Come Up To My Room isn’t your typical art show. For four days only from January 18-21, an army of artists and designers take over every corner of the Gladstone Hotel with wild and immersive installations. All artists are on site the entire time sporting red pins and walking around the exhibit, inviting you to ask, “So, what’s this all about?”…
Here are a few art projects that we’re particularly looking forward to checking out this year. For a full listing of all artists and projects at CUTMR2018 and previous years please visit comeuptomyroom.com
‘Sister Co-Resister’ by Multiple Artists | Rm 214
*Artwork above by Marianne Ibrahim
This project is a marker for the absence of intersectional feminisms’ in contemporary visual culture. It sets out to examine the labor around making and holding space- an often-repeated evocation in contemporary artistic and social discourse. In the art historical canon, the feminine has been relegated to the interior, domestic spaces for the past two centuries. The social parallel has been to isolate feminist discourse within biological, ethnic, and class-bound markers. While the experiences of institutionalized misogyny and erasure, the women, femmes, two-spirit, and gender non-conforming artists in this installation intersect- profound discontinuities and contentious disagreements abound. The language of solidarity between these intersections is very much a work in progress- with approximate markers holding space for terms that can encompass the vastness of a marginalized existence. The result is a space in permanent flux- containing the messy shards and jagged edges of solidarity in a state of continual evolution. Shattered nerves, furtive pride, salvaged homelands, nostalgia and itinerant spaces of care populate this room. Its inhabitants are late-invited guests, squatters even, at a conversation whose terms have been pre-defined. They speak in languages that have been misappropriated and distorted, vulnerable to misinterpretation and co-optation. Their loud din echoes in passages and labyrinthine hallways, leading to a protected space where their incitements can breathe.
PAMILA MATHARU is an immigrant-settler with an interdisciplinary practice as an artist, educator, and cultural producer. She engages close readings of gaps, omissions and fissures of the unexamined intersectional life and the everyday. She has been an active contributor to artist-run culture in Toronto for over 23 years, including co-founding Come Up To My Room: The Gladstone Hotel’s Alternative Design Event in 2003. www.pamilamatharu.com
KAREN AZOULEY is a Canadian artist currently based in Brooklyn. Her multi-disciplinary work blurs the line between sculpture and photography. Solo exhibitions include CUE Art Foundation in New York, curated by Glenn Ligon; Four Gallery in Dublin; Mercer Union in Toronto and Primetime in Brooklyn. Her work has been featured and reviewed in publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, C Magazine, ReadyMade and Vogue. www.karenazoulay.com
NEDDA BABA is a Toronto-based artist and MFA candidate at York University, where she also completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts. Inspired by the tensions between subject and authority, her work is reflective of personal narratives and how they subvert the perceived objectivities of dominant discourses in education, religion, war, and the media. Her practice vacillates between images, performances, and interactive installations. www.neddababa.com
YAN WEN CHANG is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist. Her work manipulates and alters text and signage found within her own surroundings in Toronto. Chang removes these from their original context and relates them to the romanticism of escape and refuge as well as the fiend of pleasure under the subject of substance abuse. www.yanwenchang.com
MARIANNE IBRAHIM is a multidisciplinary artist and designer with a strong focus on wearable art and sculptural work. Working in metal, ceramics, stained glass, and textiles, she aims to create thought-provoking and insightful pieces that encourage the observer to consider a different perspective through an intersectional feminist lens. http://www.marianneibrahim.ca/ Zahra Komeylian is a self-taught Iranian-Canadian artist, whose practice utilizes ceramics, installation and performance art. Repurposing Iranian visual language and cultural symbols, she aims to create a decolonizing aesthetic and provoke dialogue on cultural counter-narratives. Instagram: @zizee_
MAANII OAKES is an 18-year-old Anishnabek, Kanienehaka and Swampy Cree woman working predominantly in ink illustration, traditional indigenous tattooing (skin stitch and handpoke) and her more recent practice of acrylic painting. Her thematic work centers around women’s cultural impacts to illustrate the interconnectedness of women and land in a time of resource extraction and environmental racism. http://cargocollective.com/maaniioakes
KENDRA YEE is a Toronto-based artist and designer. She focuses on recreating the speculative world that exists within her head, combining these landscapes with cultural elements discovered throughout local neighborhoods. www.kendrayee.com
‘Enhancer’ by Jordan Shaw | 2nd Floor Alcove
The data chandelier is a continuation of Jordan’s work exploring the concept of how technology can go unnoticed, and yet how it can alter our surroundings, influence how we perceive our environment and alter how we behave and interact both our physical and virtual environment. The project consists of an interactive chandelier that is continuously scanning its environment with sensors determining what has changed in its vicinity. Based on the movement of the participants in the room the chandelier recognizes their position and in real time alters its lights to reflect the environment of the current room. The lights are a physical representation of the data collected through the chandeliers sensors trying to foster the discussion of presentness and one’s awareness of their influence in a public space. The goal of the piece is to try and physicalize the perception of technological devices that are trying to make sense of their immediate environment. Try and concretize the intangible data collection of a particular space into an understandable and relatable representation.
Jordan Shaw is an artist and technologist based out of Toronto, Canada. His work focuses on exploring the predefined expectations society has about their relationship with digital devices by communicating the invisible, yet physical components of technology and the influences it has on culture and community through their data collection capabilities.
‘Embrace’ by Chelsea Attong | 2nd Floor North Corridor
‘Fernigen C. Thicket’ by Ashley Snook | 3rd Floor North Corridor
Fernigen C. Thicket is an immersive installation that heightens senses of touch, smell, sight and sound. The fictitious name Fernigen C. Thicket is vaguely, but not specific to, a person, persona, animal, and/or concept that surrounds itself in biophilic curiosities. This installation addresses metaphysical qualities of interconnectivity between human and nonhuman species; a seemingly overlooked concept during the Anthropocene. Fernigen C. Thicket offers the opportunity to peer into the other side of the divide. It allows viewers to imagine a place where the human and nonhuman exists as co-species, intertwined in each other’s interior/exterior surface and space. In doing so, this installation furthers apprehension on human animality and what it is like to look beyond a human, towards a human animal—an opportunity to become something else, something other than human.
Ashley Snook is a Toronto-based artist, originally from a small town in Northern Ontario. Snook’s practice examines the relationships and interconnectivity between human and nonhuman animals and vegetal/botanical life. Her practice is motivated by the concept of biophilia (a hypothesis coined by biologist Edward O. Wilson, which focuses on human innate curiosities in nonhuman species.) The foundation of her work aims to re-visualize the points of connection between the nonhuman and human in order to denaturalize power binaries between species. Snook’s work is a trajectory towards biological exploration and animality; reconnecting a raw sense of intimacy between human and animal and the surrounding biosphere through primarily sculpture, installation and drawing.
CUTMR Exhibition Hours:
Thursday Jan 18 7-10pm | Friday Jan 19 11am-10pm | Saturday Jan 20 11am-10pm (Opening) | Sunday Jan 21 11am-5pm
$10 General | $5 Student (on Jan 19 with ID) | $25 School Group (must book in advance) | $25 Family of 4
Jan 20, 7-10pm – OPENING RECEPTION + PARTY
Jan 20, 10-Late – LOVE DESIGN PARTY
Jan 21, 1-3pm – TSA Ideas Forum (TO DO)