Pages UnBound 2016 launches with a curated celebration and critique of the idea of "Canada" produced in collaboration with two giants of Canadian art: Mark Lewis and Chantal Pontbriand.
The idea for this curated evening begins with Canada, a recent novel by the American writer Richard Ford. I love this book for so many reasons, but for me what it accomplished, uniquely, was to separate the word/signifier Canada from the political geographic entity of the same name.[ ]
Generally speaking, for good or for bad, in truth or in fiction, the word Canada has been associated with ideas of 'goodness'. And it is with this in mind that Chantal and I have curated the films, the music, the exhibition, and the talks for this very special night, called CANADA. We hope that presented together all these things will begin to address how the name/word Canada has been used to describe feelings, ideas or effects that are not necessarily directly related to the country Canada. Moreover it is our hope that, even if 'our' country has 'officially' long abandoned many of its historical virtues, these ideas and effects will be reminders of what people all over the world once imagined or dreamt that Canada was or could be.
In the Melody Bar: music!
8:00 B.A.U. (Behavioural Analysis Unit) CANADA set
9:30 B.J. Snowden
10:15 Drew Gonsalves of Kobo Town
11:00 B.A.U. (Behavioural Analysis Unit) DJ set
In the Ballroom: literature! art! film!
9:30 Emily Hampshire reading from Richard Ford's "Canada"
9:45 Chantal Pontbriand in conversation with Luis Jacob
10:00 Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza screening "an air of welcome" and performing "re-passé"
10:15 Mark Lewis' "Snowstorm at Robarts Library"
10:30 "Canada Lee" montage
11:00 Music videos by Canada, NFB classic shorts, Michael Snow films—and many surprises!
* this being Canada, all times are approximate
Chantal Pontbriand is a contemporary art curator and critic whose work is based on the exploration of questions of globalization and artistic heterogeneity. She has curated numerous international contemporary art events: exhibitions, international festivals and international conferences, mainly in photography, video, performance, dance and multimedia installation. She was a founder of PARACHUTE contemporary art magazine in 1975 and acted as publisher/editor until 2007, publishing 125 issues. After curating several major performance events and festivals, she co-founded FIND (Festival International de Nouvelle Danse) in Montreal and was president and director from 1982 to 2003. She was appointed Head of Exhibition Research and Development at the Tate Modern in London in 2010 and founded PONTBRIAND W.O.R.K.S. [We_Others and Myself_Research_Knowledge_Systems] in 2012. In 2015, she was appointed curator and advisor of Demo-Graphics 1 (Greater Toronto Area, May-July 2017), and CEO-Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art_Toronto_Canada.
Photographer and filmmaker Mark Lewis emerged on the Toronto art scene in the 1980s after attending London's Harrow College of Art and the Polytechnic of Central London, where he studied with artist and writer Victor Burgin and worked with film theorist Laura Mulvey. Beginning as a photographer and creator of politically charged public installation works, Lewis became more involved in filmmaking after a move to Vancouver in 1989. His films tend to look at contemporary cities, film history, and the way film has impacted ideas about everyday life—subjects, for instance, have included ice skaters at Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square and a custodial worker at Vancouver's 1500 West Georgia Street. In 2009, Lewis represented Canada at the Venice Biennale. Other exhibitions include shows at the Power Plant, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Hamburger Kunstverein, BFI Southbank and the Art Gallery of Ontario. His work is in many collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Pompidou. Lewis is also co-editorial director of Afterall, which produces a journal and books on contemporary art. He was the first winner of Canada's $25,000 Gershon Iskowitz Prize in 2007, and in 2016 was named a winner of the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.
B.A.U. (Behavioural Analysis Unit) is a London-based DJ/production project focusing on house, electronic and hip-hop music from or relating to Canada.
CCMC, Toronto's acclaimed, veteran avant-garde music ensemble, is comprised, in this instance, of: Paul Dutton, sound-singing and mouth harp John Kamevaar, electronics and percussion Mani Mazinani, CAT analogue synthesizer John Oswald, alto sax
BJ Snowden is the reigning Queen of Outsider Music, possessed of a superlative and idiosyncratic appreciation of Canada.
Drew Gonsalves of Kobo Town is a poetic and political Trinidadian-Canadian songwriter and vocalist.
Emily Hampshire is an actress, most notable for her roles in Boy Meets Girl and Snow Cake.
Luis Jacob is an acclaimed Peruvian-Canadian artist, writer and curator whose work deals with collectivity and surveillance.
Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza is an Ecuadorian/French artist whose work explores themes of identity, history and displacement through performance and video.