past exhibitions 2023

2023 Past Exhibitions

The Further Apart Things Seem

Photo Credit: Toni Hafkenscheid Photography

About the Exhibition

A member of Curve Lake First Nation and citizen of the Nishnaabeg Nation, artist Olivia Whetung draws upon her experience working on and with the land to create artworks that speak of the interdependence and relationality within our ecosystem.

Researching land-based and food de-commodifying movements, Anishinaabe knowledge, and the ecology of her home territory, Whetung has produced a series of sculptural installations, digital prints, and three-dimensional beadworks that articulate the vital connectivity between woodland, wetland, and garden environments. The artist’s first-hand observations are nourished by a critical understanding of Western agricultural models and natural science methodologies as detrimental to the ecologies of Southern Ontario, where they have caused massive environmental destruction. Western worldviews, brought over by European settlers, treat only cleared farmland as “productive” while deeming woodland and wetland unmanageable and useless. These outlooks centre human needs and desires at the expense of the ecosystem’s survival.

Whetung’s poignant works solicit our attention and reconsideration of spaces and species that are crucial to biodiversity and to sustainable food production. Tenderly foregrounding our more-than-human neighbours, they remind us that we are not the only ones to benefit from the land’s gifts, nor to suffer from ecological ruin. The exhibition’s Anishinaabemowin title, inawendiwok, loosely translates as “they are related to each other,” emphasizing the ways in which coexistence within the ecosystem is mutually linked. With human yearning for endlessly available resources and sanitized nature comes devastating loss. Only through a renewed understanding of kinship and gratitude may we restore an ecology based on responsibility and reciprocity that can sustain the future.

Funding for the Art Gallery of Mississauga is generously provided by the City of Mississauga, the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Rama Gaming House and Charitable Gaming Community Good.

MAIN Clarkson Society _Postcard
MAIN Clarkson Society _Postcard

When confronting the environmental crisis, in which the unbridled production of goods threatens the diversity of the natural world, it’s essential that we take an interest in how things are displayed, commercialized, and consumed, whether in brick-and-mortar store windows or online.

Tropicana was produced by VOX, centre de l’image contemporaine with financial support from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Funding for the Art Gallery of Mississauga is generously provided by the City of Mississauga, the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Rama Gaming House and Charitable Gaming, and Community Good

About the Artist:

Costa Rica–born Juan Ortiz-Apuy has lived and worked in Montreal since 2003. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Studio Arts at Concordia University. Working in collage and assemblage, he makes art driven by thinking around consumer goods, often employing humour to explore the advertising and media strategies associated with them. His works—which he presents in the form of multimedia installations—draw inspiration from design, art history and pop culture.

His work has been shown in several museums and art centres across Canada as well as abroad, including the Fondation Phi pour l’art contemporain (Montreal), Birch Contemporary Gallery (Toronto), OPTICA, centre d’art contemporain (Montreal), ARTSPACE (Peterborough), Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa), the IKEA Museum (Älmhult, Sweden), as well as at MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image in Montreal and Manif d’art 7 in Quebec City. Upcoming projects include a solo show at Open Space (Victoria), and residencies at MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA, USA) and the Zentrum Für Keramik (Berlin). Ortiz-Apuy holds a BFA from Concordia University, along with a postgraduate diploma from the Glasgow School of Art and an MFA from NSCAD University.

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The Further Apart Things Seem

2017 - 2022

Past Exhibitions