Sur Gallery opens Winter 2024 with Tracing Labor Territories


January 25 – March 30, 2024

Opening Reception:
Thursday, January 25, 7-9pm
Register here.

Curator Tour in Spanish with Mariza Rosales Argonza:
Saturday, January 27, 2- 3pm
Register here.

Artist Talk with Martín Rodríguez and Anahí Gonzalez Terán:
Thursday, February 8, 7-8pm
Register here.

Curator Tour with Tamara Toledo:
Thursday, February 22, 7pm
Register here.

About the Exhibition

The artists in the exhibition deconstruct the politicized spaces that lie between territory and labor, outlining the imperial and colonial relationship of the North and the South. Four artists listen and interpret migratory flows between borders, they shift the margins and narratives with various artistic proposals and mediums. From photography to video installation, to sound art the artists Anahí González, María Hoyos, Martín Rodríguez, and Victor Vargas offer counter-narratives and a perspective of the migrant worker who is often marginal, silenced, exploited, and erased, within a settler colonial state that profits of their labor force while making their presence invisible.

For more than fifty years, Canada has relied heavily on seasonal workers to fill labor shortages to ensure food self-sufficiency. The artists in Tracing Labor Territories allude to the various impacts that result out of this geopolitical phenomenon. Victor Vargas depicts the alienating experience of temporary agricultural workers separated from their loved ones, while María Hoyos denounces the physical harms caused under poor working conditions. Martín Rodríguez depicts human migration through the immateriality of sound, and Anahí González reminds us of the geopolitical implications and effects of a neoliberal economic model and reveal the impact of globalization. The artists delve into the multiple nuances that permeate territory within nation state building, while exploring cross-border thinking at its core. The profit of land and of people mark a site of complicity, through renewed forms of human exploitation, and through the perpetuation of privilege. The artists assume the responsibility of exposing its reality and truth.

The artworks in Tracing Labor Territories foreground the experiences of underrepresented subjects within a predominantly White and elitist arts industry, and insert the image and voice of migrant workers to the imaginary of contemporary Canadian art.

Curated by Mariza Rosales Argonza and Tamara Toledo

Anahí González, Congelado(s), Inkjet Print, 40in x 30in, 2021. Image courtesy of the artist.

About the Artists

Anahí González is a Mexican photographer based in London, Canada. She holds a BA in Communication from the Universidad del Valle de México, an MFA from Western University and is currently an Art and Visual Culture Ph.D. candidate at Western University. González was selected to be part of the AGO X RBC Emerging Artist Exchange program (2022) and was a grant holder of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte Grant (Jóvenes Creadores) in Mexico, Generation 2021-2022. Selected exhibitions include: Hacia Arriba / Upwards at Xpace Cultural Centre, a Core Exhibition of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival (Canada 2023); and The Other Neighbour of El Otro Lado at the Artlab and the Nodo (Canada and Mexico, 2021).

Martín Rodríguez is a transmission and sound artist whose work emerges from his Chicanx upbringing along the Arizona-Mexico border. Rodríguez employs performance, intervention, and installation as a process for deciphering aural histories and entangled identities. Rodríguez approaches his work from the Chicanx concept of rasquachismo; this type of methodology utilizes pragmatic ways of remaking and hacking material and objects to reimagine their function. This is a process born from adapting, merging, and creating something practical and new from scarcity. His work has been presented by the Musée d’art contemporain Montréal, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City, Walking Festival for Sound in the United Kingdom, Spektrum in Denmark, and has shown his work in many other cities.

Victor Vargas was born in Mexico City and is currently based in Montreal. He received a BSc in Actuarial Sciences at the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico). After working in actuarial related positions, Vargas decided to shift his focus towards photography. In 2005, he studied photography and cinema at the Casa del Lago in Mexico City and Dawson College in Montreal. His documentary Paal won several awards and prizes in film festivals across the world and it was nominated for the Mexican Academy Award in 2013. His still photography has been recognized worldwide including a first prize at the Sony World Photo Awards in 2012. Victor is represented by The Print Atelier.

María Hoyos is a Cali born Colombian artist currently based in Montreal since 2002. She studied Art and Art Education at UQAM (University of Quebec in Montreal) and completed her master’s degree in creation in the same institution. Within her installation she explores the geopolitical history of sugar and the working conditions of its industry. Her master’s work has been exhibited in the Galerie de l’UQAM. She recently joined the artist collective Intervals, which was co-founded by Maria Ezcurra, Dominique Fontaine, Romeo Gongora, and Miwa Kojima. The artist is recepient of the Intersections 2023-2024 residency, awarded by the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the OPTICA contemporary art center and UQAM’s École des arts visuels et médiatiques de l’université de Québec á Montréal.

About the Curators

Mariza Rosales Argonza is a visual artist, researcher, and cultural mediator. She received her Bachelor at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM) and went on to complete a master’s in art history and a PhD in Modern and Contemporary Art from the Universidad Autónoma de Quéretaro/Centro de Cultura Casa Lamm in Mexico City. She received a postdoctoral fellowship at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and was coordinator for the research centre Cultures-Arts-Sociétés (CELAT) at UQAM. Rosales Argonza published the 2018 edited volume Vues transversales: Panorama de la scène artistique latino-québécoise (Cross-sectional views: Panorama of the Latin-Quebec artistic scene) and is the author of various essays.

Tamara Toledo is a curator, scholar, and artist based in Toronto. She is a graduate of OCAD University, with an MFA from York University, and is currently a PhD candidate in Art History and Visual Culture. Her research focuses on hemispheric connections, decolonial methodologies and practices, diasporic histories, and the legacies of the Cold war era in contemporary art. Toledo has been published by ARM Journal, C Magazine, Fuse, Canadian Art, and Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture Journal of the University of California. She has participated in various conferences and symposiums across Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Toledo is currently the Director/Curator of Sur Gallery.

Sur Gallery is Toronto’s first gallery space dedicated to the exhibition and critical engagement of contemporary Latin American art and is a project of LACAP.

For information contact:
Facebook @LACAParts
YouTube @lacapcanada

Gallery Hours:
Wednesday to Friday: Noon – 6pm
Saturday: 11pm – 5pm

100-39 Queens Quay East
Toronto, ON

Sur Gallery acknowledges the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; Ontario Arts Council; Toronto Arts Council; and The City of Toronto through section 37. Sur Gallery also acknowledges its sponsors Ready2Post; See Through Web; and Hoffworks Productions.