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Must-Sees This Week: December 7 to 13, 2017

Three artists engaging the body as political and historical territory convene at Art Mûr in Montreal

Lots of great art exhibitions and events are taking place across the country this week. Here are our recommendations for debuting shows and events, and a few reminders about shows that are closing. Visit our Exhibition Finder for more listings of worthwhile shows that are already open.


The exhibition “D’où viens-tu? [Where are you from?]” with Pierre Chaumont, Dayna Danger and Chun Hua Catherine Dong opens at Art Mûr this week. Curated by Collectif 13—a group of UQAM art history students led by curator and lecturer Véronique Leblanc—the exhibition debuts on December 7 at 5:30 p.m. Engaging the body as political and historical territory, the three artists contest representations of women, sexuality and culture through their respective practices. Using photography, installation and performance, Chaumont, Danger and Dong address the power relations that shape representations of the Other—specifically colonialism, patriarchy and heteronormativity—allowing for new conceptualizations to come forth. Performances by Danger and Dong will take place on December 9 at 2:30 p.m.

Over at the Darling Foundry, a conversation between current artists-in-residence Laurianne Bixhain and Aqui Thami will be presented on December 7 at 6 p.m. Both artists will discuss the research and work they have been undertaking while on residency. Meanwhile at Galerie AVE, the group exhibition “Faux Éveil / False Awakening” opens on December 7 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Together, the works play on the idea of different realities, fluctuating between dreaming and waking states.

Meanwhile at SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art, Ashon Crawley will present the performative lecture “The Lonely Letters: On the Hammond B-3 Sense and Sound Experience” on December 9 from 3 to 5 p.m. Crawley will employ what he calls Blackpentecostal noise-making practices to explore the connections between quantum theory, mysticism and Blackness.


On December 8, the Cinematheque presents a free screening of Two Generators (1984), an early film work by Vancouver-based artist and musician Rodney Graham, as part of the “Canada on Screen” program. The event launches at 7 p.m., and Graham will be in attendance to introduce the screening.

Over at Access Gallery, the exhibition “Some Spontaneous Particulars” opens December 8 at 7 p.m., featuring Vanessa Brown, Heide Hinrichs and Kathleen Ritter. Curated by Kimberly Phillips, the exhibition presents works by the artists that have never been exhibited, collectively bringing into focus questions of material traces and feminist archiving. Phillips and the artists will convene the following day for a discussion and launch of the publication accompanying the exhibition at 2 p.m. At Wil Aballe Art Projects, join Marina Roy in conversation with writer, artist and educator Randy Lee Cutler and artist Ingrid Koenig on December 9 at 2 p.m. The talk is in conjunction with Roy’s current exhibition “Dirty Clouds,” on view at WAAP until December 16.

Oraf Orafsson will be performing his new work Burnt Offering at Griffin Art Projects on December 9 at 8 p.m., as part of the programming for the current exhibition “Civilization” by Paul P. Later on December 13, Western Front hosts the next “Text to Speech” media reading group at 7 p.m., presented by the centre’s current artist-in-residence and sound-based researcher Elisa Ferrari. Salomé Voegelin’s text Listening to Noise and Silence: Towards a Philosophy of Sound Art as well as works by poets Peter Culley and Maxine Gadd will be the focus of this session.

In closings: this is the last week to catch Tristan Unrau‘s solo exhibition at UNIT 17’s new exhibition space on West 4th Avenue, on until December 9. Russell Leng’s “Temporary Tunnels” at FIELD Contemporary also wraps on December 9.


As a response to the exhibition “Since Then” currently on view at the Kamloops Art Gallery, Tania Willard has curated “Over the Horizon of Tomorrow”—a series of performances by leading international contemporary Indigenous performance artists. The performance series examines notions of non-binary gender, ancestral legacies, colonial violence and time travel, looking at how cultural translation takes form on Indigenous lands.

Peter Morin will be performing the last iteration of the series on December 9 from 2 to 3 p.m. Morin’s work Experiments with Time Travel is part of “Since Then,” and the artist will be activating the installation by inviting audience members to participate in a performance that centres the piece.


The exhibition “Vacancies” featuring works by Abbas Akhavan, Sameer Farooq and Joshua Vettivelu debuts at Towards Gallery on December 7, continuing until January 6. All three artists explore issues of representation and how historical narratives, both personal and public, are scripted. Meanwhile at Sur Gallery, the group exhibition “Roots (Raíces)” by six Latinx youth artists launches on December 7 from 6 to 11 p.m.

Over at Barbara Edwards Contemporary, the gallery will present its first solo exhibition of Robert Youds’s work, opening on December 8 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. The artist’s vibrant and cross-disciplinary work fragments and puts into question perceptual boundaries. Elsewhere, at Y+ Contemporary, an opening reception for “When you touch one thing, you have to touch all things” by the collective SADSADDERDAZE—composed of Emma Green, Alison Postma, Elana Shvalbe and Emma Welch—will be held on December 9 from 6 to 11 p.m. The exhibition continues until December 15.

In closings, the last day to catch the 2017 Sobey Art Award exhibition at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto is December 9, featuring the work of finalists Raymond Boisjoly, Divya Mehra, Bridget Moser and Jacynthe Carrier, as well as of Sobey Art Award winner Ursula Johnson. This is also the last week to see “raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000-2015),” on view at Onsite Gallery until December 10. Same for “Every. Now. Then.” at the AGO—it closes December 10.


The exhibition “Generalists Die In Bed” opens at the Assembly on December 8, with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. The group exhibition will feature works that respectively represent turning points for each of the artists, while speaking to the rewarding yet simultaneously futile pursuit of knowledge.


Scott Plear’s exhibition of abstract paintings “Radioactive Core” debuts at Bugera Matheson Gallery on December 8, running until December 24. A reception will be held on opening night from 6 to 9 p.m., followed by an artist talk the next day at 1 p.m.


Two new exhibitions open at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery on December 9 at 8 p.m.: “a slow light” by Tyler Los-Jones and “The Golden USB” by Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens. For Jones, the work takes its cue from landmarks that humans use to navigate the landscape and relate to nature, particularly those found in the area of Crowsnest Pass. Ibghy and Lemmens’ project imagines how capitalism will expand from the present moment. Encoded within their golden USB is the Trade Catalog of Everything, a digital file cataloguing all commodities on Earth.


The Beaverbrook Art Gallery hosts architect Talbot Sweetapple‘s presentation “Designing the pavilion: An architectural exploration of the process and product” on December 7, where Sweetapple will discuss the architecture and philosophy behind the new pavilion at the gallery. This free event is open to all, and launches at 8 p.m.


The Canada Council’s Âjagemô Gallery presents Katherine Boyer’s “To Bead is To Visit” from December 7 to January 2. Part exhibition, part residency, Boyer’s work will use a traditional style of Métis beading, which will develop during the month as the public will be invited to bead alongside the artist. A guided tour with Boyer will be held on December 13 from 12 to 1 p.m.


Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art hosts a curatorial tour of the exhibition “Entering the Landscape” with Jenifer Papararo on December 9 at 3 p.m. The exhibition continues until December 31.


This is the last week to view Jade Yumang’s “Thumb Through” at TRUCK Contemporary Art, which wraps on December 9.

These must-sees are selected from submissions and press releases sent to at least two days prior to publication. Listings can be found at

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