Ground/works Lisa Hirmer
Young & Giroux

May 8 - 12, 2017
University of Toronto Mississauga

Curated by curators7
Supported and funded by the Blackwood Gallery

Click here to visit the Ground/works website.

Young & Giroux, Infrastructure Canada (film still), 2010-2012. Collection of Oakville Galleries, purchased with the assistance of the Corporation of the Town of Oakville, the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisitions Assistance Program and a partial donation of the artists, 2014
Special Events

Reception, Artist Talk & Walking Tour
Thursday, May 11, 4–6pm

Circuit Café, Communication, Culture and Technology (CCT) building.

Artist Talk, 4:30pm
e|gallery, CCT Building
We are pleased to present an artist talk by Lisa Hirmer at 4:30pm, followed by a Q&A with the curatorial group, curators7.

Walking Tour, 5:30pm
Meet in the Circuit Café
, CCT Building
curators7 will offer a guided walking tour to see and discuss the site-specific installation in various locations on campus.

Exhibition Statement

Ground/works is an intervention into three sites across the University of Toronto Mississauga’s campus. It considers the relationship between infrastructure, land, and the ways in which the radical interference of human activities on the earth have been mediated by issues of ownership, power, cultural memory, and capitalism. Each work selected for the project offers a unique perspective on human interventions into the landscape, and the transformation and translation of materials between earth, ground, and infrastructure.

Lisa Hirmer’s series of photographs, Leslie Street Spit Geologies (2012), is a visual documentation of the accumulation of clean fill, demolition waste and other detritus that forms the seemingly “natural” environment of the human-constructed spit that abuts Toronto’s shoreline. Young & Giroux’s conceptual film installation, Infrastructure Canada (2010-2012), considers the intersecting relationships between industrial structures, residential development and Canada’s naturally occurring ecological infrastructure. For screening times and location, please see the Ground/works website.

A third component of the project is an installation by curators7. A pile of soil will appear in the atrium of the Communication, Culture and Technology (CCT) building and will be on display to the public three days prior to the opening reception. Launching the project, the dirt pile is an intervention of raw land that draws attention to the surrounding infrastructure by contrasting dirt with architecture.

Together, these projects are immersive, disruptive, and raise questions about the expectations we have of land and its use value. By distributing these works across multiple sites, the exhibition challenges viewers to reconsider how meaning is inscribed in the UTM landscape. Ground/works reveals how infrastructure itself can both facilitate and interrupt our movements on campus, and how art can interject new narratives by temporarily interceding into these spaces.


Artist Biography

Lisa Hirmer is an inter-disciplinary artist based in Guelph, Canada, working at the intersections of visual art, social practice, performance, and art-based forms of critical research.  Her experimental public-focused practice, DodoLab, explores and responds to the complicated and nebulous reality of public opinion (acknowledging that this is itself a complicated idea). Her work as a photographer and writer explores contemporary landscapes and built environments. Operating both within gallery and non-traditional settings, she has created projects across Canada and internationally, at art galleries, including Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), University of Lethbridge Gallery, Peninsula Arts (U.K.), Flux Factory (USA), Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery and Doris McCarthy Gallery (Toronto); for art events including Nuit Blanche Toronto and CAFKA (Kitchener-Waterloo); with service organizations, such as the Ontario Trillium Foundation (Sudbury); for municipalities, including Breckland Council (U.K.) and the City of Guelph; and academic groups, including the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (University of Guelph). Recent residencies include the Centre for Contemporary Art & the Natural World (U.K.), Time_Place_Space by Arts House (Australia), the Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (USA). She is a graduate of the University of Waterloo.

Daniel Young & Christian Giroux have been making art together since 2002. They produce sculpture, public art and film installations. Their work is the product of an ongoing conversation concerning the modernity of the 20th century, the production of space, and the built environment. Young and Giroux rework modernist forms of abstraction using consumer goods and industrial prototyping methods, constructing systems and componentry to produce sculptural objects that partake in architectural discourse. Their film works constitute a form of research on sculptural forms in the built environment, from the architectural to the domestic scale.

curators7 is a collective of emerging curators seeking to experiment with the boundaries of contemporary curatorial practices through new site methodologies and research driven approaches to the practice. The group seeks to move art out of traditional gallery spaces and challenges viewers to confront the spaces they occupy through the invasion of art in the public realm. curators7 was formed by B.A.S.C, John Campbell, Aanchal Dhillon, Hilary Dow, HaYung Kim, Mira Szuberwood, and Dominique Wong under the mentorship of Christine Shaw, Director/Curator of the Blackwood Gallery and Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream at the University of Toronto Mississauga.


This exhibition is produced in partial fulfilment of FAH451: Curatorial Practice, a capstone course in the new Curatorial Studies Certificate Program in the Department of Visual Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

curators7 would like to express thanks to the Department of Visual Studies and the Blackwood Gallery staff for their continued support, guidance, and encouragement, without which this project would not have been possible, to the DVS Student Society for their engagement with students across campus, and to UTM Facilities Management & Planning and Chartwells Catering.

curators7 is particularly thankful for the loan of Young & Giroux’s Infrastructure Canada, which is borrowed from the collection of Oakville Galleries.