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Must-Sees This Week: November 23 to 29, 2017

Turbulence (a dance about the economy) is an experimental hybrid of contemporary dance, improvised happening and political theatre happening in Toronto

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.


This week, the Blackwood Gallery presents the performance Turbulence (a dance about the economy) by Circo Zero as part of the exhibition “Infrastructures and Aesthetics of Mutual Aid,” the third circuit of the ongoing project “Take Care.” Turbulence will be collaboratively staged by several local performers, enacting contemporary dance along with improvisation and different performative modes to examine economic crisis. Launched in 2010 pre-Occupy movement, the project has been performed in the US and Europe, and this is its Canadian premiere. Looking at global realities of debt, precarious labour and capitalism, the performers address how these issues intersect with race, gender, class and ability to build a resistance in the face of structural power. Turbulence will be presented on November 24 and 25 at 8 p.m. at Toronto’s Collective Space (221 Sterling Road).

New work by Toronto artist Harrison Taylor debuts in “Reflector” at Coldstream Fine Art. Running from November 23 to January 13, Taylor’s new series of photographs play upon skyscraper reflections of the cityscape. Over at Evergreen Brick Works, a new exhibition entitled “The Living City” also opens on November 23 and presents work that address environmental sustainability in Toronto. The featured artists—Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea, Lisa Vanin, Cat Bluemke, Vivian Wong, Cole Swanson, Paul Chartrand and the 1:1 Collaborative—worked in collaboration with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to develop their projects. Elsewhere, the Art Gallery of York University presents a screening, talk and Q&A with Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Búrca at York University’s Nat Taylor Cinema on November 23 from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

On November 24, Vtape will present “Dragooned” by Sandy Amerio at 401 Richmond’s Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space. Amerio’s film is guided by the theme of military re-enactment, and will be screened at 6:30 p.m. on opening night. Meanwhile, 8 Eleven presents work by Christina Battle, Jennifer Murphy, Zinnia Naqvi and Celia Perrin Sidarous in the exhibition “The More I Look At These Images.” The exhibition opens on November 24 from 7 to 11 p.m., and together the works investigate issues in contemporary image-making. Later, on November 25, “In Transit” by Gwen MacGregor opens at MKG127, presenting MacGregor’s works in various mediums that investigate the ways knowledge is framed.

Urban landscape paintings by Teodora Pica debut in “City Works” at ARTUNIT. The exhibition opens on November 25, and will run until December 15. Over at Stephen Bulger Gallery, Deanna Pizzitelli’s solo exhibition “Koza” opens on November 25 with a reception from 2 to 5 p.m. Using analog technologies, Pizzitelli creates a photographic emotional landscape. In closing, “Staring Back at the Sun: Video Art from Israel, 1970-2012” ends at the Koffler Gallery on November 26.


The McMaster Museum of Art hosts the talk “Curating & Collecting” between the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s director of collections and exhibitions Tobi Bruce and McMaster senior curator Ihor Holubizky. The talk is part of the programming for “A Cultivating Journey: The Herman H. Levy Legacy,” an exhibition featuring Monet, Van Gogh and other works gifted to the museum by Herman H. Levy. The event will take place on November 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, Centre[3] presents “Art[4]Change: Unmasking Rape Culture,” a two-day conference taking place at McMaster University on November 23, and the Spice Factory on November 24. The conference will present discussions on contemporary art, gender and sexuality through presentations and performances, and is accompanied by the exhibition “20 Minutes of Action” currently on view at Centre[3]. The featured performances will be by Insoon Ha, Suma Nair and the Hamilton Youth Poets (HYP).


On November 25, the Art Gallery of Guelph in partnership with the Aboriginal Resource Centre of the University of Guelph will offer a return bus service to the presentation of “Walking With Our Sisters” (WWOS) at Six Nations. “Walking With Our Sisters” is the travelling art installation of over 1,900 moccasin vamps that honours the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people. The bus will leave the Art Gallery of Guelph at 11:30 a.m.

The commemorative art installation will be on view at the Gathering Place By the Grand at Six Nations from November 19 to 25, with a closing ceremony on November 26.


Cambridge Art Galleries presents the research project “The Whole Shebang” in the Queen’s Square Gallery, launching on November 24 at 7 p.m. and continuing until February 11, 2018. During the project, over 200 works from the gallery’s collection will be put on display in the same space to spark a dialogue on conservation practices as well as the logistics and ensuing ethics of art collecting.


As part of the programming for its current exhibition “Carry Forward,” the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery presents the panel discussion “Transmission and Reception” on November 23 at 7 p.m. Curator Lisa Myers will engage artists Jamelie Hassan and Marjorie Beaucage in a conversation on the themes of “Carry Forward,” including generational knowledge, as well as the documentation and fabrication of lived pasts.


Jarvis Hall Gallery presents two new exhibitions this week featuring work by Sondra Meszaros and Tyler Los-Jones respectively. Meszaros’ exhibition “it’s damned if you don’t and it’s damned if you do” examines female sexuality in connection with nature, explored through found imagery. In Tyler Los-Jones’ “sediments and sunlight,” Los-Jones presents photographs of the Crowsnest Pass region of Southwestern Alberta, which reflect on the vast history of the natural landscape. Both exhibitions open on November 24 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m.

Over at Esker Foundation, the film The Fence (La Barda) will be screened on November 23 at 7 p.m. as part of the series of screenings in link with the current exhibitions “Le rêve aux loups” by Mary Anne Barkhouse and “A Very Long Line” by Postcommodity.


In closings, the Kelowna Art Gallery’s “Elder Artists in Classrooms Project” ends on November 26. The works from the exhibition were created by an initiative that partnered almost 200 Okanagan public school students with the work of Okanagan Valley Elder artists Lee Claremont, Bob Kingsmill, Mary Smith McCulloch, and the late artists Mary Bull, Allan Brooks, Gwen Lamont and Daphne Odjig.


Gallery Jones presents two new exhibitions by John Patkau and Markus Schaller. The works in “Cut / Drawn” by Patkau are made of steel, and explore the limitations of this metallic medium. Berlin-based Schaller’s new work in “Space Garden” uses embossed aluminum to create sculptures that look at notions of balance and symmetry. Both exhibitions open on November 23 with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m.

Over at Artspeak, “Sensing Salon” featuring Denise Ferreira da Silva and Valentina Desideri opens on November 24 at 8 p.m. The exhibition will consist of a series of events—including workshops, readings and a panel—running until December 16. Positioning healing as an art form, the artists employ healing art tools such as tarot, therapy cards, medicinal plants, astrology and reiki, which will be shared with the audience.

Elsewhere, at the Polygon Gallery, the free talk “Archaeology of the Final Decade: Militating through the Archive” by London curator Vali Mahlouji will take place on November 28 at 7 p.m. Mahlouji will discuss his curatorial project “Archaeology of the Final Decade” and his other work on the recovery of cultural materials.

The Pollyanna Library will host “The Health of the People is the Highest Law,” a roundtable on cultural non-profit institutions and accountability on November 29 from 7 to 9 p.m. Co-organized with the Vancouver Art Gallery, the discussion will feature curator Yesomi Umolu, Pollyanna Library’s Vincent Tao and current Grunt Gallery artist-in-residence Syrus Marcus Ware.

In closing, Ben Reeves’ “Between Dog and Wolf” at Equinox Gallery wraps on November 25.


A four-day symposium entitled “Upstream Benefits – Rural Art Symposium” will take place at Oxygen Art Centre and Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History in link with the current exhibition “Upstream Benefits,” which looks at artist-run culture in the Kootenays. Scheduled from November 23 to 26, the free symposium will feature panels, artist talks, readings as well as performances, and will highlight the role that the arts play in rural communities.


The exhibition “Liquid Luxury” by David Stonhouse opens on November 23 at the Frances Morrison Library. A past artist-in-residence at AKA artist-run, Stonhouse will explore the tradition of ancient Roman bathhouses and the luxury they afforded as social milieus.


Mathieu Cardin’s exhibition “La quête du superflu et la Précession de la substance” opens at Galerie Nicolas Robert on November 25. Looking at the theme of precession in the increased proliferation of images, the exhibition will continue until January 13, 2018. The Groupe Intervention Vidéo (GIV) presents a free screening of Myriam Fougère’s documentary FEMINISTA at Maison de la culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal on November 28 at 7:30 p.m. In closing, “Hexe” by Marion Wagschal at Battat Contemporary wraps on November 25.

Over in Longueuil, Plein sud, centre d’exposition en art actuel presents Lalie Douglas’ “The idea, not the act, of drowning.” In this exhibition, Douglas portrays liminal spaces through linocut and video work. The exhibition opens on November 25 and an opening reception will be held on November 30 at 7 p.m.


A premiere screening of After Birth by the Ephemerals will be presented at Plug In ICA on November 23 at 7 p.m., followed by a discussion moderated by Jenifer Papararo. Meanwhile, PLATFORM Centre for Photographic + Digital Arts will present a talk with sophia bartholomew at the Winnipeg Cinematheque on November 27 at 7 p.m. As part of PLATFORM’s ongoing Active Research Lectures Series, bartholomew will discuss the image-making they created in dialogue with their maternal grandmother.

A curatorial tour of “SHARDS” at Gallery 1C03 will be lead by curator Jenny Western on November 28 at 10 a.m. to discuss the exhibition featuring KC Adams, Jaime Black, Lita Fontaine and Niki Little. In closing, Charlene Vickers’ exhibition “Accumulation Of Moments Spent Under Water With The Sun And Moon” at aceartinc ends on November 24.


The talk “Arthur Lismer and the 1917 Explosion: When War Came to Halifax” with Alan Ruffman will be presented by the Dalhousie Art Gallery on November 23 at 7 p.m. Programmed alongside the current exhibition “Arthur Lismer and The Drama of a City,” Ruffman will discuss Lismer—a founding member of the Group of Seven—and the work he did on the 1917 Explosion when he was in Halifax.

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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