Art that Talks Back : A Problem So Big It Needs Other People

A Problem So Big It Needs Other People is a show currently going on at the SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art curated by Cheyanne Turions. The show consists of performances and discussions by the performers, with each show having a different theme and speaker.

The first performance was March 22nd, and the next one will be Saturday, March 29th from 3-5 pm. Artist Basil AlZeri will perform and then hold an open discussion with the audience immediately after. The performance is called Pull, Sort, Hang, Dry, and Crush is an interactive performance that involves food, food crops and their preservation as well as replantation. AlZeri plans on engaging the audience through senses as he makes a “flora offering,” and uses the gallery space for a how-to demonstration. The how-to demonstration will involve using wild thyme plants to make a mix that he learned from his mother. The discussion of food stems from AlZeri’s experiences in preservation and preparation of foods he learned as “a resistance to colonization and forced assimilation processes” which occur through his self-declaration of being a settler, immigrant, visitor and new citizen. Tea will be served.

The next performance in the series occurs on April 12th, again from 3-5 pm, and will be a group participatory discussion facilitated by Gabrielle Moser and Annie MacDonnell; this discussion is called No Looking After the Internet. The discussion will involve the audience looking at unknown pictures on a screen, and “reading” them aloud together. By leaving out the standard framework, information/caption and/or an artist’s talk, the audience must rely on their own eyes and judgment, and sharing answers in order to reach a conclusion. No Looking attempts to unpack what exactly it is about looking that makes looking difficult. Moser and MacDonnell have based this discussion around the “premise … that we don’t always trust our interpretive abilities as viewers.”
This is an ongoing collaborative project with Toronto’s Gallery TPW; for further information regarding the project, you can check out the website HERE

The last performance, Slow Scrape, will be by Daina Ashbee, with a discussion afterwards with Tanya Lukin Linklater on April 26th, from 3-5 pm. Using texts written by Lukin Linklater that center on “translations between experiential knowledge, conceptual frameworks, and Indigenous languages,” Ashbee will perform a dance that bridges the two together, with “the process between artist and dancer” being one of the translations with the text structuring the performance.

A Problem So Big It Needs Other People takes place at the SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art (372 Ste-Catherine West, suite 507) until April 26.