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Rachelle Sawatsky

Rachelle Sawatsky, Love Loving Lobe, chalk pastel on newsprint, 2014

Rachelle Sawatsky

Walter Scott, still from Dirt Chapter, 2016

Rachelle Sawatsky

Rachelle Sawatsky, The Greatest, (chalk pastel on newsprint), 2014

 

How a Living Day is Made
MVS Curatorial Studies Graduating Exhibition
April 22, 2016 - June 11, 2016

Work by Aisha Sasha John, Rachelle Sawatsky and Walter Scott

Curated by cheyanne turions

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 21, 2016, 6-8 pm
FREE shuttle bus departs OCADU (100 McCaul Street) at 5:30 PM, and departs DMG at 8 PM

How a Living Day is Made is an exhibition about survival strategies.

In their work, Aisha Sasha John, Rachelle Sawatsky and Walter Scott stake a claim for the vibrancy of being recovered from the banal, systemic or heroic struggles of making a life in the world today. The “how” of How a Living Day is Made points to these vectors of care that the artists are concerned with: the tending to each other, the need to eat and pay the rent, the cultivation of signs when logic just won’t do. And the “living” points toward the physical and philosophical sustenance that is made possible through this labour. Resisting the idea of a stable subjectivity, their works function as announcements of the endurance and abundance of the self in the face of the complexities of living.

How a Living Day is Made is grounded in these proposals for life-in-the-making and the forms taken are as varied as they are deeply personal: sculpture, painting, performance, poetry, moving images, conversation, the tarot, murals, fallen stars.

Across the three rooms of the Doris McCarthy Gallery, the exhibition unfolds as a day does: Dawn, Day and Dusk, each space hosting works that operate with a distinct resonance in spirit. Dawn (the foyer gallery) is concerned with how we take care of our bodily selves, Day (the west gallery) is concerned with how we manoeuvre within the confines of systems, and Dusk (the east gallery) is concerned with a bit of the occult, reflecting the fact that we draw upon different strategies for survival depending on what we need, what we want and what we are responding to. Each day, differently, our living is made.

The opening of How a Living Day is Made will feature a new performance work by Walter Scott. Sequel to Guts is a collage of new and existing writing, reconfigured to create original associations between the fictions and reality of the artist, the audience and the gallery environment. Against the backdrop of a new, site-specific mural, Scott will animate the forms and narratives of the drawing: as the written words are performed, they will create associations with the images encountered along the way.


ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING
Sequel to Guts
performance by Walter Scott
Thursday, 21 April 2016
7 PM

In partnership with No Reading After the Internet, the opening reception of How a Living Day is Made will feature a new performance work by Walter Scott.

Sequel to Guts is a collage of new and existing writing, reconfigured to create original associations between the fictions and reality of the artist, the audience and the gallery environment. Against the backdrop of a new, site-specific mural, Scott will animate the forms and narratives of the drawing: as the written words are performed over the changing backgrounds, they will create associations with the images encountered along the way.

Special thanks to the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto for their ongoing support of No Reading After the Internet.

Curator’s Tour
Sunday, 01 May 2016
3:30 PM

Presented alongside the FREE Contemporary Art Bus tour, cheyanne turions will lead a curator’s tour. The bus tour starts at Koffler Centre of the Arts at Artscape Youngplace (180 Shaw Street) at 12pm and then departs for Blackwood Gallery, Art Gallery of York University and Doris McCarthy Gallery, returning to Shaw Street at 5pm. Seating is limited.

Please RSVP by Friday, April 29 to scarte@yorku.ca or 416.736.2100 ext 44021.


ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Aisha Sasha John is a poet and dancer. The author of The Shining Material (BookThug 2011) and the Trillium and ReLit Award nominated THOU (BookThug 2014), Aisha’s poetry has brought her to Kelowna, Marrakech, Montreal, New York, Oakland, San Francisco and Vancouver. In 2014, Aisha participated in A Rhythm Party, a Princeton University colloquium marrying poetry and hospitality. In 2013, she was a UNESCO-­Aschberg laureate artist, attending Dar Al-­Ma’mûn in Morocco. She’s presented talks at numerous art institutions in Toronto including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Mercer Union and the Power Plant. A former company member of Nouvel Exposé (now Jaivah), Aisha’s solo show, VOLUNTEER, premiered at the 36th Rhubarb Festival in February 2015. In January 2016, Aisha’s collaboration with Julia Thomas, WE ARE HANGING OUT RIGHT NOW, premiered at Videofag in Toronto. Another iteration of W.A.H.O.R.N., will take place at Buddies in June 2016. Her third collection of poems, I have to live. will be published by McClelland and Stewart in 2017.

Rachelle Sawatsky is an artist and a writer who lives and works in Los Angeles and Vancouver. Her work employs painting, drawing, ceramics and writing to explore densely internal narratives, primarily through a discourse of painting. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including Night Gallery, Public Fiction, the Finley Gallery, Harmony Murphy Gallery and Artist Curated Projects in Los Angeles; at Presentation House Gallery and Artspeak Gallery, in Vancouver; at Or Berlin in Berlin; at Galerie Mezzanin in Vienna; and at the Tate St. Ives in St. Ives. Her work has been written about in Artforum, Frieze, C Magazine and Art Review. Sawatsky has an MFA from University of Southern California in Los Angeles (2013) and a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver (2005).

Walter Scott is an interdisciplinary artist working across writing, illustration, performance and sculpture. In 2011, while living in Montréal, he began a comic book series,Wendy, exploring the narrative of a fictional young woman living in an urban centre who aspires to global success and art stardom but whose dreams are perpetually derailed. The position of the outsider and shape shifter are central to this body of work and the influence of feminist icons such as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde and artist, punk poet, experimental novelist and filmmaker Kathy Acker lingers. Recent exhibitions include Fictive Communities, Koganecho Bazaar, Yokohama, Japan 2014; Pre-Existing Work, Macaulay & Co. Fine Art, Vancouver 2015; and Stopping the Sun in Its Course, Francois Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles 2015.


ABOUT THE CURATOR


cheyanne turions is an independent curator and writer who holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of British Columbia. How a Living Day is Made is mounted in partial fulfillment of her master’s degree in Visual Studies from the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. From the farmlands of Treaty 8, she is of settler and Indigenous ancestry. Her work approaches the space of exhibition as alive—the gallery is a space of dialogue where artists, curators and publics can reflect on and experiment with ways of seeing and being in relation. Her exhibition Other Electricities was presented the award for Innovation in a Collections-based Exhibition by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries in 2014. In 2015 she received the inaugural Reesa Greenberg Curatorial Studies Award and the Hnatyshyn Foundation’s Emerging Curator of Contemporary Canadian Art Award. She sits on the Board of Directors for Kunstverein Toronto, the Editorial Advisory Committee for C Magazine and the Advisory Board for the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. She is the director of No Reading After the Internet (Toronto).


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


How a Living Day is Made is produced as part of the requirements for the MVS degree in Curatorial Studies at the University of Toronto and is part of the graduating Master of Visual Studies 2016 cohort, including:

Rehearsal for Objects Lie on a Table, a composition by Emelie Chhangur with arrangements by Diane Borsato, Aleesa Cohene, Erika DeFreitas, Derek Liddington, Gertrude Stein & Terrarea at the University of Toronto Art Museum, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House, University of Toronto St. George Campus. 18 March–30 April 2016.

the distance between nowhere and now here, curated by Charlotte Lalou Rousseau at the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga. Presented in collaboration with the Images Festival and the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, and supported in part by the Department of Visual Studies (UTM) through the Graduate Expansion Fund. 20 April–22 May 2016.


THANKS TO


First and foremost, thanks to the artists for showing me so many ways of making a living: Aisha Sasha John, Rachelle Sawatsky and Walter Scott. Thanks also to Julia Abraham, Emelie Chhangur, Barbara Fischer, Nasrin Himada, Georgina Jackson, Gabriel Levine, Ann MacDonald, Miriam Moren, Dax Morrison, Vicky Moufawad-Paul, Charlotte Lalou Rousseau, Kitty Scott, Christine Shaw, Sarah Robayo Sheridan, Kim Simon, Charles Stankievech, Lisa Steele and all those members of the staff and faculty at from the University of Toronto’s Visual Studies department that have helped to make this project a reality.


SUPPORTED BY


How a Living Day is produced with the support of the Masters of Visual Studies program at the University of Toronto‘s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, the Doris McCarthy Gallery, the Blackwood Gallery, the Art Gallery of York University, No Reading After the Internet, the Ontario Arts Council, Liberty Village Brewing Company, Gina Badger, Suzanne Carte, Emelie Chhangur, Alison Cooley, EE, Leila Timmins and MJNT.