Art, Space, Democracy – Curator’s Tour and Roundtable Discussion

Models for Taking Part is an exhibition currently on show at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery on the University of Toronto campu. The exhibition assembles media works by international artists Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkácová (b. Slovakia and Romania), Bouchra Khalili (b. Morocco), Renzo Martens (b. the Netherlands), Tobias Zielony (b. Germany), and Artur Zmijewski (b. Poland). The artists critically interpret the public sphere as both an idea and ideal that intersects uneasily with factional and even personal interests. The exhibition presents models of participation in which the idealized marriage between democracy and the public sphere becomes fraught with incongruity, at times appearing unsustainable.

A tour of the exhibition will be conducted at 6:00pm on Wednesday, October 12, 2011, followed by a roundtable discussion in the Music Room located on the second floor of Hart House on campus. Participants include Juan A. Gaitán – curator of the exhibition, along with Elle Flanders, Dana Granofsky and Meghan Sutherland. The discussion continues from the exhibition’s point of departure to examine the condition of spectatorship and inquire how a position of resistance can be produced from within.

Since 2009, Juan A. Gaitán has been a curator at Witte de With, Amsterdam. He trained as an art historian and aesthetic theorist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Elle Flanders is a filmmaker and artist based in Toronto. She was raised in Montreal and Jerusalem and holds both an MA in Critical Theory and an MFA from Rutgers University. Her most recent work includes: Road Movie, an in-progress 12-screen installation on the Apartheid roads in Palestine. Flanders is a PhD candidate at York University where she also teaches.

Dana Granofsky is CSO of MASS LBP, an advisory firm that works with governments and corporations to deepen and improve their efforts to engage and consult with citizens.  She is the co-founder of St Henri Community Language Exchange, and the founder of the telecommunications company Univocal Communications Inc.  Granofsky holds degrees in history and political science from Concordia University, and a Masters degree in political science from the University of British Columbia, where she wrote on the potential of deliberative democracy to resolve conflicts in multicultural societies. Meghan Sutherland is Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and Visual Culture in the Department of Visual Studies. She also holds a graduate appointment at the Cinema Studies Institute at the St. George campus of U of T.  

Models for Taking Part runs until December 11, 2011. Admission to the gallery and to the tour and roundtable discussion is free.

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