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Rah, Ethnic Roots, digital video still, 2016

In Pursuit of the Perfect Pose

Dalia Amara
Rah
Rajni Perera
Shellie Zhang
Tau Lewis

Exhibition Dates: October 27 – December 2, 2017
Opening Reception: October 27, 6 to 8PM
Brunch Talk: October 28, 12 to 2PM

Curated by: Leila Fatemi

In Pursuit of the Perfect Pose explores internalized performative manifestations of femininity and cultural alterity imposed through social structures and societal expectations of marginalized women. Drawing loosely on ideas of Otherness as experienced by racialized minorities, this exhibition highlights the intersections of barriers faced by women of colour, and the ways in which they challenge the constructed performance of their identities. Participating artists Dalia Amara, Rah, Rajni Perera, Shellie Zhang and Tau Lewis use image-based works and installation to reflect on the signifiers and foundations of cultural and gender performance in Western society. Each project takes a unique approach to question and reform enforced binary narratives that pose limits on a fluid disposition of self. With a platform for these female artists of colour to take up space, subvert the colonial gaze and navigate notions of Otherness and performance in their work, the exhibition acts as a collective appeal to engage in further discourse on the barriers such mandated performance creates.


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Shellie Zhang, Pink Handbag #2 (detail), chromogenic print, size variable, 2017

Brunch Talk: Leila Fatemi in Conversation with Dalia Amara, Rah, Rajni Perera, Shellie Zhang and Tau Lewis
Saturday, October 28, 12 to 2PM

Join us for a light brunch and conversation about the exhibition In Pursuit of the Perfect Pose. Guest curator Leila Fatemi will be in conversation artists Dalia Amara, Rah, Rajni Perera, Shellie Zhang and Tau Lewis.


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Field of Vision is Gallery 44’s thematic public programming series exploring the larger conversations surrounding photography and contemporary image culture. Taking a variety of forms – performance lectures, artist talks, readings, dinner parties, film screenings – each programming year explores a theme and its relevance to contemporary image making practices and dialogues.

Our upcoming theme, Representation and Visibility, looks at how photography, as a mode of self-address, can act as a marker of perseverance and a tool to confront structural inequalities.

Our season of programming will open with a presentation by Michèle Pearson Clarke:

Field of Vision: Michèle Pearson Clarke - A Dark Horse in Low Light: Black Visuality and the Aesthetics of Analogue Photography
Thursday, November 9, 7PM
Michèle Pearson Clarke in dialogue with writer-in-residence Yaniya Lee

“Considering photography’s problematic historical relationship with issues of race and representation, the contemporary black artist is always already facing the paradox of how to create photographic representations using a tool long complicit in our oppression. Emerging as an analogue technology in the early 19th century, photography did not so much record the reality of blackness, but rather signified and constructed ways of seeing it as deviant and other. Any possibilities of where and how blackness might be seen were further constricted by the technological biases long inherent in film chemistry and processing procedures.

Yet, while fully acknowledging the limitations of analogue photography as a tool of representation, many photographers continue to purposefully deploy it in the production of meaningful and compelling images that convey the embodied intimacies and emotional realities of black people. As I conclude my yearlong residency at Gallery 44, in this presentation I will reflect on the issue that has preoccupied me: primarily the relationship between analogue techniques, affect and black visuality. Despite its constraints, I am persuaded that analogue photography facilitates the visual documentation of black experience rather than of black indexicality; certainly, I would argue that this remains impossible to see, if indeed it exists at all.” –Michèle Pearson Clarke


Gallery 44 is open Tuesday to Saturday 11AM to 5PM | Free admission
Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography is a charitable, non-profit, artist-run centre committed to supporting multi-faceted approaches to photography and lens-based media. Founded in 1979 to establish a supportive environment for the development of artistic practice, Gallery 44’s mandate is to provide a context for meaningful reflection and dialogue on contemporary photography.

Gallery 44 is committed to programs that reflect the continuously changing definition of photography by presenting a wide range of practices that engage timely and critical explorations of the medium. Through exhibitions, public engagement, education programs and production facilities our objective is to explore the artistic, cultural, historic, social and political implications of the image in our ever-expanding visual world.


Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 120
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8
www.gallery44.org
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Gallery 44 is wheelchair accessible.

Alana Traficante
Head of Communications and Development
alana@gallery44.org
416.979.3941 ext.4