Saturday, March 31, 2012

This Body is My Body.... Celebrating Tropes and Transitions

On April 26 from 5.30-7.30pm, WIAprojects is having a celebration! -  An art and performance event and potluck at the CWSE, OISE, 252 Bloor Street West 2nd floor, Room 2-227.

Barbara Center


Vida Beyer

Spring sometimes stands as a trope or metaphor for new beginnings. It can mark an emerging confidence, faith or sexuality, perhaps a shift into our crone years or, for some, a transition from university study into work life.  CWSE wraps up an exciting year of research activity, a highly successful Wellness Series and begins registering once again for the Women's Human Rights Education Institute (WHRI). At WIAprojects, a group of wonderful interns “graduate” as curators, educators, writers and overall great cultural producers as we end the busiest academic year-to-date presenting exhibitions, panels, conversations and publications sponsored by Cultural Pluralism and the Arts and the Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts  at three different university sites.  In all of these activities, we reaffirm the personal as political, our creative potential, and our engagement with women in community(ies).

Come and see 60-60-60: A Performance Action with ARTIFACTs (Leena Raudvee & Pam Patterson); Barbara Center's Letters, a video about coming out later in life as a Jewish lesbian, previously screened at the Inside Out Festival (2010) & the Toronto Jewish Film Festival (2011); a unique art installation by artist Vida Beyer;  the CWSE Gallery exhibition by Meral Pasha... and hear Mary Wright read from her What's Wrong with Feminism?! Celebrate the work of our interns, eat a shared meal, and have great conversations!

Roundtable: Locations/Dislocations – Border Crossings: An Erotic Affair?

Artists Sylvat Aziz, Meral Pasha (Ontario) live cross border from Mesma Belsare (Boston). In complex ways, they interweave gender, sexuality and artistic practice as they confront how dislocation, and their longing for relocation, is mapped on their bodies: for Belsare it is the dynamics of gender in dance, for Aziz a cultural critique, and for Pasha the complexities around gender displacement, and cultural loss. The series Border Crossings: An “Erotic” Affair? brought these artists as well as academics, writers, and curators together this past academic year in conversation at the St. George and Scarborough campuses of the University of Toronto. This conversation will be extended and shared as a Roundtable with presentations by Dina Georgis, Pailagi Pandya, Emily Kakouris and Sevan Injejikian and moderated by Pam Patterson; the university community and general public are invited to join the discussion.

April 10th at 12 noon -1.30pm in Room 2-225 at the Centre for Women’s Studies in Education, OISE, 252 Bloor Street West, 2nd floor (St George and Bloor).

Free and all are welcome
Tea and snack is provided. You are welcome to bring your lunch.
For information: CWSE: 416-978-2080 or

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An Eksperimenta! Moment

Joanna Black & Miriam Cooley at CWSE

by Hilda Hashimoto

On January 18, 2012, WIA Projects held a seminar on curatorial collaboration in which curators and art educators Miriam Cooley and Joanna Black discussed their role as Canadian curators in the international exhibition Eksperimenta! held in Estonia, 2011. Contrary to the myth that an artist works alone and, creatively in isolation, fashions an individualistic work of art untainted by others and belongs to him or her alone, the execution and presentation of art needs more than just the artist. Curators and other collaborators, specific to an exhibition, are responsible for developing and presenting the display; providing information on the art and artists; and developing and shaping the concepts the curator, artist, and institution wish to convey. Estonia was chosen as the location for Eksperimenta! which is quite a distance to transport art and artists. The distance alone caused a strain due to the inadequate Canadian funding for this art project. Miriam Cooley and Joanna Black acknowledged this fact and together with creativity and innovation sought  a solution - to exhibit mainly digital Canadian art. For those who did not attend this seminar, Ekperimenta! is the first international exhibition that welcomed art from high school students all over the world. The theme was space. The innovated choice of Miriam Cooley and Joanna Black to choose new media works served to strengthen Canada's identity on the international art stage. Not only was Canada the only North American country to participate in this event, Canada was also the only country who chose to use digital art as their medium for the delivery of the aesthetics and concepts surrounding space. The use of digital art made viewers aware of how the arts are critical to education in general. Students learn about technology and even acquire more complex understanding of international relations and national institutions. This medium also reflected how the idea of space has changed with technology - objects, people, ideas are now easily portable, saved on a small CD, USB, or DVD. The Canadian Exposition at Eksperiment! was the result of effort made by curators, teachers, and student artists. The result reinforced Canada's identity in the international art world as visionary, imaginative, and inspiring.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Meral Pasha: Liminal Spaces: Inside the Folds of a Map

Guest Curator: Sevan Injejikian 
Assistant Curator: Vida Beyer
CWSE Hallway Gallery
OISE/UT 252 Bloor Street West, 2nd floor hallway
Opening: April 2nd, 5.30-7pm
Artist Remarks: 6pm
Exhibit runs until April 27th.
 Meral Pasha’s photographic works explore complex notions of racial, cultural and gender identity. Pasha utilizes digital photography and its infinitely manipulable electronic bit to address the tenuous relationship between identity and place and to posit a multi-locational sense of self. Her portraits and landscapes plumb fragments of personal narrative and unhinge stereotypical representations of South-Asian women and the migrant experience which have become a part of the Western cultural imaginary. 
A recent graduate of OCAD University, Meral Pasha is an emerging Canadian artist whose research into feminist, queer, and post-colonial issues is an ongoing attempt to posit herself in the various stories that surround and inform her. She was raised Muslim in post-colonial Pakistan, received an English-based education, and was already wedged firmly between cultures when she arrived in Canada as a young immigrant. Her art practice has included video, performance, sculpture, photography, installation and poetry. She recognizes herself as colonized, racialised, gendered and other-ed.