Panel Discussions

Public Program

Panel Discussion: Border Talk #2, Art, Activism and Work

Saturday, January 25, 2014 | 2 pm – 4 pm

Critically engaged and always engaging, AGW panel discussions showcase artists, curators, scholars, and more. Together, panellists provide an expanding context through which to interpret the work in the Collection as well as in our changing exhibitions.      

Enjoy a panel discussion with artists Andrea Slavik, Philip Hoffman, Min Sook Lee and Deborah Barndt, Reena Katz aka Radiodress, Dylan Miner, curators Rosemary Donegan and Srimoyee Mitra, moderated by Christine Shaw, Director/Curator of the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga.

FREE admission.

Born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, Andrea Slavik is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. She completed her MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011. Currently she is the co-founder of the Momentum Film and Video Collective in Windsor, Ontario. Her work seeks to deconstruct popular narrative practices and forms of representation active in our visual environment.

Philip Hoffman has long been recognized as Canada's pre-eminent diary film artist. For over twenty-five years he has been straining history through personal fictions, using the material of his life to deconstruct the Griersonian legacy of documentary practice. Hoffman apprenticed in Europe with director Peter Greenaway in 1985, where he made ?O,Zoo! (The Making of a Fiction Film) (1985), which was nominated for a Canadian Genie Award. As well in 2002 he received the Golden Gate Award from the San Francisco International Film Festival and Gus Van Sant Award from the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 2002 for What These Ashes Wanted, a diaristic meditation on loss and grief. Hoffman studied English Literature at Wilfrid Laurier University, and film at Sheridan College. Hoffman's films have screened on five continents, including international festivals in Holland, Australia, in India, and South America, at Cinematheque Canada in Ottawa, and at the Chicago Art Institute. Since 1994, he has been the artistic director of the Independent Imaging Retreat (Film Farm), a 1 week workshop in artisinal filmmaking. He has been honoured with more than a dozen retrospectives of his work including at the 2001 Images Festival for Independent Film and Video in Toronto, coupled with the launch of a book titled Landscape with Shipwreck: First Person Cinema and the Films of Philip Hoffman. A more recent production is the feature-length experimental documentary, All Fall Down, which received its world premiere at the 2009 Berlinale in February 2009 and made its North American debut at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. In 2013 Hoffman presented his installation, Slaughterhouse in the Land/Slide exhibition at the Markham Museum - a 7-channel work which weaves inter-connected stories of loss throughout southern Ontario: of land and agriculture, of property and business, through political, social, economic and environmental slaughter.

Min Sook Lee is an award winning filmmaker, community artist and teacher with a diverse and prolific portfolio of multimedia work. The issues that surround her artistic practice include the politics of gender, race, social justice, equity, transnational labour, municipal structures and migration. Min Sook's work is heavily research based and informed by an analysis of state structures and power dynamics.
Min Sook has directed numerous critically acclaimed documentaries, including: My Toxic Baby-a study of toxins in baby products, Tiger Spirit - an examination of the division of the two Koreas shot on both sides of the border (Donald Brittain Gemini Award for Best Social/Political Documentary), Hogtown - an analysis of the intersection of policing and municipal politics (Best Feature-length Canadian Documentary award at Hot Docs Festival); Badge of Pride - a discovery of gay cops in Toronto - and El Contrato- a look at the lives of migrant farm workers in Canada (nominated for the Donald Brittain Gemini). Min Sook recently released, The Real Inglorious Bastards, a documentary about Jewish spies behind enemy lines during WWII, broadcast in over 100 countries and garnered the Best History award at the Yorkton Film Festival. She is also the co-creator of the comedy series; She's the Mayor, which premiered on Vision TV in 2011. This mainstream television program eviscerated the power lines and status tropes of municipal politics by re-imagining a municipal government in which an elderly, activist accidentally becomes mayor of a city.

Min Sook is a recipient of the Cesar E. Chavez Black Eagle Award for El Contrato's impact on the rights of migrant workers. Canada's oldest labour arts festival, Mayworks Festival has named the MIN SOOK LEE LABOUR ARTS AWARD in her honour. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the arts and labour movement.

Deborah Barndt has worked as a photographer, popular educator and social justice activist for over 40 years in Canada, the U.S. and Latin America. She is an Associate Professor at York University in Environmental Studies, and a Coordinator of the Community Arts Practice Certificate Program. She teaches Popular Education for Social Change and Cultural Production Workshop: Image-Based at the graduate level. Deborah instructs students on topics such as popular education, global and local food systems, participatory communication, art and activism, and women's narratives.

Deborah recently completed a five-year research project, "Tracing the Tomato from Mexican Field to Canadian Table: Women Workers in Globalized Food Production," funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is currently an advisor to a CURA-supported project, Sustainable Toronto, as well as to a participatory resource management project in Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua. Deborah is a member of the North American Alliance for Popular Education, the Latin American Studies Association, the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society and the Association for the Study of Food and Society.

As a photographer, she has exhibited widely and as a writer, has written 8 books on food, popular education and community arts, including an edited volume, Wild Fire: Art as Activism.

Reena Katz has been working with sound in all its iterations for over 20 years. As a musician, composer, audio technician, sound designer, sound artist, teacher and activist, Reena's sonic inquiry spans the fields of aesthetics, intentional communication and cultural production. She works with the transmission and reception of sonic information present in the human voice, she uses live and recorded talking, whispering, yelling, and listening to consider bodies as sites of knowledge, and communication as a social and political practice. Through audience participation in public spaces, Katz highlights the relationship between collective voice and the empathic act of listening.
Her projects take shape as installations, recordings, and live performances. They have been exhibited widely in North America and Europe.

Reena holds a BFA in Integrated Media from OCAD University and a MFA from Parsons the New School for Design School for Art, Media, and Technology. Her current project, love takes the worry out of being close: public assemblies in bed with queerspremiered in April at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto as part of the 2013 HATCH Residency. Katz is currently Acting Director of Galerie SAW Gallery in Ottawa.

Dylan Miner (Métis) is a border-crossing artist, activist, historian, curator, and professor working throughout Turtle Island. In 2010, he was awarded an Artist Leadership Fellowship from the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian, USA). Miner holds a PhD in the history of art from The University of New Mexico; he publishes extensively and lectures globally. Currently, Miner teaches at Michigan State University, coordinates the Michigan Native Arts Initiative, is Curator of Indigenous Art at the MSU Museum, and sits on the board of the Michigan Indian Education Council. He is descended from the Miner-Brissette-L'Hirondelle families with ancestral ties to Indigenous communities in the Great Lakes, prairies, and subarctic. Raised among Chicano and Mexican farmworkers, his family was affected by shifting colonial borders when his family, alongside other Métis and Anishinaabeg, relocated from Drummond Island, MI to Penentaguishene, ON following the War of 1812. He divides his time between Anishinaabewaki and Aztlán, living with his partner Prof. Estrella Torrez and their two children, Reina and Mexica.

Rosemary Donegan is a visual historian, independent curator and writer. She completed her BFA at the University of Saskatchewan, and graduated with an MA from the University of Toronto, where she currently resides and teaches as an Associate Professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Donegan's work focuses on modernity, industrialization and urban culture in Canada. In her exhibitions and catalogues, like Industrial Images/Images Industrielles; Work, Weather and the Grid; and Ford City: Windsor, the range of archival imagery and the form of the installation evokes the layering and complexity, and often contradictory nature, of modernism, industrialization and urban life.

Donegan's strong interest in the urban context was expressed in her book: Spadina Avenue, which received the Canadian Historical Association Regional History Award and was nominated for the Toronto Book Awards in 1987.Her catalogue essay, Sudbury: The Industrial Landscape, was awarded the Inco Curatorial Writing Award, OAAG. Her articles have been published in, Canadian Art, C Magazine, Fuse, Prefix Photo, Parallelogram, Public, Canadian Forum, Fireweed, Labour/Le Travail, and Archivaria.

Rosemary Donegan was a Research Fellow in the Curating Contemporary Art Department at the Royal College of Art in London in 2007 and was the Graduate Director of OCAD's Criticism & Curatorial Practice M

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