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Sur Gallery presents Strike a Chord


Opening Reception: Thursday, May 4, 7-10PM
Remarks and Artist Talk: Thursday, May 4, 8PM
Performance: Thursday, May 4, 8:30PM
Performance by Montreal-based interdisciplinary artist Claudia Bernal as part of her ongoing project The Sleepwalkers.
Live Drawing: Thursday, May 4, 7-10PM
Witness the walls of Sur Gallery come to life as Toronto-based artist Coco Guzmán shares The Demonstration.


To ‘strike a chord’ is to create or trigger an emotional negative or positive response to an action. In this exhibition, artists respond to times of peril and violence: they retaliate with protest, search for healing, all while conjuring an atmosphere of resistance. At times when our role as citizens seem to ever more bluntly demonstrate that actions need to be taken in order for there to be change, artists Claudia Bernal, Coco Guzmán, Julieta María and David Constantino Salazar use performance, video, installation, sculpture and drawing to position themselves as activists in a society that has revealed its ultra-right wing ideology.

Artists in Strike a Chord present multiple perspectives and offer various tools to activate social integrity, social justice, and respect. While both Bernal and Guzmán tackle performance and drawing as change catalysts and see the power of individuals capable of redefining the course of history through memory and action, Salazar reveals the vulnerability we all share and the obstacles that expose our precarious lives. María offers a comforting and nurturing encounter with our mothers, revealing our instinctive nature to survive despite sentiments of fear and isolation lingering in the world today. During times of uncertainty and anxiety, it is artists who create meaning and a sense of purpose when all else seems to be crumbling. Artists raise their voices; they elicit and provoke those who do not want to change and strike something within all of us.

This exhibition is co-presented by Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts and is curated by Tamara Toledo

Claudia Bernal, The Sleepwalkers, performance, 2017. Photo by Paul Litherland. Image courtesy of the artist.

About the Artists

CLAUDIA BERNAL is a Montreal-based interdisciplinary artist and researcher. Bernal holds a BA in Visual Arts/ Creation, an MA in Theater, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Études et Pratiques des arts at UQAM. The concepts of movement, migration, space and identity are recurrent themes in her work. Bernal has exhibited in various museums, artists run centers, and galleries throughout Canada as well as in Europe and Latin America. Most recent exhibitions include Del otro lado de las Islas Blancas at Montréal arts interculturels-MAI (2016), Verde Podrido es el Color del Olvido, Galería de arte de Matane, Quebec, El espacio-tiempo de la memoria: instalaciones 2005-2010, ATGallery in Colombia (2011), and Hechos de la Misma Sangre at Gallery Gachet in Vancouver (2010), among others.

Born and raised in Spain, COCO GUZMAN is a Toronto-based artist who explores multiple narratives through drawing. Coco obtained an MA in Comparative Literature in Paris while engaging in queer and anarchist activism, and pursued a BA at the Fine Arts School in Toulouse. Guzmán has received support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Quebec Arts Council. Guzmán’s work has been shown internationally in America, Europe and Asia. Recent exhibitions include the International Bienal of Quebec City, Montreal Arts Interculturels, AGO First Thursdays in Toronto and CentroCentro in Madrid. In addition, Coco's artwork has appeared in specialized magazines and publications (HB, InterArts, Oxford University Press) and is the illustrator of Telling Our Stories, OCASI graphic novel against sexual violence written by newcomer and refugee women.

JULIETA MARIA is a Toronto based media artist with an MFA from York University. She has participated in several international screenings and exhibitions, including Museo Banco de la República in Colombia (2016), Asunción Biennial in Paraguay (2015), Artist Village Taipei (2014), Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo in Montevideo (2013), Images Festival (2012), Scope Basel in Switzerland (2010), the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in Colombia (2009), and the Interactiva Biennale in Mexico (2009), among others. For the past few years, Maria has worked in the field of media arts as a facilitator, teaching workshops in video production, video editing, interactive video and digital story telling. She has also co-curated several Internet and media exhibitions, including Vozavoz at YYZ in Toronto (2015) and the Symposium of Decolonial Aesthetics at the University of Toronto (2013). Julieta María is co-founder of e-Fagia Visual and Media Art Organization in Toronto.

DAVID CONSTANTINO SALAZAR is a Toronto based artist. Born in Guayaquil, Ecuador Salazar immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of two. He has participated in over twenty group exhibitions in Canada and abroad and has been commissioned to do public art for Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro, Nuit Blanche, Toronto and First Capital Realty Inc., Georgetown. Salazar divides his time between Toronto and Brazil with his wife and their son.

About the Curator

TAMARA TOLEDO is a Chilean-born Toronto-based curator, visual artist and educator, graduate of OCAD University and holds an MFA from York University. She is co-founder of the Allende Arts Festival and of Latin American Canadian Art Projects (LACAP). For over a decade Toledo has curated numerous group and solo exhibitions as well as the Latin American Speakers Series and has invited over twenty internationally renowned contemporary artists and curators to Toronto such as Gerardo Mosquera, Luis Camnitzer, Tania Bruguera, Alfredo Jaar, among many others to articulate and discuss issues of identity and intercultural dynamics in contemporary Latin American art. Toledo has presented her curatorial work at various conferences in Montreal, New York, Vancouver and Toronto as well as written articles on Latin American art for ARM Journal, C Magazine and Fuse. She is presently the Director/Curator of 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. Sur Gallery is a project of LACAP-Latin American Canadian Art Projects.

For further information or press inquiries please contact Marta Keller at:

Gallery Hours:
Tues & Wed 10AM-2:30PM
Thurs & Fri noon-6PM
Sat 11AM-5PM
Sur Gallery, 100-39 Queens Quay East, Toronto (East of Yonge Street)

LACAP acknowledges the financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Arts Council, Business for the Arts and Friends of the Pan Am Path. LACAP also gratefully acknowledges the support of its volunteers; its corporate sponsors: Underline Studio, See Through Web, and Techmien; its presenting partner Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts; its community partners: aluCine Latin Film + Media Arts Festival, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto; Pix Film Productions, Ontario Public Service Employees Union and the Consulate General of Ecuador.






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