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Take Care

September 11, 2017–March 10, 2018
Curated by Letters & Handshakes
Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga


PROGRAM STATEMENT

Because care is not a domestic question but rather a public matter and generator of conflict.
- Precarias a la Deriva

Encompassing a five-part exhibition series, performances, publications, and workshops, Take Care follows a 2016 group exhibition, curated by Letters & Handshakes, at the Blackwood Gallery. That exhibition, I stood before the source, featured artists confronting the aesthetic problem of representing contemporary capitalism, and concluded with this impulse: to imagine a “shift from the metrics of accumulation to the requirements of care as an ordering principle of social relations.” [1] Immediately, however, this statement encounters the “crisis of care,” [2] the problematic within, against, and beyond which Take Care mobilizes more than 100 artists, activists, curators, and researchers.

Anatomizing the crisis of care and its systemic underpinnings, Take Care pushes back against both the low cultural visibility of care work and the prevailing extractivist attitude toward care, which, as Nancy Fraser puts it, treats care, like nature, as a free, infinite resource—a logic to which this project’s title signals. [3] Rather than take care for granted, we embark on this project as a transdisciplinary inquiry into care, setting out to explore care’s heterogeneous and contested meanings, practices, and sites, as well as the political, economic, and technological forces currently shaping care. Although we strive to elevate care, the intention is not to position care as a cure or panacea or even as benign: care involves relations of power in which concern and control, empathy and exhaustion, dependence and interdependence, the systemic and the intimate, responsibility and obligation are entangled.

The exhibition series’ political proposition, kept in play throughout, pivots on care as a possible nodal point among actions, struggles, and visions that “re-place” care “as an arche of human existence and of social relations.” [4] In its organizing strategies, Take Care strives to take on the challenges posed by its program: to rethink affective dimensions of (curatorial) labour; decentre individual authorship; profile radical communities of care; reallocate cultural and institutional resources; cut through apathy and empathy; practice collective resiliency; respect existing initiatives and historical precedents; and generate new bonds. Take Care is, in short, a connective project.

#callresponse | Amelia Abreu | Art Metropole | Christi Belcourt | Amber Berson and Juliana Driever | Anthea Black | Marc Böhlen | Lisa Busby | Cevan Castle | CareForce (Marisa Morán Jahn) | Circo Zero | Joshua Clover | Marcia Crosby | Cultural Workers Organize | Thirza Cuthand | Dames Making Games | Erika DeFreitas | Dillon de Give | Kay Dickinson | Deirdre Donoghue and Lise Haller Baggesen | Steven Eastwood | EMILIA-AMALIA | Esther Neff and IV Castellanos | Claire Fontaine | Lauren Fournier | Kelly Fritsch | Janna Graham | k.g. Guttman | Nasrin Himada | Home Affairs | Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn | Tarah Hogue | Sheena Hoszko | Maria Hupfield | Ursula Johnson | Kwentong Bayan | Carolyn Lazard | Leisure | Cheryl L’Hirondelle | Jakob Jakobsen | Deborah Ligorio | LoVid | Paul Maheke | Terrill McGuire | Isaac Murdoch | Petrina Ng | Onaman Collective | Shani K Parsons | Coman Poon | Precarious Workers Brigade | Radiodress | Raju Rage | Helena Reckitt | Kerri-Lynn Reeves | Ian Roderick | Zoë Schneider | Shane Aslan Selzer | Sarah Sharma | Amie Siegel | Juliana Spahr | Kara Stone | Tanya Tagaq | Pelin Tan | The Element Choir | Evan Tyler | Justice Walz | Boo Watson | Tania Willard | Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory | Jessica Lynn Whitbread | Laura Yuile | and more…


EXHIBITION CIRCUITS

The exhibitions, performances, publications, and workshops comprising Take Care are organized around five circuits of care:

Labour of Curation, September 11–30, 2017

Care Work, October 16–November 4, 2017

Infrastructures and Aesthetics of Mutual Aid, November 20–December 9, 2017

Stewardship, January 8–27, 2018

Collective Welfare, February 12–March 10, 2018

For more on the program, click here.


NEW PUBLICATION

The Blackwood Gallery is pleased to announce the launch of its serial broadsheet publication, The Blackwood, which is designed to circulate research and support creative inquiry in advance of an exhibition program.

Issue 1 anticipates the Take Care program with contributions from artists, activists, writers, curators, and researchers critically engaging the crisis of care, including texts from Emma Dowling, Lauren Fournier, Kassandra Hangdaan, Park McArthur and Constantina Zavitsanos, Radiodress, Lynx Sainte-Marie, and Sarah Sharma; interviews with Albert Banerjee and Steven Eastwood, Care Watch, and Ai-jen Poo; and projects from CareForce (Marisa Morán Jahn), Labrador Land Protectors, Carolyn Lazard, Anchi Lin, Onaman Collective, Chloé Roubert and Gemma Savio, and Tania Willard.

The Blackwood is available as a FREE, 24-page print publication at bookstores, libraries, community centres, and campuses across Mississauga and throughout the Greater Toronto Area. It is also available as a PDF here.

Join us for a LAUNCH EVENT on Thursday, August 17, from 6pm–9pm at Studio.89 in Mississauga (1065 Canadian Place, Suite 104). A roundtable with contributors and group readings from 7pm–8:30pm.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The Blackwood Gallery gratefully acknowledges the operating support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the University of Toronto Mississauga.

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Image credit:
Tania Willard, Basket Rescue Operation (talking to Peter Morin and remembering Dana Claxton's talk for the BCMA in Whistler) from the series Only Available Light, 2016. Courtesy the artist, #callresponse, and grunt gallery.

Notes:
[1] Letters & Handshakes, “I stood before the source,” I stood before the source (Mississauga: Blackwood Gallery, 2016), 32.
[2] Nancy Fraser, “Contradictions of Capital and Care,” in New Left Review 100 (2016): 99-117, and “Capitalism’s Crisis of Care: A Conversation with Nancy Fraser”, in Dissent Fall (2016): 30-37.
[3] Fraser, “Capitalism’s Crisis of Care,” 91.
[4] Precarias a la Deriva, “A Very Careful Strike - Four Hypotheses,” trans. Franco Ingrassia and Nate Holdren, in The Commoner, no. 11 (2006): 41.


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Blackwood Gallery
University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6
905-828-3789
blackwoodgallery.ca

Gallery Hours
Monday–Friday: 12–5pm
Wednesday: 12–9pm
Saturday: 12–3pm

The Blackwood Gallery promotes LGBTQ2 positive spaces and experiences and is barrier-free. The gallery is FREE and open to the public.