Stephanie Comilang: How to Make a Painting from Memory

Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography

Stephanie Comilang, Spirit House (Phra Phum) V, photo documentation by Andrea Rossetti at ChertLüdde (Berlin), 2022

How to Make a Painting from Memory
Stephanie Comilang

Exhibition Dates: January 5 – February 3, 2024
Opening Reception: January 5, 6:00 – 8:00PM

Within the immigrant experience, the porousness of home is well understood. Home can exist however and wherever one so recognizes it. How To Make A Painting From Memory works with the emancipated spirit of the variable home, grounding ideas of the aether-place into the architectural structure of a house and the physical strength capable of bearing its weight.

—Philip Leonard Ocampo, “I. Logic surging through the Aether”

Home and community figure prominently in Stephanie Comilang’s composite installation of sculpture, still and moving images; communal architectures—whether built structures or the interdependency of people in place—are malleable, nomadic containers of memory and belonging. Grounded in a familiar Filipino image of the Bayanihan (men carrying wooden nipa, referencing the spirit of cooperation and being in-community), Thai female migrant storytellers in an adjacent film, whose vocalized memories of their family homes are also rendered as 3D-printed spirit houses, the exhibition elucidates concepts of communal unity, cooperation and the protective spirit of place as modes of diasporic home-making, reciprocity, trust and relationality.

For more information read the two-part, mirrored essay I. Logic surging through the Aether II. Spirits flowing through the Circuit, by artist and arts facilitator Philip Leonard Ocampo.

Stephanie Comilang is an artist living and working in Berlin. Her documentary-based works create narratives that look at how our understandings of mobility, capital, and labour on a global scale are shaped through various cultural and social factors. Her work has been shown at the Tate Modern, Hamburger Bahnhof, Tai Kwun Hong Kong, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Julia Stoschek Collection, and Haus der Kunst. She was awarded the 2019 Sobey Art Award, Canada’s most prestigious art prize for artists 40 years and younger.

Stephanie Comilang, Spirit House (Phra Phum) IV, photo documentation by Andrea Rossetti at ChertLüdde (Berlin), 2022. Courtesy of the artist & ChertLüdde, Berlin

Artist Talk: Stephanie Comilang in conversation with Heather Canlas Rigg
Saturday, January 6, 1:30PM
The Commons at 401 Richmond Street West (4th Floor)

Please join us for an in-person conversation between Berlin-based artist Stephanie Comilang, and Toronto-based curator, writer and researcher, Heather Canlas Rigg. Comilang and Canlas Rigg’s practices have intersected for a number of years, including their feature interview, “I am the colour of burnt pineapple, mango, lemon” (C Magazine, 15 June 2019) and the exhibition Stephanie Comilang and Simon Speiser: Piña, Why is the Sky Blue? (Gallery TPW, 2022). We are delighted to bring Comilang and Canlas Rigg together for their first-ever public program in conversation, on the occasion of the Canadian premiere of Comilang’s exhibition How to Make A Painting from Memory.

Heather Canlas Rigg is a curator and writer based in Toronto. She is the Artistic Director of CONTACT Photography Festival, and is half of the curatorial collective ma ma. Canlas Rigg’s practice explores all mediums, and is rooted in investigating how artists employ the materiality of camera technologies to interrogate imperialist structures.

Julie Pasila, Lake Ontario from the series Sand Sigh, 20 x 24 inch archival inkjet print, 2020

Sand Sigh
Julie Pasila

Exhibition Dates: January 5 – February 3, 2024
Opening Reception: January 5, 6:00 – 8:00PM

The images in Sand Sigh were collected during repeated visits to the shoreline of Lake Ontario, along the southern edge of the Toronto Islands—a dynamic landscape that changes easily with the weather, revealing (and obscuring) natural patterns and material relics. Julie Pasila uses a combination of conventional and experimental analogue processes to visually comb the beach to explore ideas of ephemerality, ecology and the intersection of the natural and material world.

Julie Pasila (she/her) is a photo-based artist from Tkaronto/Toronto. She works with tactile, analogue processes to explore the landscape and its relationship to natural rhythms, timekeeping and place. Paila has exhibited in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe and received support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

G44 Digital is a platform to incubate and expand on research undertaken through exhibitions and residencies and consists of web projects, podcasts, exhibition walkthroughs and additional dialogues.

Systema Naturae – Anahita Norouzi in Conversation with Toleen Touq
A Podcast with Anahita Norouzi

In this special edition of the G44 podcast, Toronto-based curator Toleen Touq and Montreal-based artist Anahita Norouzi intersect colonial histories with herbaria, botanical taxonomies, the movement of plants and seeds, reclamation and gardens of resistance.

Systema Naturae
A Video Walkthrough

An exhibition walkthrough of Systema Naturae by Anahita Norouzi on view in the Main Gallery at Gallery 44 from November 3 – December 9, 2023. Video documentation by Miles Rufelds.

Vitrines Conversations
A Podcast with Jasmine Liaw

Jasmine Liaw and Caeden Wigston dive into Liaw’s multi-media practice, exploring topics of identity, vulnerability and belonging.

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Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography is an artist-run centre committed to supporting diverse approaches to photographic and image-based practices through exhibitions, education programs and facilitating artistic production. Gallery 44 provides space and context for meaningful dialogue between artists and publics. Together, we offer an entry point to explore the artistic, cultural, historic, social and political implications of the image in our ever-expanding visual world.

Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography
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Maegan Broadhurst
Head of Communications and Development