SOS: A Story of Survival, Part II – The Body

Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery

SOS: A Story of Survival, Part II – The Body

August 26, 2023 – January 7, 2024
Opening Party: Friday, September 22, 2023

Adad Hannah, Amy Smoke, Bangishimo, Denise Ferreira da Silva + Arjuna Neuman, Erik O’Neill, FASTWÜRMS, John Marriott, Kim Dorland, Karine Giboulo, Mary Kavanagh, Paul Roorda, Stephen Andrews, Wendy Coburn, Will Gorlitz, and objects from the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum

Curated by Darryn Doull

SOS: A Story of Survival is a three-part exhibition exploring what survival is, what it looks like and what it means to survive.

For Part II – The Body, issues, frameworks, struggles and successes of local and global significance are brought together. Subjects include the absolute destruction of war and conflict, comfort with death as a way of living more fully, migration, food and housing insecurity, and the raucous collapse of our shared environment. The exhibition is a quietly contemporary project in that it does not pretend to find solutions to these extreme circumstances. We are past all of the tipping points. There is no going back.

Instead, the works and artists gathered together here each propose and embody alternative frameworks, relations and possibilities. These are tools for survival amongst the gently falling ashes gathering on the ground and in our lungs. If we must warm our feet on the fires of the Anthropocene, how might it become possible that the distinct geological change that marks the epoch be inverted to one that is positive, recuperative and community-led?

It seems that change takes time, but Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges reminds us: Centuries and centuries and only in the present do things happen. Our generation(s) must contrast our origins and find footfall upon unknown terrain, buoyed by care and mutual aid, so that our 81.1 years of expected corporeal survival are something more than running, relocating and rebuilding from the latest collapse and disaster.

This is a story of survival.

Part I – The Image began the series in 2022 and Part III – The Planet will conclude the series in 2024.

Selected Programming

Opening Party with special guest DJ TBA
September 22, 6:00 – 7:00 pm (Members Preview) and 7:00 – 10:00 pm (Open to Public)

Panel Discussion: O:se Kenhionhata:tie – Land Back Camp, with Amy Smoke, Bangishimo and Erik O’Neill
September 30, 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Curator Tour with Darryn Doull
October 5, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

Death Café with Chris Lafazanos
Includes a brief Curator Tour of the exhibition
November 9, 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Artist Talk and Figure Making Workshop with Karine Giboulo
November 18, 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm

A Day With(out) Art
Stephen Andrews Spotlight (Friday) and Film screening (Saturday)
December 1, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
December 2, 1:30 – 2:30 pm

This exhibition is supported by the Musagetes Fund, held at Waterloo Region Community Foundation, the Allan Harding MacKay Curatorial Endowment Fund and the Waterloo Region Arts Fund.

About Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery

As Waterloo Region’s leading public art gallery, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (KWAG) connects people and ideas through art. Its nationally-acclaimed exhibitions and programs welcome all to be inspired and challenged through a deepened understanding of ourselves, our cultures and our communities. For the benefit of current and future generations, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery collects, preserves, researches, interprets and exhibits the visual arts. It offers dynamic public programs that inspire creativity and an appreciation of the visual arts in the Region and beyond. Established in 1956 and incorporated in 1968, KWAG is a non-profit organization open to the public and administered in the public trust.

KWAG respectfully acknowledges that we are located on the unceded traditional territory of the Attawandaron (Neutral), Anishnaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples.

The Haldimand Tract, land promised to Six Nations, includes 10 km on each side of the Grand River.

Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery logo

Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery
101 Queen St. North
Kitchener, ON N2H 6P7

Facebook | Instagram | X | YouTube | LinkedIn

Accessibility: KWAG is fully accessible.

Image credits:
1. Kim Dorland, Where are all the protest songs? (detail), 2022. Oil on panel, 213.4 x 609.6 cm. Courtesy of the Artist and Patel Brown. Photo by Darren Rigo.
2. Wendy Coburn, Slut Nation: Anatomy of a Protest, 2014. Digital video with sound. 36:29 mins. Courtesy of Vtape.
3. Korine Giboulo, Shelter, 2022. Camping tent, sleeping bag polymer clay, acrylic paint, lantern. Dimensions variable. Photo courtesy of Gardiner Museum, by Toni Hafkenscheid.