A forum for speculation on what the gallery can’t hold
While Black: a forum for speculation on what the gallery can’t hold will consist of a multi-year series of planned forums, talks, and public presentations developed and organized by Black curators from across Canada in conversation with artists to consider both the limits and possibilities of the relationship between contemporary art spaces in Canada and Black art, artists, arts workers, and audiences. This project is a collaboration between Or Gallery, the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, and the AGGV, and is organized by Charles Campbell, Michelle Jacques and Denise Ryner in consultation with Pamela Edmonds, Alyssa Fearon, Dominique Fontaine, Sally Frater, Bushra Junaid, Crystal Mowry, Allison Yearwood.
Artists in the first iteration, at Or Gallery from June 11 – August 14, 2021, presented questions, imperatives, narratives, and proposals to initiate exchange on the space for Black art in public culture with local respondents, collaborating curators and gallery visitors. Each of the ten artists in the first iteration of While Black were asked to produce a document of their relationship to the art gallery and its systems of representation as Black artists working in Canada, including consideration of the project query what the gallery can’t hold? Through multimodal and multimedia responses, these ten artists offered questions, imperatives, proposals and insight into their own experiences within contemporary art institutions. Since While Black was intended to initiate conversation and exchange between artists, curators and audiences, space to talk, respond and introduce new questions and ideas into the project were provided within the presentation space.
Artists include: Lucie Chan (Vancouver, BC), Karma Clarke-Davis (Toronto, ON/Berlin, Germany), Kemi Craig (Victoria, BC), Spatial Esk (Toronto, ON), Stanley Février (Montréal, QC), Iyunade Judah (Winnipeg, MB), Anna Jane McIntyre (Montreal, QC), Chukwudubem Ukaigwe (Winnipeg, MB), Jan Wade (Vancouver, BC), Valérie D. Walker (Vancouver, BC).