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The Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) Presents

Crossing the Line: A Symposium on Difficult Images

What is too much for an image to bear and for viewers to bear in turn? Crossing the Line addresses issues of difficult knowledge, difficult histories, and difficult images in a free, public one-day symposium to be held at York University February 28, 2013. The symposium is held in conjunction with the AGYU exhibition Deanna Bowen: Invisible Empires, which looks at the role that the Ku Klux Klan played during the Civil Rights struggles in the United States and its century-long history in Canada.

The format will be a series of individual presentations and open discussion. Speakers include: Deanna Bowen, Alfredo Jaar, Steven Loft, Philip Monk, Kim Simon, and Shawn Michelle Smith.

The symposium is free but requires advance registration at: scarte@yorku.ca.

On-site registration begins February 28, 9:30 – 10:00 in room W132 Schulich School of Business (opposite AGYU). Symposium begins at 10:00.

Bios

Deanna Bowen: Deanna Bowen is a descendant of the Alabama and Kentucky born Black Prairie pioneers of Amber Valley and Campsie, Alberta. She is a Toronto based interdisciplinary artist whose work has been exhibited internationally in numerous film festivals and galleries. She has received several grants in support of her artistic practice. Current works have been shown at the Images Festival of Film, Video & New Media, the Art Gallery of Peterborough, and the Art Gallery of York University. Her commissioned eighteen minute performed oral history sum of the parts: what can be named has shown at the Kassel Documentary Film & Video Festival, the Oberhausen Film Festival, and the Nasher Museum of Contemporary Art at Duke University.

Alfredo Jaar
is an artist, architect, and filmmaker who lives and works in New York. He was born in Santiago de Chile. His work has been shown extensively around the world. He has participated in the Biennales of Venice (1986, 2007, 2009), São Paulo (1987, 1989, 2010) as well as Documenta (1987, 2002) in Kassel. Important individual exhibitions include The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, Whitechapel, London, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome and Moderna Museet, Stockholm. A major retrospective of his work took place summer 2012 at three institutions in Berlin: Berlinische Galerie, Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst e.V. and the Alte Nationalgalerie. He recently completed two important public commissions: The Geometry of Conscience, a memorial located next to the just opened Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago de Chile; and Park of the Laments, a memorial park within a park sited next to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. He became a Guggenheim Fellow in 1985 and a MacArthur Fellow in 2000. In 2006 he received Spain's Premio Extremadura a la Creación.

Steven Loft is a Mohawk of the Six Nations with Jewish heritage. He is a curator, scholar, writer and media artist. In 2010, he was named Trudeau National Visiting Fellow at Ryerson University in Toronto, and Scholar in Residence at the new Ryerson Image Centre, where he is continuing his research into Indigenous art and aesthetics. Formerly, he was Curator-In-Residence, Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada. Previous to that, he was the Director/Curator of the Urban Shaman Gallery (Winnipeg), Aboriginal Curator at the Art Gallery of Hamilton and Artistic Director of the Native Indian/Inuit Photographers' Association. He has curated group and solo exhibitions across Canada and internationally and has written extensively on Indigenous art and aesthetics for various magazines, catalogues and arts publications and lectured widely in Canada and internationally. Loft co-edited Transference, Technology, Tradition: Aboriginal Media and New Media Art, published by the Banff Centre Press in 2005 and is the editor of the upcoming volume Coded Territories: Indigenous Pathways in New Media.

Philip Monk is Director of the Art Gallery of York University in Toronto. His most recent book is Glamour is Theft: A User's Guide to General Idea (2012). In 2009, he was the inaugural recipient of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2011 he received the Hnatyshyn Award for Curatorial Excellence.

Kim Simon has been active as a curator for over 15 years; she is currently curator at Gallery TPW in Toronto. Founded in 1980 as a non-profit venue for photographic practices, TPW is now committed to an expanded media-specific and discursive mandate, addressing the vital role that images play in contemporary culture and exploring the exchange between photography, new technologies and time-based media. For the last few years Simon's particular curatorial research investigates an ethics of viewing in relation to the aesthetics of troubling images, within the context of pedagogical and journalistic turns in contemporary art.

Shawn Michelle Smith is Associate Professor of Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work focuses on the cultural history of photography in the United States, with special attention to representations of gender and race. She has written several books about photography and visual culture, including American Archives: Gender, Race, and Class in Visual Culture (Princeton 1999), Photography on the Color Line: W. E. B. Du Bois, Race, and Visual Culture (Duke 2004), and most recently, At the Edge of Sight: Photography and the Unseen (forthcoming, Duke). She is also co-author with Dora Apel of Lynching Photographs (California 2007), and co-editor with Maurice Wallace of Pictures and Progress: Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity (Duke 2012). This year she is a Research Fellow at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Crossing the Line is produced with the assistance of the Ontario Arts Council Investment Fund and the generous support of Partners in Art.

Alfredo Jaar's participation takes place in collaboration with the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC). Alfredo Jaar will also present a Kodak Lecture on Thursday February 28 at 7pm at Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, LIB-72. Please check the RIC website for further details:
http://www.ryerson.ca/ric/lectures/uplectures.html

Image Credit: Imperial Kouncil, Kanadian Knights of Ku Klux Klan. Vancouver, B.C. 1925 (2012)
81.8 x 104.6 cm, archival inkjet on photo paper
Archival permissions: City of Vancouver Archives

AGYU Out There Crossing the Line
www.theAGYUisOutThere.org

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