Sur Gallery presents Latin@merica: Embedding Bodies and Localities
April 1 to May 29, 2021
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Latin@merica: Embedding Bodies and Localities offers the possibility of rethinking how traditional place-based affiliations and notions of cultural identity end up reproduced, reaffirmed, or even transformed in the digital realm. The exhibition aims to highlight how technology has had an impact in the construction of Latin American identity and its networked localities. New forms of negotiation between the local and the global, between the virtual and the real are constantly being elaborated by the presented works, leading to new ways of understanding what it means to be Latinx and/or Latin American in a contemporary digital field.
Alexandra Gelis, Ana Maria Millán, Santiago Tavera and Laura Acosta interrogate some of the key place-based concerns of Latinx identity through their on-and offline cultural practice. Using new media technologies, these artists express alternative viewpoints about the places they represent allowing people to make important connections to their physical and offline locations. This tactical interplay between virtual and real space to construct new formulations of territorial identity and new cartographies of urban/rural space, give voice to oppositional discussions through new media technologies, alternative modes of expression and dissemination.
The artists in Latin@merica engage in re-appropriations and re-imaginings of globalizing technologies, providing space for the expression of resistance discourses and towards the recuperation of cultural memory.
Curated by Claudia Arana
Co-presented with Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts
Sur Gallery Exhibition: 39 Queens Quay East, Suite 100
Online Exhibition: www.surgalleryvirtual.ca
Online Opening Reception via Zoom:
With Live Performance by artist Luis Navarro and Jessica Rodriguez
Thursday, May 6, 6-8 PM ET
Curator Tour with Claudia Arana:
Tuesday, April 6, 6-8 PM ET on Zoom
Video Interviews with Eva Salinas and Latin@merica Artists:
On Sur Gallery Virtual Platform and Mayworks Festival Website
In separate discussions with Eva Salinas, artists Alexandra Gelis, Ana Maria Millán, Santiago Tavera and Laura Acosta discuss their current work and their relationship to the identities of Latinx, artist and worker, especially in a time of uncertainty and precarity. These short video interviews provide an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the exhibit and the creators of the respective works.
Alexandra Gelis, May 3-9
Ana Maria Millán, May 10-16
Santiago Tavera and Laura Acosta, May 17-23
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Alexandra Gelis is a Colombian-Venezuelan, media artist with a background in visual arts and is currently a PhD candidate in Environmental Studies at York University. Her work predominantly involves photography, video, electronic and digital processes. Gelis’ work addresses the use of the image in relation to displacement, landscape and politics beyond borders or culturally specific subjects. She also works as an educator/facilitator, leading video and photography workshops for youth in marginalized communities in Canada, Colombia and Panama. www.alexandragelis.com
Ana María Millán’s practice addresses the politics of animation in relation to digital cultures and subcultures, gender and propaganda. She has developed techniques based on role-playing and reenactment, using animation as a methodology to create a series of plays that ultimately become narrative films. It speaks from amateur cultures, pop political culture, sound territories and technology to develop flawed and dysfunctional narratives. anamariamillan.info
Santiago Tavera constructs immersive and interactive installations that explore virtual narratives of dislocation and perception. His multimedia video compositions, 3D graphic animations, text, sound and reflective materials evoke experiences of physical, digital and queer notions of identification and representation. Tavera holds an MFA in Intermedia from Concordia University and a BA with an Honor Specialization in Visual Arts and a Major in Psychology from Western University. Tavera is currently a visiting scholar and project manager at the Elastic Spaces Multimedia lab at Concordia University. www.santiagotavera.com
Laura Acosta creates absurd scenes integrating improvised movement, textile structures and multimedia elements as a way to explore themes of identity and representation. Her audiovisual compositions depict objects or individuals in a process of identification, translation or adaptation in order to create ephemeral moments of displacement in public and private settings. She holds an MFA in Fibers and Material Studies from Concordia University, an interdisciplinary BFA from NSCAD University, and an advanced diploma in Fine Arts from Fanshawe College. Currently, Laura works at Concordia University as the Head of Costumes in the Theatre Department. www.laura-acosta.com
Luis Navarro Del Angel is a PhD student in New Media and Cultural studies at McMaster University. His research involves creating computer music software injected with Latinx and Latin American musical expressions from political resistance movements. Luis’ project connects knowledge and practice from the interdisciplinary fields of critical code studies, new interfaces for musical expression, live coding, and Latin American musicology with decolonial approaches of border thinking and participatory action research. luisnavarrodelangel.net
Jessica Rodriguez is a visual and audio artist, designer, and researcher from Mexico. She’s currently doing a Ph.D. in Communication, New Media, and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in Canada. Her work focuses on audiovisual practices including live coding to produce a language for live visual music. She is the co-founder of Andamio, a collaboration platform that collides technologies with text, visuals, and sound to explore practices such as visual music, electronic literature, video experimentation, live coding. andamio.in
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER
Eva Salinas is an editor, communications specialist and journalism instructor. She is the former editor of foreign affairs site OpenCanada.org, editor of The Santiago Times in Chile, a trainer for Journalists for Human Rights in Ghana and has written for the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Financial Post, The Times and others. She is also the author of Latin Americans Thought of It, an educational book for children, published by Annick Press.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Claudia Arana is an independent curator, arts administrator, and cultural connector who has instilled in her practice the construction of virtual and physical artistic platforms to promote inclusion of different cultural perspectives. She aims to include socially and politically viable artistic practices through the engagement of physical and digital spaces exploring notions of kinship, memory, radicalization and global migration. She studied Art Theory and Critical Thinking at the School of Visual Arts as well as Advanced Critique at the International Centre of Photography in New York City. Arana is the curator for the ArtworxTO Cultural Hub in Etobicoke for the 2021 Toronto’s Year of Public Art and the current Operations Manager at Sur Gallery.
ABOUT 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.
Gallery Hours: (Pending Restrictions)
To book an appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
100-39 Queens Quay East, Toronto
Sur Gallery acknowledges its partner Mayworks Festival as well as its funders the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and The City of Toronto through section 37.