Slut Nation: Anatomy of a Protest

Wendy Coburn, Slut Nation: Anatomy of a Protest (video still), 36:29 minutes, Colour, 2014

Vtape and Onsite Gallery, OCAD University present:

Slut Nation: Anatomy of a Protest

Online screening of Wendy Coburn’s critical video exploring the intricacies of public protest

Followed by discussion with panelists:
Josh Lamers, Aliya Pabani and Kirsty Robertson

Moderated by Rebecca Garrett and b.h. Yael

Tuesday, February 9, 2021
7 to 9 p.m. EST

Register on eventbrite (receive an email reminder one hour before event)
or
Attend directly via Vtape

Accessibility:
Sign language interpretation will be provided for introduction and discussion
Video captioning will be provided

Slut Nation: Anatomy of a Protest, revisits the world’s first Slutwalk protest. Grassroots and spontaneous, the 2011 protest offered an important rebuttal of a Toronto Police officer’s comments at a safety and security panel at York University, drawing attention to the ways in which gender stereotyping diverts the focus from the perpetrators of violence, and blames survivors of sexual assault instead. The protest’s critique of the persistence of rape culture inspired countless satellite protests across the globe. Coburn’s reconstruction of the 2011 Toronto protest highlights the movement of a possible group of provocateurs, including their representation in the media, as they march three blocks from Queen’s Park to the Toronto Police Headquarters. Bringing together footage and photographs taken by citizen journalists, the media, and the artist’s friends, Coburn’s work draws parallels to the haunting history of the infiltration of protests in Toronto, including those following the gay bath-house raids in 1981 through to the largest mass arrests of citizens in Canada at the G20 in 2010.

Ultimately, Coburn’s expansive body of work poses a series of questions related to freedom of assembly, the critical role of protest, and tactics used to undermine social justice organizing and positive social change.

Biographies:

Wendy Coburn (October 5, 1963 – June 15, 2015) was a Toronto-based artist and art educator whose studio practice included photography, sculpture, installation and video. Her multi-disciplinary work engages a range of concerns such as human relations to land and ecologies, power relations and the construction of differences, popular culture, mental health, gender, whiteness, nationhood and the role of images in mediating cultural difference.

Her work has been exhibited and screened in galleries and festivals including Anatomy of a Protest (Justina M. Barnicke Gallery), Photophobia (Art Gallery of Hamilton), The Living Effect (Ottawa Art Gallery), MIX (New York Gay & Lesbian Experimental Film/Video Festival), Transmediale International Media Art Festival (Berlin, Germany), Beaver Tales and Uneasy Pieces (Oakville Galleries), Kassel Documentary Film & Video Festival (Kassel, Germany), and the Dublin Lesbian & Gay Film and Video Festival (Dublin, Ireland).

Coburn received her MFA from Concordia University and AOCA from OCAD University. She worked for 18 years at OCAD U including as Assistant Dean and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Art, and as a faculty member with the Sculpture Installation and the Art & Social Change programs. As a key participant in the creation of OCAD U’s Art and Social Change minor, Wendy developed the groundbreaking course “Making Gender: LBGTQ Studio” which seeks to foster a greater awareness and understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer cultures and subcultures.

Rebecca Garrett (she/her) is a Toronto based artist whose use of media is situation specific. Garrett has exhibited film and video installations; photo-based wall pieces; mixed media and performative interventions; site specific installations; and single channel videos, in numerous sites and venues in Canada and abroad. More information

Josh Lamers (he/him) is a Black queer organizer, activist, law student, and child welfare survivor/abolitionist. Josh’s community and academic work centres the intersections of Blackness, Disability and madness, child welfare survivorship, queerness and transness. More information

Aliya Pabani (she/her) is a Toronto-based artist and audio producer. Previously, she was host and co-producer of Canadaland’s arts and culture podcast, The Imposter, and she’s also produced audio for BBC 4’s Short Cuts, the Toronto Biennial of Art, and in the Barbican’s Soundhouse program. More information

Kirsty Robertson (she/her) is Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Director of Museum and Curatorial Studies at Western University, Canada (London, Ontario). Robertson has published widely on activism, visual culture and museums culminating in her book, Tear Gas Epiphanies: Protest, Museums, Culture (McGill-Queen’s University Press, May 2019). More information

b.h. Yael (she/her) is a filmmaker and installation artist. She is Professor of Integrated Media at OCAD University and past Chair of Senate. Her work has dealt with the many intersections of identity and family (Fresh Blood); it has focused on activist initiatives in Palestine/Israel (Palestine Trilogy and other works), as well as apocalypse, geopolitical and environmental urgencies (Trading the Future). More information

Also, we are looking forward to Wendy Coburn’s upcoming solo exhibition:

Wendy Coburn, Fable for Tomorrow, 2008, bisque-fired clay, 7″x 7″ x 5.5″ each

Fable for Tomorrow: A Survey of Works by Wendy Coburn

Opening date to be confirmed: we are currently hoping to be open March 3 to May 15, 2021

Curated by Andrea Fatona and Caroline Seck Langill with video programming by b.h. Yael and Rebecca Garrett

Fable for Tomorrow presents the first survey of Wendy Coburn’s artwork. The exhibition provides an opportunity to bring together four decades of sculpture, installation, photography and video that reveals her ability to sense the pulse of a deep present while asking us to pay attention to other futures. Coburn’s work explores representations of gender, sexualities, everyday objects, material culture, and human/animal relations.

The Estate of Wendy Coburn is represented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto.

Core exhibition of the CONTACT Photography Festival. Presented in partnership with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Slut Nation: Anatomy of a Protest
Contact Information:
Vtape
Kiera Boult, Submissions, Collections & Outreach Coordinator
info@vtape.org
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Onsite Gallery is the flagship professional gallery of OCAD U and an experimental curatorial platform for art, design and new media. The gallery is temporarily closed due to health and safety restrictions.

Contact Information:
Onsite Gallery
Lisa Deanne Smith, Curator
onsite@ocadu.ca
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