Sur Gallery Reopens for Fall 2021 with Reimagining Mourning


Reimagining Mourning

September 30 – November 27, 2021
Sur Gallery, 39 Queens Quay East, Suite 100, Toronto, ON, M5E 0A5


Opening Reception at Sur Gallery:
Thursday, September 30, 6-8PM In-person
Register here

Curator Tour with Tamara Toledo
Thursday, October 21st, 6-7pm ET on Zoom
Register here

Online Artist Talk with Laura Barrón and Claudia Chagoya:
Thursday, November 4th, 6-7:30 PM ET on Zoom
Register here

Latin American Speaker Series with Rafael Lozano-Hemmer:
Thursday, November 18th, 7-8PM ET on Zoom.
In partnership with Hemispheric Encounters
Register here

Paolo Almario with Gerardo Mosquera:
Recording here


People must mourn, yet this human need has been challenged by the pandemic where thousands around the globe have not been able to accompany their sick relatives and friends during the last few days of their lives. Our rituals, funerals, vigils, ceremonies, and congregations have had to change in order to prevent further spread of the disease. The uncertainty of death has become as real and as palpable as the uncertainty of living, and those most vulnerable in our society have paid the heftiest price during this global tragedy. However, deprived of the ability to mourn has led to alternate modes of expression and human interaction. Many have adapted to new possibilities and perspectives, all of which include our process of mourning. The artists Paolo Almario, Laura Barrón, Claudia Chagoya, and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer offer new insights into this human quest and position the task as an all-encompassing and collective endeavor. Their work speaks to a generation of people who have had to overcome uncertainty and unpredictability, where memory serves as a powerful tool to re-conceptualize a different outcome.

The artists in the exhibition Reimagining Mourning construct narratives that discuss the despair faced by loss while also offering humanity a place for closure. No one can ever prepare for death or loss, but these artists allow a space for its representation, they display the fragility of life and the humanity we all share. Almario, Barrón, Chagoya, and Lozano-Hemmer capture an experiential and transcendental place, and they suggest a new terrain for its absent subject, no longer confined to isolation. Perhaps the ability of artists to provide spaces of revisiting, regenerating, and reimagining sites of remembrance and commemoration – one that we all long for and need – will lead us to acknowledge the horrors of our past and present, and seek to live a more just and balanced future.

– Tamara Toledo


Claudia Chagoya, Rebozo X (detail), Novem Series, 2019.

PAOLO ALMARIO is a Colombian artist based in Saguenay, Quebec. He completed a Master’s degree in Arts from the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi (UQAC). His work has been supported by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2018, he received the CALQ Award – Creator of the Year in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean. Almario’s work has been exhibited in Canada, Colombia, Italy, Belgium and France. Within his practice, Almario uses digital technologies to collect, analyze, codify, process and transform samples of reality into a plurality of artistic forms.

LAURA BARRÓN is a photo and video-based artist, and arts educator. She holds an MFA in Visual Arts from York University and a BFA from the National School of Plastic Arts (ENAP-UNAM) in Mexico. Barrón’s work belongs to several public and private collections and has been awarded and supported by FONCA- CONACULTA Mexico, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Since 1996, her work has been exhibited and published internationally.

CLAUDIA CHAGOYA is a Mexican Calgary-based interdisciplinary artist born in Zacatecas, Mexico, and based in Calgary, Canada. She holds an MFA degree from the University of Calgary, and a BFA from Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Chagoya has been an artist in Residence at the Royal College of Art in London, UK, the Women’s Centre of Calgary, and at Calgary Allied Arts Foundation at cSPACE King Edward, and has exhibited her work in both solo and group exhibitions in Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom.

RAFAEL LOZANO-HEMMER is a Mexican-born Montreal-based media artist working at the intersection of architecture and performance art. He creates platforms for public participation using technologies such as robotic lights, digital fountains, computerized surveillance, media walls, and telematic networks. He has also shown his work at the Biennials in Venice, Cuenca, Havana, Istanbul, Kochi, Liverpool, Melbourne NGV, Moscow, New Orleans, New York ICP, Seoul, Seville, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, and Wuzhen. Collections holding his work include MoMA and Guggenheim in New York, TATE in London, MAC and MBAM in Montreal, Jumex, and MUAC in Mexico City, DAROS in Zurich, MONA in Hobart, 21C Museum in Kanazawa, Borusan Contemporary in Istanbul, CIFO in Miami, MAG in Manchester, SFMOMA in San Francisco, ZKM in Karlsruhe, SAM in Singapore, and many others.

TAMARA TOLEDO is a Toronto-based curator, scholar, and artist, graduate of OCAD University and holds an MFA from York University. Co-founder of the Allende Arts Festival and of Latin American Canadian Art Projects – LACAP, Toledo has curated numerous exhibitions offering spaces, platforms and opportunities to Latin American and diasporic artists and has presented her work at various conferences in Montreal, Chicago, New York, Vancouver and Toronto. Her writing has appeared in ARM Journal, C Magazine, Fuse and Canadian Art. Toledo is currently the Director/Curator of Sur Gallery and is a PhD candidate in Art History and Visual Culture at York University.

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:

Gallery Hours:
To book an appointment email
Fri noon-6:00PM
Sat 11 AM-5 PM

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; as well as its community partners Hemispheric Encounters financially supported by SSHRC, and Charles Street Video.