Collective Welfare Circuit 5, Take Care
February 12–March 11, 2018
Steven Eastwood
Sheena Hoszko
Carolyn Lazard

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

 

Download the Circuit 5 micropublication featuring project descriptions, a curatorial statement by Letters & Handshakes, artist biographies, and full colour illustrations throughout.

Carolyn Lazard, The Undercommons (detail), 2017.
From the series In Sickness and Study, 2015–ongoing. Courtesy the artist and Blackwood Gallery.
Statement

Take Care’s fifth circuit, Collective Welfare, glimpses typically sequestered and private spaces of care. The projects in this circuit juxtapose three sites of the institutional mediation of care: hospital, prison, hospice. These sites offer a reminder that the welfare state, in all its ambivalence, is a decisive front in the crisis of care. Reframing practices of individualized care as fundamentally social matters, this circuit works across video, photography, social media, and temporary architecture to bear witness to care’s pace, failure, and stratifications. Collective Welfare circulates images of the entanglement of the chronically ill body and the biomedical industrial complex; materially fabricates the incompatibility of care and incarceration, and shifts perspective on mass incarceration as symptom, and strategy, of care crisis; and screens moving images of dying, generated from an intimate hospice setting, trialling new ways of taking care with death aesthetically. Collective Welfare reveals the persistence of alternative habits of care and relations of interdependency, from the hospice tradition to prison abolition to communities of independent study. Closing Take Care, this circuit also revisits a hypothesis with which this exhibition series opened: that care is a vital conceptual device for a process of political recomposition that would deepen linkages across contexts and conflicts in the spheres of social reproduction and ecology.

Letters & Handshakes


Artists' Projects

Steven Eastwood
The Interval and the Instant, 2017

An intimate and patient encounter with the end of life in the context of palliative care, The Interval and the Instant is a multiscreen video installation that reworks footage from Eastwood’s feature-length film, Island (2017), a sustained engagement with four individuals navigating terminal diagnoses in a hospice on the Isle of Wight in England. Filmed over twelve months, Island is a life-affirming reflection on dying, portraying the transition away from active personhood and observing the last days of life and the moment of death. Based on extraordinary access to intensely private events, Island shows diagnosis, treatment, the progression of illness, and death—trialling, in the process, an ethics of looking at dying.

Sheena Hoszko
Correctional Service Canada Accommodation Guidelines: Mental Healthcare Facility, 2016–2018

Correctional Service Canada Accommodation Guidelines: Mental Healthcare Facility consists of two closed structures installed in an atrium of the Communication, Culture, and Technology (CCT) Building at the University of Toronto Mississauga, and positioned midway between the Blackwood’s two gallery spaces. The installation dimensions conform to the CSC’s ten-square metre minimum spatial requirements for mental healthcare waiting rooms and treatment rooms. In this installation, these spaces are constructed out of rented pipe and drape, a type of temporary architecture often used for dividing spaces within warehouses, stadiums, office buildings, and other open environments. The project understands prison as a system of power relations that extends far beyond concrete block walls, and asks “outsiders” to position themselves within this dynamic.

Carolyn Lazard
In Sickness and Study, 2017

In 2015, Carolyn Lieba François-Lazard began documenting biweekly intravenous iron infusions for the treatment of her autoimmune disorders in selfies posted on her Instagram account, c_lion666, for a project she calls In Sickness and Study. Each image in her site-specific installation on social media features her arm penetrated by a needle that connects a plastic tube filled with an infusion of iron to a machine out of her camera phone’s view. With her hand, she presents the front cover of the book she is reading to her Instagram followers. Lazard brings the chronically ill body into public view with an acknowledgment that sick, disabled, and debilitated bodies are often kept out of sight by social and institutional codes that deem illness a private and personal matter, segregating them from the general public even when the disease or debility are non-communicable.

For the Collective Welfare circuit, the Blackwood commissioned three new images in Lazard’s In Sickness and Study series. The books featured in these photographs are Karen Barad’s Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (2007), Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia (1974), and Stefano Harney and Fred Moten’s The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study (2013). In addition to being featured in this publication, these three works will circulate via Lazard’s Instagram account and will appear on the Blackwood Gallery’s billboard-sized lightbox on the exterior of the William Davis Building on the University of Toronto Mississauga campus.


Public Programs

FREE Contemporary Art Bus Tour
Sunday, February 25, 12–5pm
The tour picks up at Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West) then departs for Blackwood Gallery, Art Gallery of Mississauga, and Art Gallery of York University. To RSVP: email blackwood.gallery@utoronto.ca or call 905-828-3789 by Friday, February 23 at 5pm.

Reader-in-Residence Session with Art Metropole
Public reading by Yaniya Lee
Wednesday, February 28, 12–1pm
Blackwood Gallery

Feminist Lunchtime Talks
Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present
Robyn Maynard, in conversation with Beverly Bain and Sheena Hoszko
Friday, March 9, 12pm
Blackwood Gallery
Presented in partnership with Women and Gender Studies  

Delving behind Canada’s veneer of multiculturalism and tolerance, Robyn Maynard’s new book, Policing Black Lives:State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present,traces the violent realities of anti-blackness from the slave ships to prisons, classrooms and beyond. While highlighting the ubiquity of Black resistance, Policing Black Lives traces the still-living legacy of slavery across multiple institutions, shedding light on the state’s role in perpetuating contemporary Black poverty and unemployment, racial profiling, law enforcement violence, incarceration, immigration detention, deportation, exploitative migrant labour practices, disproportionate child removal, and low graduation rates. Emerging from a critical-race-feminist framework that insists that all Black lives matter, Maynard’s intersectional approach to anti-Black racism addresses the unique and understudied impacts of state violence as it is experienced by Black women, Black people with disabilities, as well as queer, trans, and undocumented Black communities.

Running with Concepts: The Empathic Edition
A three-day hybrid event
Friday, March 9­–Sunday, March 11
Blackwood Gallery

Featuring Joshua Clover, Steven Eastwood, Nasrin Himada, Sheena Hoszko, Jakob Jakobsen, Carolyn Lazard, Robyn Maynard, Wanda Nanibush, M. NourbeSe Philip, Jeff Reinhart, Juliana Spahr, Pelin Tan and many more …

Hosted by Christine Shaw

Bringing together artists, researchers, activists, and care professionals, the Blackwood Gallery will host Running with Concepts: The Empathic Edition, a conference exploring the ethics of empathy, care as undercommons, and the prospects of a care coalition toward making care otherwise. The event asks: If care is a connective issue across social contexts and struggles, what might a new care coalition look like? Can practices of empathy promote an ability to relate without identification, appropriation, or condescension? Running with Concepts: The Empathic Edition will highlight creative practices, policy proposals, public education models, and research strategies that challenge dominant assumptions about institutional forms of collective welfare. It will feature lectures, performances, screenings, and roundtable discussions exploring the limits and possibilities of detaching practices of care from their tendency to reproduce dominant gender, racial, and economic relations.

Biographies

Beverly Bain teaches in Women and Gender Studies in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She has been teaching in the university environment for the past twelve years, and currently teaches and researches in the areas of diasporic sexualities, black queer diasporic studies, sexual assault and violence against women, gender, colonialism, transnationalism, and anti-capitalism. Bain has been an anti-racist, anti-violence, feminist activist for over thirty years and was the Executive Director of the National Action Committee on The Status of Women, Canada’s largest feminist organization between 1992-1997.

Joshua Clover is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at University of California, Davis. He is the author of six books, including poetry, cultural history, and political theory; his writing has been translated into a dozen languages. His most recent books are the poetry collection Red Epic (Commune Editions, 2015) and Riot.Strike.Riot: The New Era of Uprisings (Verso, 2016), a political economy of insurrection and renarration of capital’s history. He edits Studies in Revolution and Literature for Palgrave Macmillan along with Bruno Bosteels.

Steven Eastwood is an artist and filmmaker whose practice spans documentary film, installation-based moving image, media arts, and theory. He holds a PhD from the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, and teaches film practice at Queen Mary University of London. He has held Visiting Lecturer positions at Harvard University, University of Greenwich, and University of Buffalo. His feature-length film, Island, premiered at BFI London Film Festival in 2017 and the sibling multichannel video installation, The Interval and the Instant, was presented at Fabrica (Brighton). His feature film Buried Land was an official selection at the Tribeca, Moscow, Sarajevo, and Mumbai film festivals. Recent and forthcoming exhibitions include Fabrica (Brighton), QUT Gallery (Brisbane), Globe Gallery (Newcastle), KK Projects (New Orleans), ICA (London).

Nasrin Himada is a Palestinian writer and curator based in Tio'tia:ke (Montreal), in Kanien'kehá:ka territory. Her practice and research explores the politics of contemporary art practice, specifically focusing on experimental and expanded cinema, and contemporary media arts. Her writings have been published in Contemp+rary,C Magazine, Critical Signals, The Funambulist: Politics of Space and Bodies, Fuse Magazine, and MICE Magazine, among others.

Sheena Hoszko is a sculptor, anti-prison organizer, and settler living and working in Tio'tia:ke (Montreal), in Kanien'kehá:ka territory. Her art practice examines the power dynamics of geographic and architectural sites, and is informed by her family’s experiences with incarceration and the military. Selected solo exhibitions include Centre Clark and La Centrale (Montreal), A Space (Toronto), Artspace (Peterborough), The New Gallery (Calgary) and Forest City Gallery (London), with upcoming projects at articule (Montreal). She is also an avid sci-fi/speculative fiction fan.

Jakob Jakobsen is an artist and organizer who recently opened the HOSPITAL PRISON UNIVERSITY Archive, Copenhagen. He has developed the Antihistory project (2012-ongoing) investigating the Antiuniversity of London, established in 1968, as well as the New Experimental College established in Copenhagen in 1962. He cofounded the trade union Unge Kunstnere og Kunstformidlere (UKK) [Young Artists and Art Mediators], Copenhagen (2002), was Professor at Funen Art Academy, Odense (2006-2012), and was part of the Copenhagen Free University (2001-2007). He edited Wages for Students (2016) and contributed to Contestations: Learning from Critical Experiments in Education (ed. Tim Ivison and Tom Vandeputte, 2013). With The Antiuniversity Research Project, he participated in And And And, dOCUMENTA 13 (Kassel). Jakobsen lives and works in Copenhagen and London.

Carolyn Lazard is an artist working in video, performance, and text. Her work engages collective practice to address the ecology of care, dependency, and visibility. Lazard has presented work in various spaces including Light Industry, Cleopatra’s, Recess, Anthology Film Archives, the Wexner Center for the Arts, Slought Foundation, the New Museum, MoMA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She has published writing in the Brooklyn Rail and Mousse Magazine and is currently writing an Accessibility Guide for Common Practice. She is a founding member of Canaries, a healing and arts collective of chronically ill women and femmes. Lazard holds a BA from Bard College and lives in Philadelphia where she is completing her MFA at the University of Pennsylvania.

Yaniya Lee’s interdisciplinary research draws on the work of Black Studies scholars to question critical reading practices and reconsider Canada’s art histories. From 2012-2015 she hosted the Art Talks MTL podcast, a series of long-form interviews with art workers in Montreal. She is a founding collective member of MICE Magazine and a new member of the EMILIA-AMALIA working group. She is the 2017-2018 writer-in-residence at Gallery 44 and currently works as the Associate Editor at Canadian Art Magazine.

Letters & Handshakes is a collaboration of Greig de Peuter (Department of Communication Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University) and Christine Shaw (Blackwood Gallery and Department of Visual Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga).

Robyn Maynard is a Black feminist who has spent years documenting racist and gender-based state violence. She has spent the better part of the last decade doing frontline harm-reduction outreach work in Montreal, and continues to provide training for health and social service providers on the harms created by systemic racism, criminal laws, and stigmatization. A harsh critic of systemic racism in all of its forms, Maynard has been involved in grassroots organizing against police violence for over a decade. Most recently, she helped co-found Montréal Noir, a Black activist group committed to combating anti-Black racism in Quebec. Additionally, she is a part of the Black Indigenous Harm Reduction Alliance, where she co-coordinates harm reduction education for incarcerated women. She is the author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present, released by Fernwood Publishing in 2017.

Wanda Nanibush is the inaugural Curator of Canadian and Indigenous Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe curator, image and word warrior, and community organizer from Beausoleil First Nation, located in Southern Ontario. Nanibush has a Master’s degree in Visual Studies from the University of Toronto. Her curatorial credits include the exhibitions Rita Letendre: Fire & Light (AGO), Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 (AGO), Sovereign Acts II (Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery), and the award-winning KWE: The Work of Rebecca Belmore (Justina M. Barnicke Gallery), among many others. Nanibush has published widely on the subject of Indigenous art as well as women’s issues, and is currently at work on her first book, Violence No More: The Rise of Indigenous Women.

M. NourbeSe Philip is a poet, essayist, novelist, playwright, and former lawyer who lives in the space-time of the city of Toronto. Author of five books of poetry, one novel, and three collections of essays, her most recent work of poetry, Zong!, is a genre-breaking, book-length poem which engages with law, history, and memory as they relate to the transatlantic slave trade. Her most recent collection of essays is BlanK. Winner of many awards including Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships and the Arts Foundation of Toronto Writing and Publishing Award, she is also a Dora Award finalist for her play Coups and Calypsos.

Jeff Reinhart works as a registered nurse in the LGBTQ Primary Care program at Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto. There, the majority of his clients are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and other queer-identified people, and he provides nursing care to Sherbourne’s HIV Clinic—a low barrier, drop-in-based clinic for people living with HIV. He collaborates with community members and clinicians from across Canada through research, community mobilization, advocacy, and clinical care, on issues ranging from transition-related surgery to HIV medication access and delivery. He is a volunteer at Moss Park overdose prevention site in Toronto.

An award-winning poet, Juliana Spahr’s most recent book is That Winter the Wolf Came from Commune Editions. She edits the book series Chain Links with Jena Osman, the collectively funded Subpress with nineteen other people, and Commune Editions with Joshua Clover and Jasper Bernes. With David Buuck, she wrote Army of Lovers (City Lights, 2013). She has edited many anthologies, including: A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism (Chain Links, 2011) with Stephanie Young; Poetry & Pedagogy: the Challenge of the Contemporary (Palgrave, 2006) with Joan Retallack; and American Women Poets in the 21st Century (Wesleyan University Press, 2002) with Claudia Rankine. 

Pelin Tan is a sociologist and art historian based in Mardin, Turkey. She is Associate Professor of Architecture at Mardin Artuklu University and contributor to Silent University, a pedagogical platform for refugees and migrants. She was a visiting Professor of Design at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a past Art, Culture and Technology Program Fellow in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at MIT. She is currently researching the Pearl River Delta as “territorial sea” (M+ Design Trust Research Fellowship, Hong Kong) and leading socio-spatial discursive research on refugee camps in Turkey and Palestine. She has participated in multiple biennials and triennials, including Istanbul (2007, 2015), Lisbon (2013), Montreal (2014), Oslo (2016), and Venice (2016). Tan is a lead author on Cities for the International Panel on Social Progress (ISPS).

 

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.

 

 

The Blackwood Gallery is grateful for additional support for Collective Welfare from the Graduate Expansion Fund, Department of Visual Studies, and Women and Gender Studies (UTM).

The Interval and the Instant is a multiscreen video installation commissioned by Fabrica Gallery (Brighton, UK) as part of the programme Into That Good Night, a five-year initiative to generate positive change in awareness of death and dying.

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