Labour of Curation Circuit 1, Take Care
September 11–30, 2017

Take Care
Curated by Letters & Handshakes
September 11, 2017–March 10, 2018


Encompassing a five-part exhibition series, performances, and workshops, Take Care mobilizes more than one hundred artists, activists, curators, and researchers confronting the crisis of care. Take Care unfolds as a series of five exhibition themes, or circuits of care: Labour of Curation, Care Work, Infrastructures and Aesthetics of Mutual Aid, Stewardship, and Collective Welfare.

Amie Siegel, Fetish (production stil), 2016. HD video, color/sound. Courtesy the artist and Simon Preston Gallery, New York.
Project Statement

Take Care joins efforts to reimagine cultures and politics of care. Its first circuit, Labour of Curation, works between two tasks. The first is to begin to contour societal care crises and their differential effects while simultaneously reasserting care as a collective practice of resilience amid structural forces of neglect. The second task is to not seal off the institutional context in which Take Care itself is hosted. Labour of Curation reflects on art’s implication in, rather than detached observation of, the crisis of care. A gallery is not a sanctuary but a site where distinct “dilemmas of care” manifest, and are continually negotiated. [1] Reframing cultures of work and interaction in art institutions through a care lens, Labour of Curation monitors the work of custodianship in the face of certain fragility; tarnishes the polish of the exquisitely mounted exhibition by highlighting the material labour its production entails; traces lineages of radical feminism and theories of social reproduction that are vital to a political reckoning with care crises; explores tactics for unsettling the congruence of curatorial labour and valorization regimes under contemporary capitalism; and stages conversations to counter care gaps in cultural labour economies with proposals to prioritize tending to livelihoods.

Letters & Handshakes



[1] Emma Dowling, “Dilemmas of Care,” The Blackwood 1 (July 2017), 9–11.


Habits of Care
Lisa Busby, Claire Fontaine, Deborah Ligorio, Paul Maheke, Raju Rage, Amie Siegel, Laura Yuile

September 11–30, 2017

Curated by Helena Reckitt

Public Programs

Take Care Opening Reception
With performances by Paul Maheke and Laura Yuile
Wednesday, September 13, 5–8pm
Blackwood Gallery

Wages for Housework: The Canadian Context
An EMILIA-AMALIA Feminist Working Group Workshop
With Helena Reckitt and Christina Rousseau
Tuesday, September 5, 6–9pm
Art Metropole

Curating and Caring
Three-part workshop led by Helena Reckitt
Saturday, September 9, Wednesday, September 20, and Saturday, September 23
University of Toronto St. George and University of Toronto Mississauga

Protocols, Policies, and Proposals Performed
Scores composed by Lisa Busby and performed by The Element Choir
Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23
Various locations at University of Toronto Mississauga

Care Crisis, Care Connective: An Open Forum on Cultural Work
With Helena Reckitt and Curating and Caring workshop collaborators, Raju Rage, Precarious Workers Brigade, Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn and Boo Watson
Hosted by Letters & Handshakes
Saturday, September 23, 10am–6pm
Blackwood Gallery

Reader-in-Residence Session with Art Metropole
Wednesday, September 27, 12–1pm
Blackwood Gallery


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.



The Blackwood Gallery is grateful for additional support for Circuit 1: Labour of Curation from the Department of Visual Studies (UTM); Outreach, Conference and Colloquia Fund (Office of the VP Research, UTM); SSHRC-funded research project Cultural Workers Organize; University of Toronto Affinity Partners Manulife, TD Insurance, and MBNA.

Funding for additional staff support was made possible through the Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations program, Department of Canadian Heritage. The Canadian Museums Association administers the program on behalf of the Department of Canadian Heritage.