TSG: That’s So Gay
Exhibition Dates June 14th – August 17, 2017
Opening Party June 22nd 7-10pm
Pecha Kucha Artist Talks July 18th – 7-9pm
The Gladstone Hotel’s 8th Annual TSG exhibition is a group show celebrating new works by LGBTTI2QQ artists curated by Syrus Marcus Ware.
TSG: Uprising considers the ways that we mount (small scale/daily and large-scale global) uprisings through collaborative change making across the globe to fight for our self determination as queer and trans people with multitude interlocking experiences of marginalization- thinking about migration, disability, sexuality, gender and race and their intersections.
Uprising, refers to many things, descriptive of the kinds of massive protests, civic engagement and wide-spread calls for systemic change that we have witnessed across North America. Some of the most pressing of these calls to action have come from within the Toronto queer and trans communities.
The last year has witnessed dramatic arts-based displays of activism within Toronto’s Pride Parade by Black Lives Matter-TO, widespread support for INAC shut downs by Indigenous youth and ongoing actions in support of land defence and water protection.
Indeed, 2017 is a time for reflecting on these fires of change, burning bright and largely nurtured by LGBTTI2QQ and two-spirited activists and artists. We have witnessed unprecedented coverage of cross-movement building amongst Indigenous, Black and POC Two-Spirited and LGBTTI2QQ communities, collective struggle and the need to unify and call for creative responses to transphobic and homophobic violence that is dis-proportionally affecting Indigenous and racialized trans women. TSG: Uprising highlights the need for artistic engagement and responses to propel our activisms into a new dimension.
We have seen such a thrust towards right-wing conservatism across North America over the past five years, and in particular since the US election in November 2016. This conservatism threatens particularly vulnerable queer and trans community members across both the US and Canada, limiting our abilities to move and be in public space (proposed travel bans, limited border crossings, inability to access public washrooms for trans people, cuts to disability supports and the list goes on).
This neoliberal turn threatens artistic sustainability, freedom of speech and the survival of human on this planet. Now more than ever we need the to engage with arts-based activisms, artistic considerations of social issues and arts-informed problem solving.
TSG: Uprising offers an opportunity to imagine new ways of being together, of working together and of shaping the world together. The artists in this year’s show root their practices in social justice and liberation theory and offers us a way forward through to a world where we all get to be free.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Featuring artists: Raven Davis, Anique Jordan (Jashoba Jordan), Melisse Watson, Lynx Sainte-Marie+ Ciel Sainte-Marie, Andrew Mcphail, Mikiki Burino, Lindsay Fisher, Daniel Thompson, Vanessa Kwan, and Patchwork Mckenzie Rodney Diverlus, Ella Cooper
I am grateful for the generous support of the Toronto Arts Council.
From top left: Humboldt Magnussen, Christopher Rodrigues, Lido Pimienta, Paddy Leung, Radiodress, Jenna Reid
TSG: Come Together
That’s So Gay (TSG): Come Together
June 8th – August 17th 2016
Opening Reception – June 30th 7-10pm
TSG: Come Together was the Gladstone Hotel’s 7th Annual TSG exhibition; a group show celebrating new works by LGBTTI2QQ artists curated by Syrus Marcus Ware.
The 2016 subtitle (Come Together) refers to many things: a call to action and activism during a year that has witnessed unprecedented coverage of cross-movement building amongst Indigenous, Black and POC Two-Spirited and LGBTTI2QQ communities, collective struggle and the need to unify and call for creative responses to transphobic and homophobic violence that is dis-proportionally affecting Indigenous and racialized trans women. TSG: Come together highlights the need for artistic engagement and responses to propel our activism into a new dimension.The artists will explore what could be possible if we came together, embracing the unprecedented surge in cross-community activism bringing understandings of Indigenous Sovereignty, Black Lives Matter, environmental justice and queer and trans justice together in larger conversation.
Through drawing painting and mixed media artists Christopher Rodrigues, Natalie Wood, Kara Sievewright, and Lido Pimienta will explore intersections of queer and trans history with environmental justice, Indigenous sovereignty, mixed race communities in Canada and family life. Artists Reena Katz (Radiodress), Humboldt Magnussen, Paddy Leung, Vivek Shraya and Jenna Reid will create installations using mixed media, textiles and found objects to explore cultures of resistance, beauty, spirituality and ritual and their connections to queer and trans identity. Video works by Evan Ifekoya (UK), Lia La Novia (Mexico) and Naomi Rincon Gallardo (Germany) will consider regionality, migration and transgender and gender advocacy through creative practice.
TSG: Fall to Pieces
Installation Shot: 2Fik, 2015
Installation Shot: Shira Spector, 2015
In 2015, I curated That’s So Gay: Fall to Pieces at the Gladstone Hotel.
That’s So Gay: Fall to Pieces was a 2 month exhibition of new projects created by LGBTTI2QQ artists about their experiences of disability, radicalization, class, and other intersectional experiences of identity. The show attempts to interrupt the idea of a homogenous queer community and re-imagines what it means to talk about our lived experiences as artists from a diversity of backgrounds.
The subtitle (Fall to Pieces) refers to many things: the ways that the once rigid borders in the LGBTTI2QQ communities are become permeable, perhaps even falling away; the desire by many of the artists in the show to tear down the policed borders of nationalism; helping to disappear the concept of dichotomous genders; and giving voice to the very real way that we feel emotion- encouraging a frank consideration of sadness, joy and fear in our lives, and the ways that our creativity supports our resiliency.
Artists included: Joshua Vettivelu, Shira Spector, Lauren Hortie, Pablo Muñoz, Andrew Zealley, Dana Inkster, Micha Cardenas, Calder Harben, Spencer James Harrison, Joey Suriano, 2Fik and Sly Sarkisova
For more info:
That’s So Gay: On The Edge
(TSG: On the Edge Installation Shot:Artwork installation by Hazel Meyer, 2014.)
In 2014, I curated That’s So Gay: On the Edge at the Gladstone Hotel.
That’s So Gay launched 5 years ago as a flirty protest, re-claiming an insult in the face of homophobia. 5 years later, it is essential that we move the conversation of what it means to be LGBTTI2QQ artists beyond its most narrow understanding. Launched on the eve of World Pride 2014, this exhibition necessarily responds to the construction of a simplified “LGBT” community in Toronto, and opens up a space for a broader discussion.
That’s So Gay: On the Edge is a celebration of new projects created by LGBTTI2QQ artists about their experiences intersectionality. The show interrupts the idea of a singular queer community, and highlights the many ways that disability, gender, racialization, Indigeneity, class, immigration status and forms of marginalization interact with and impact on our experiences of gender and sexuality. The exhibition firmly plants disability arts, critical race theory and anti-colonialism as central to our consideration of queer and trans culture.
Through photography, video, performance, installation projects and large-scale works on paper these 12 artists have playfully and cleverly reshaped the oversimplified dialogue and suggested
that we are edging closer to a new set of possibilities. Together, these ‘artists at the intersections’ beg the question, ‘What is the meaning of having a ‘queer & trans art show’ in 2014?’.
Participating Artists: Jo SiMalaya Alcampo, Daryl James Bucar, Graham Kennedy, Anna Jane McIntyre, Hazel Meyer, Abdi Osman, Alvis Parsley, Elizabeth Sweeney, Rebeka Tabobondung, Mary Tremonte, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Shimby Zegeye