemporary (45 Ernest Ave, Toronto) at 1:30 pm

Join us to celebrate the opening of Nostalgia Interrupted at this public reception, including remarks by curator Ingrid Jones and artist Shellie Zhang. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be offered, all welcome.

Get the bus to Scarborough – a tour of Echoes from a Near Future, a solo exhibition by Nostalgia Interrupted exhibiting artist, Caroline Monnet, will take place at Arsenal Contemporary at 1:30 pm, followed by a shuttle bus pickup to the DMG opening reception at 2 pm. Bus will return to Arsenal Contemporary at 4:30 pm.

Future Nostalgia: A Time Capsule Collaboration
Saturday, November 26, 2022, 1 – 3 pm

Inspired by the themes explored in Nostalgia Interrupted, this collaborative program provides space for BIPOC identifying folks to come together and reflect on individual and collective memories, histories and lived experiences while contributing to an artifact for future reminiscence. Led by artist and educator Leila Fatemi, participants will collaborate on building a time capsule that includes memorabilia, letters, photos, objects, etc. which will be acquired by the DMG archive to capture the experiences of folks in our communities – past, present and for the future. The program will include a tour of the exhibition examining the artists’ individual approaches to interrupting nostalgia.

Programming for Nostalgia Interrupted with Educator-in-Residence Natalie Asumeng
Exhibition Tours: Wednesday, October 5, 1 – 2 pm, and Sunday, December 10, 2 – 3 pm

The Doris McCarthy Gallery Educator-in-Residence Program provides an emerging arts professional with mentorship and resources in order to research, plan, and implement a schedule of programs and outreach for specific exhibitions and audiences. Residents use their own creative practices to engage with exhibiting works in new and innovative ways.

Nostalgia Interrupted’s Educator-in-Residence is Natalie Asumeng, a Ghanaian-Canadian artist based in Toronto, working under the alias of 135 Studio. Natalie has an interdisciplinary practice that is conceptually driven. She creates and photographs environmental sets and organic sculptures, and produces powerful soundscapes that prompt emotion and contemplation. In addition to offering a set of exhibition tours, Natalie will be using her practice to develop programs for the exhibition. Learn more about her residency and upcoming programming

Howardena Pindell, video still, Free, White and 21, 1980. Courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.

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 an open book, with a textured, aged green and brown cover that reads “A History of Canada”. Where the pages would be, is set of three braids of what looks like black hair.
2) Video still of a Black woman seated in a wooden chair, wrapping her head in white bandages, obscuring her face. Shot from the chest up, she is wearing a blue shirt with buttons, and the background is orange. The image is slightly grainy and blurry, reflecting that it is shot on old film.