Melt away at YYZ Artist’s Outlet’s mock sauna galleries

If you have ever attended an opening or event at YYZ Artists’ Outlet, you know it can be a real scorcher in here. Our space is ALWAYS hot, making it uncomfortable for staff, artists and visitors alike. Additionally, these conditions are detrimental to the artwork on display, to our collection of published books, and to the 38 years of archival material that we are trying to preserve.

The time has come for us to address this critical issue with an upgrade of our system to meet industry standards for the cultural sector. Given the precariousness of cultural spaces, particularly in 401 Richmond, we are investing in the quality and future of YYZ. As we embark on our first significant fundraiser in over 5 years, we need your help!

Friday August 25th
8pm till midnight @ YYZ
#140-401 Richmond Street West
Beach Party Dress Code
$10 at door or online (includes a drink and fan)

Enjoy a cash bar stocked with beer from Great Lakes Brewery, wine, and a uniquely designed cocktail.

A hydrating station supported by ESKA water.

YYZ beach towels printed in collaboration with HAZEL ECKERT available for sale.

Featuring energy treatments by artist SASHA PIERCE .

And PRIZES up for grabs with lots of goodies including gift certificates from Superframe, Toronto Image Works, Above Ground Art Supplies, Iam Yoga and Nota Bene.

Many thanks to the coolest sponsors:

ESKA Water, Great Lakes Brewery, Superframe, Toronto Image Works, Above Ground Art Supplies, Open Studio, Iam Yoga, and Nota Bene Restaurant.


Want to further donate to the cause?

Here are some COOL gifts to show our sincere thanks!

Additional donations of…

$25+ = a free tote bag with a copy of select past publications.

$50+ = a free tote bag with a copy our upcoming publication: Multiple Elementary edited by Hannah Jickling and Helen Reed OR our most recent publication: More Caught in the Act: an anthology of performance art by Canadian women edited by Johanna Householder and Tanya Mars.

$100+ = a free tote bag, a copy of Multiple Elementary and another book of your choice.

$200+ = a print by Lisa Neighbour (Limited edition of 10).

$500+ =  two limited edition prints by Bill Burns and your name will be added to the donor wall at our newly renovated reading room and archive.

*On-site pick up of gifts preferred

Donations made through Canada Helps will receive a tax receipt directly through their portal.


With zizzling thanks,
The Staff and the Board of YYZ Artists’ Outlet

Ana Barajas

Mallory Wilkinson
Programming Coordinator

Kate Gorman
Gallery Attendant

Allan Kosmajac
Installation Technician

Sarah Jane Gorlitz
(Chair)Craig Rodmore
(Vice Chair)Deborah Kirk
(Treasurer)Ellyn Walker
(Secretary)Carmen Victor
Wojciech Olejnik
Maria Alejandrina Coates
Lucy Lu
Natalie MacNamara



YYZ is pleased to present work by YYZLAB participants from Thursday July 20 to Saturday July 29.

Featuring work by Mona Ali, Stephanie Durán Castillo, Amanda Foulds, Monica Gutierrez, Kayla Polan, Aitak Sorahitalab, and Angela Walcott. The YYZLAB is a mentorship program for emerging artists that live outside the downtown core. Come and see what our colleagues are doing!

Opening on Friday July 21 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

YYZ would like to thank this year’s mentors: Aisle 4, Gareth Bates, Bunker 2, Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea, Alissa Firth-Eagland, Betty Julian, Allyson Mitchell, Asad Raza, Susan Schelle, Leila Timmins, and Joshua Vettivelu.

The YYZLAB is supported by the city of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

Presque-vu By Matthew Kyba

By Matthew Kyba

A strange phenomenon occurs when one can almost remember a memory, term, or detail, yet falls short as it barely escapes them. Concentration seems to grip the sand too tightly as whatever we hoped to recall slowly falls through our fingers. As an artist, Jen Aitken capitalizes on this sense of Presque-Vu, or almost seen. The French term doesnt perfectly translate, but insinuates an on the tip of the (mental) tongue. Instead of searching for a reference or connection that her new series Kaloune tantalizingly entices, she invites the viewer to consider the reason we require intertextuality to preface artworks. Aitken critiques the art historical habit of privileging content over form, while showcasing how these two elements are inseparable. In employing almost familiar but ultimately ambiguous forms, the exhibitions uncertainty implores the viewer towards their own meaning-making through physical spatial orientation and directly investigating the work as autonomous objects.

Aitkens series Kaloune at YYZ beckons the strange feeling of having synapses crackle and snap, but not quite connect. As the viewer quizzically ponders and slightly agonizes over what seems familiar (but isnt), the pieces wedge themselves between recognition and uncertainty. The geometric forms possess a unique materiality. Even though these materials appear to point towards everyday concrete substances, their assemblage juxtaposed with their surfaces eclectic imprints of other elements fog up easy readings. Adorning the walls and columns, the works seem like fragments of construction. However, they also could act as remnants of modernist furniture, architectural models, 3-dimensional paintings, or even unfinished dioramas. Their ambiguity is their power; Aitkens pieces are the sign without the signified. Concrete is a medium that has many cultural connotations. Connections to urbanization, capitalism, development, architecture, DIY home projects, and Roman invention all occur alongside a myriad of other signifiers. However, Aitkens ambiguous forms merely tease these references instead of explicitly alluding towards them. Absent of original referent, pieces in Kaloune are autonomous symbols that resist contextualization.

The missing referent is a constant theme in Aitkens practice, specifically when looking at online images of her work. We can look at Aitkens past works as existing in three stages: the idea or concept, the reified form, and the recorded file (on or offline). While the artwork can only literally exist physically, images of artworks are increasingly disseminated and the artworks live on through the digital means. Within virtual worlds her works endure beautifully; gorgeous photo-documentation with perfect angles and lighting elevate the images towards works of art themselves. Of course, these images only display perfectly curated singular perspectives, where in-person any and all angles can be seen. The artist is conscious of her works digital presence and understands the division between these versions. Existing in an internet-centered society results in extremely digestible images propagating online and through social platforms, where often JPEGs can act as stand-ins for the real thing. Is it okay to say someone saw an exhibit if only online? Although these images are near convincing depictions of her work, the exact physical objects cant be fully translated.


Aitkens newly created Kaloune works operate in multiple antithetical states. The lightness and thinness of her pieces go against the heaviness of concrete. Her molds (consisting of wood, cardboard, and more) leave lingering natural impressions unto their hardened surfaces. Materiality is apparent in the works, not only due to the dynamic simplicity of concrete, but also the various other materials traced upon the exteriors. Aitkens process of production also hints at binary statuses within the works. Her concrete mixture begins to form when adding water with the cement, paper pulp, and other ingredients to quickly become an easily malleable and viscous liquid. Impressionable and elastic, the material is molded into an opaque and (almost) impenetrable finished product. Kalounes material aesthetic references two opposite conditions: The soft process and the hard product, through traced remnants from other material imprints.

Semiotics plays an important role within the exhibition, even if the works seem devoid of identifiable language. Recurring forms often point to an invisible law that the artistic process follows a restraint that fosters their creative autonomy. These rules for creation result in different iterations of forms that are aesthetically akin to one another through repetitious production processes. Recurrent figures allow for the works to provide a visual language that could ostensibly operate when all pieces are grouped together. Each sharp edge, long curve, balanced plane, and unique surface detail define these sculptures that have no top or bottom, no beginning or end. Side by side, these pieces share an unseen casting process that created them. Their production underscores how the constant repetition of visual cues interacts to create a pictorial syntax that appears both recognizable yet undecipherable.

Adding onto her visual semiotics, Aitken also invents her own words for her series titles. Reading over current and previous titles such as Kaloune, Phaxa, Lunopel, Galomindt, or Yna, each term could suggest a foreign languages word or phrase. Aitkens created terms allude to etymological understanding; the roots of these words seem possibly Germanic, Latin, Middle Eastern, or Eastern European, and therefore can be somewhat traced through history. However, Aitken has carefully chosen these titles so that they possess no connection or identifiable link with real dialects. Instead, her terms are decoys and stand-ins, elements used to resist and critique our persistence for an artworks contextualization. Inverting the traditional mantra of Modernisms form follows function, Aitken suggests that form is content. Her objects do something spatially and materially, instead of just pointing to other things. Far from an outmoded and impossible refusal of content, Kaloune makes conscious the need of taxonomy and desire to systemically classify art objects.

Interestingly, her artworks sometimes develop in two-dimensional platforms, as Aitken will occasionally plan and test not-yet-realized works within 3D modeling computer programs. Though Aitken initially sought out the computer process to speed up the development of her creations, it had an unexpected and exciting effect on her thinking about form and space. In her previous series from 2015-16, titled Numa, Aitkens virtual process led to more intricate and complex forms, which in turn necessitated a simplification of her materials. In Kaloune, Aitken worked for the first time without making plans or maquettes, opting for a more reactionary process by intuitively adding one component to another until the mold was complete. In doing so, her forms are more open-ended, unfinished and spontaneous than in her previous work.

Whether it be Kaloune or her earlier works, Aitkens pieces require an in-person experience to fully appreciate them. Kalounes concrete forms that jut out of walls seem to embolden the 3-dimensionality hinted at via photography and digital imagery. The constant push/pull between 3- and 2-dimensionality means Kaloune can oscillate between pictorial and sculptural space. Navigating around the physical works, results in infinite angles and perspectives that could only be possible in person. Although they recall much familiar abstract and formalist sculpture, Aitkens sculptures are enhanced through their seemingly constant change in appearance based on the viewers position in the gallery. Aitkens careful balancing of concrete planes requires viewers to access the works from multiple visual points. Contemplating each works dynamic geometry in person, visitors can attempt to recall similar forms and figures of art, architecture, and design. The works ability to both mimic and yet detach from familiar forms magnifies how the series investigates the opposite binaries of familiarity and singularity in art. Aitkens works plead to be accessed and activated in person, physically inhabiting the gallery environ.

Kaloune marks the first time that Aitkens work is exhibited fully on the walls. In integrating the artists visual syntax with the picture plane, the pieces can operate as both images and sculptures. They do not occupy the familiar middle ground of relief sculpture, but exist in both distinct realms simultaneously. They are obvious sculptures first, but can be viewed as pictures. Their placement on vertical planes does not diminish their physicality and spatial orientation. Since Aitkens practice of installation involves a playful eye and conscious exploration, the viewer must operate in new ways to activate and experience each work. We are subtly pushed to not only examine the artworks head on, but also from the sides, bottoms, tops, and everything in-between.

Initially, Aitkens Kaloune series shows geometric abstract sculptures that borrow architectural structures. But through ambiguous forms, titles, digital vs. real imagery, and exhibition strategies, her works never comfortably dwell within the visitors various modes of explanation. Instead, Aitken works to resist our proclivity for intertextuality and contextualization, a difficult feat in our current era, in order to make room for more open-ended moments of direct undistracted experience. The difficulty of reading Aitkens works not only allows for a more nuanced viewing experience, but ultimately showcases the false veracity of her seemingly simple forms.


MATTHEW KYBAis an independent curator and critic. He is the Founder and Director of Bunker2, a new contemporary art space in Toronto. He holds an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University, and has forthcoming texts appearing in Canadian Art magazine and the Journal of Curatorial Studies.

JEN AITKENreceived her MFA in 2014 from the University of Guelph, and her BFA in 2010 from Emily Carr University. In May 2016, she presented her first solo show at Battat Contemporary in Montreal, which was accompanied by a publication of her studio drawings. She created a site-specific solo exhibition at Centre Clark in September 2016 and has recently participated in group shows at Forest City Gallery in London, Ontario, Diaz Contemporary in Toronto, and Kamloops Art Gallery in British Columbia. Aitken is a Toronto-based artist and is represented by Battat Contemporary.

Jen Aitken gratefully acknowledges the support of the Toronto Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.


Marisa Morn Jahn and Kwentong Bayan Collective in Conversation


A-Space and YYZ are pleased to present Marisa Morn Jahn and Kwentong Bayan Collective (Althea Balmes + Jo SiMalaya Alcampo) in conversation about art and social change through the lens of domestic labour.  Marissa Largo will moderate the conversation and Christine Shaw will present her upcoming curatorial initiative that explores care.

Monday, June 12 at 7:00pm @ YYZ

140-401 Richmond Street West, Toronto.

Artist Marisa Morn Jahn will speak about her project The CareForce, a transmedia public art, mobile studio (the CareForce One), and Sundance-supported web series (CareForce One Travelogues) that amplifies the voices of America’s fastest growing work force, caregivers. The project was initiated by Jahn in collaboration with the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Oscar and Emmy-winning filmmaker Yael Melamede/SALTY Features. Jahns work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art Forum, Univision, CNN; presented at The White House, Museum of Modern Art, worker centers, public spaces; and awarded grants from Creative Capital, Tribeca Film Institute, and more. Based in New York, she teaches at MIT and Columbia University and directs Studio REV-, an art + media + social justice non-profit organization.


Christine Shaw, Director/Curator of the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga, will speak about Take Care, a series exhibitions, workshops, and publications on the crisis of care, curated by Letters & Handshakes (June 2017 to March 2018). Take Care will feature Jahn with a new commissioned work that collaboratively involves caregivers in Toronto.  Shaw is also Assistant Professor, Curatorial Studies and Contemporary Art. Her practice is committed to curatorial experimentation, collective cognition, applied philosophical inquiry, and social resilience. She has been active in collectively run autonomous education and curatorial projects, including Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry (2005 2010), and currently, Letters & Handshakes.


Kwentong Bayan Collective brings a critical and intersectional approach to labour arts and community-based education.  Althea Balmes (Illustrator) and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo (Writer) are currently working in close collaboration with caregivers and allies to develop the comic book, Kwentong Bayan: Labour of Love about the real life stories of Filipinx migrant workers. It documents the leadership and organizing work of caregivers in Toronto from the 1970s to the present day. An excerpt was published in the award-winning anthology, Drawn to Change: Graphic Histories of Working Class Struggle. This year, Kwentong Bayan created a Remember Resist Redraw poster, in collaboration with the Graphic History Project, that examines the 150+ year history of care work performed by racialized women, including Live-in Caregivers in Canada. The poster series aims to intervene in the Canada 150 conversation, and hopes to encourage people to critically examine history in ways that can fuel our imaginations and support struggles for radical change.

Moderator: A PhD candidate in the Department of Social Justice Education at OISE, University of Toronto, Marissa Largo is a Toronto-based artist, curator, and educator.  Her works have been presented at the Royal Ontario Museum, Nuit Blanche, Galerie MAI, Montral, A Space, and more. She holds degrees in Visual Arts and Education from York University and has a Master’s degree in Art Education from Concordia University and was awarded the prestigious Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Largo also works with many progressive arts and cultural organizations that connect social activist art practices with community engagement.


Toronto Art Book Fair 2018



The Toronto Art Book Fair | TOABF is a free public festival that celebrates and explores artists’ books and printed matter. Taking place from July 5-8 at Chinatown Centre Mall (222 Spadina Avenue), TOABF 2018 will feature curated exhibitions, installations, Canadian and international exhibitors, and community programming that includes panel discussions, readings, talks, launches, and workshops.

The Toronto Art Book Fair is dedicated to increasing the visibility, dissemination, appreciation, and understanding of the artists’ book and its contemporary manifestations within the visual arts field in Toronto and abroad. Independent artistic print culture has a rich narrative in Canadian art history, and is an often overlooked aspect of Canadian cultural identity. The goal of TOABF is to highlight these personal and collective stories, and elevate the artistic integrity of artists’ books by presenting artists’ books, multiples, and printed matter to a wide audience. The ongoing vision for TOABF is to represent the diversity of cultural production and creative expression.

Fair Hours

Thursday, July 5 6-8pm

Friday, July 6 12-8pm

Saturday, July 7 12-8pm

Sunday, July 8 12-6pm


Art Book Week is a parallel series of city-wide events that coincide with the Toronto Art Book Fair. Art Book Week features artists’ book-driven exhibitions, projects, and programs held throughout the GTA. The goal of Art Book Week is to bring attention to current artist’s book culture and practices as well as highlight Toronto’s art publishing community.

Art Book Week 2018 will kick off on Wednesday, July 4th and conclude on Wednesday, July 11th.

Anne-Marie Proulx (in conversation with Mathias Mark): Aiminanu




Aiminanu is a word in Innu-Aimun which translates to “there is a conversation going on.” The exhibition rests upon this idea of conversation—between languages, cultures, and people. Through an ensemble of sentences selected from an Innu-French dictionary, it also explores the relations between language, territory, and identity. The dictionary appears as a place of affirmation, where the language itself is speaking: the Innu words, when translated, become sentences which carry meanings, knowledge, and poetic evocations. Placed in the gallery according to the meaning of the four directions, the sky, and the earth, they also evoke an intimate relation between human and territory, in tune with the cycles of the day, of the seasons, and of life. The dictionary also represents a place of dialogue between a spoken language, Innu, and a written language, French—a dialogue that echoes with the sound that is heard in the space, the voices of a conversation between the artist and Mathias Mark, who expresses the importance of hearing the words of his language and culture. Aiminanu thus suggests listening to these voices that come from the earth and that mix with the currents of rivers.


Aiminanu est un mot de l’innu-aimun qui se traduit par « il y a une conversation en cours ». L’exposition repose sur cette idée de conversation – entre les langues, les cultures et les personnes. Conçue autour d’un ensemble de phrases tirées d’un dictionnaire innu-français, elle explore aussi les relations entre langage, territoire et identité. Le dictionnaire apparaît comme un lieu d’affirmation, où la langue elle-même prend la parole : les mots innus, une fois traduits, deviennent des phrases qui sont porteuses de sens, de connaissance et d’évocations poétiques. Placées dans l’espace en fonction des significations des quatre directions, du ciel et de la terre, elles témoignent aussi d’une relation intime entre l’humain et le territoire, en phase avec les cycles du jour, des saisons ou de la vie. Le dictionnaire représente aussi un lieu d’échange entre une langue parlée, l’innu, et d’une langue écrite, le français. Un dialogue qui fait écho à ce qu’il est possible d’entendre dans l’exposition, c’est-à-dire les voix d’une conversation entre l’artiste et Mathias Mark, qui énonce l’importance d’entendre les paroles de sa langue et de sa culture. Aiminanu suggère ainsi d’écouter ces voix qui viennent de la terre et qui s’entremêlent aux cours des rivières.

ANNE-MARIE PROULX is originally from Lévis, where she grew up on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River, she now lives and works on the other side of the river, in Québec City. With a practice that integrates words and images, she creates poetic works that are situated between history and myth, a consciousness of the world and its interpretation. Her works present themselves as free spaces, open to the imagination, where the real is transformed to reach new narrative evocations. She has presented her work at La Centrale, Panache art actuel, the Darling Foundry, and Regart, and it will be included in upcoming exhibitions at Galerie UQO, FRAC Lorraine (France), and in the exhibition program of Montréal’s 375th anniversary. She has contributed writing for YYZ, Eastern Edge, Ciel variable, Esse, and Les Éditions du Renard, and has presented lectures at conferences in Québec and internationally. annemarieproulx.com

MATHIAS MARK is from Pakuashipi, a community situated on the lower northern coast of the Saint Lawrence River. He lives on the banks of the Pakua Shipu, a large river which is the way into the interior of the territory, where the Innu traditionally lived in the winter season, following caribou herds. Through the teachings of the elders, he is invested in learning the skills and knowledge of his traditional Innu culture, in order to share them with new generations. He is interested in the technical as much as the spiritual aspects of hunting, following preparation methods with respect for the animal, while listening to traditional songs and to the rhythm of the teueikan, the sacred drum. He has also begun recording the stories of the elders so that their memories will continue to inspire the life of the Innus.


Originaire de Lévis, où elle a grandi sur les rives du fleuve Saint-Laurent, ANNE-MARIE PROULX vit et travaille maintenant de l’autre côté du fleuve, à Québec. Avec une pratique qui fait se rencontrer les images et les mots, elle crée des univers poétiques qui se situent entre l’histoire et le mythe, la conscience du monde et son interprétation. Ses oeuvres se présentent comme des espaces de liberté, ouverts à l’imaginaire, où le réel est transformé pour atteindre de nouvelles évocations narratives. Récemment, ses oeuvres ont fait l’objet d’expositions à La Centrale, Panache art actuel, la Fonderie Darling, Regart, et son travail sera bientôt présenté dans des expositions à la Galerie UQO, la FRAC Lorraine (France), ainsi que dans la programmation d’expositions du 375e anniversaire de Montréal. Ses textes ont été publiés dans différentes publications et revues, et elle a présenté des conférences tant au Québec qu’à l’étranger. annemarieproulx.com

MATHIAS MARK est de Pakuashipi, une communauté située sur la Basse-Côte-Nord du fleuve Saint-Laurent. Il vit sur les rives de la Pakua Shipu, une grande rivière qui mène vers l’intérieur des terres, où les Innus vivaient traditionnellement durant la saison hivernale, suivant les hardes de caribous. Par l’enseignement des aînés, il s’investit dans l’apprentissage des compétences et des connaissances de sa culture innue traditionnelle, afin d’en faire le partage aux nouvelles générations. Il est intéressé par les aspects autant techniques que spirituels de la chasse, suivant des méthodes de préparation en respect de l’animal, et écoutant des chants ainsi que le rythme du teueikan, le tambour sacré. Il a également commencé à enregistrer les récits des aînés pour que leurs souvenirs continuent à inspirer la vie des Innus.

The artist would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of Mathias Mark, Tanya Lalo Penashue, Craig Rodmore, Guy Sioui Durand, Sodec, VU, L’Œil de Poisson, François Simard, Le Labo, YYZ.

Read Aiminanu by GUY SIOUI DURAND, a text published alongside ANNE-MARIE PROULX’S exhibition.

Aiminanu by Guy Sioui Durand

This text by GUY SIOUI DURAND was published alongside ANNE-MARIE PROULX’S exhibition, Aiminanu.


By Guy Sioui Durand



Shipu nikamuitak
Minunamu esshi-ishkuteunit shikuteua
Nitamatshuen utshu
Nuapaten assi
Tshiuetin, mamit, akua-nutin, pashtautin, natamit 

Tshiuetin minu-tshisikau
Mamit petatpa
Pashtautin apita-tshishikau
Akua-nutin nipun

Uesh ma tshititan

The river’s lapping sings
Dazzled by the bush its berries its hues of fire
I climb the mountain
At the highpoint
A land
The North, the East, the South, the West

North heralds fine weather
East an awakening
South a meal
West repose

You wrap me around
Free from absence[i]



Aiminanu. “A conversation is going on,” as it translates from Innu-aimun. Thus, the relationship develops through spoken language. Its rhythm is in the present. What’s more, the dialogue evoked is open, continuous, evolving (going on). But, above all, its formulation carries us away. It transports us towards three territorialities: geographic, cosmological, and artistic.



Nitassinan names the ancestral territory of the Innu. The missionaries called them “Montagnais,” those who come and go across the mountains. There are about eighteen thousand of this First Nation living in Kébeq (Quebec) and Labrador. Nomads.

The Innu of Pakua Shipu form a small community of about 350 people on the Lower North Shore of Quebec who speak Innu-aimun to one another (less than half speak French, and a few older people English). They live at the mouth of the Pakua Shipu (Saint Augustine River), which spills into the immense Gulf of Saint Lawrence, ready to be swallowed by the Atlantic Ocean near Labrador and Newfoundland. The road does not go there. It can only be reached by boat, by air, by snowmobile, or on foot.

Is this microcosm so remote that it is absent from the portrait drawn by a non-native modernity that has not completely taken hold of those who live on these lands?


Akua-nutin, tshiuetin, mamit, natimit

Seen from the south, they are a resistance. In the 1960s, when government authorities deported them to the reserve of Unamen Shipu (La Romaine), farther south, nearly a hundred fled on foot under cover of darkness to return to the mouth of their river.

For them, the north represents going upriver towards the interior of Nitassinan, towards the nutshimit, for the caribou hunt and customary seasonal activities. The east means the currents of the river, their route. The west takes the form of stories from the Eeyou Istchee (Cree territories) that draw the outline of a bay, vast as an inland sea (Hudson Bay), and far, far away, past great plains, would be the Rocky Mountains, their peaks covered in eternal snow, impassable.

And yet, rather than guaranteeing a strict orientation in space, as the cardinal points do, these directions take their meaning more from immaterial, spiritual passages that allow us to circulate according to Algonquian cosmology.

It was there that one Anne-Marie Proulx went to listen, arriving by Magtagoek, “the great walking river,” an expression from the Micmac language that poetically designates the Saint Lawrence. This is where Aiminanu, this “conversation going on,” comes from, and where the photographer anchors how we circulate among the elements of her installation in Toronto’—another word of native origin, this time Iroquoian, to which I will return later.

This way of life of the Innu, the geography situating Pakua Shipu, and their unique manner of naming the world in their language, Innu-aimun, are transmuted into an art of attitudes by a living audiovisual spatialization in YYZ’s exhibition space. We can speak of a photographic and sonic spatial arrangement that obeys the immaterial energies of circularity and its orientations, structuring not only the conversation going on, but also the way we navigate the exhibition.

In an elegant manner, akin to a shaman or an alchemist, Anne-Marie Proulx attempts to transform the white cube, the exhibition venue of Western art, into a circle full of energy. These forces obey the natural cycles that characterize, as the words transcribed in a dictionary name them, the cosmology, the spirituality, and the poetry of the physical places of the Nitassinan, a territory at once real and imaginary.

The minimal stylization of the display steers clear of the traps of anthropologizing, of all the folklorizing exoticism too often suggested by the concept of “encounters” between worlds. Because we’re talking about contemporary art, here, of which I would describe the aesthetic—to borrow the final verse from the poet Joséphine Bacon, Innu of Pessamit, quoted above—as being “free from absence.” That is to say the visible and audible aspects reveal and question the very real relations of a nomadic artist who has travelled to and known the milieu that is Pakua Shipu, as well as the milieu in which she practices—that of photography in the era of multimedia expansion, within the field of art. What emerges is this atmosphere, this sensation, this art of attitudes, that through their forms pitch towards a transgression of customary usages, there and especially here in Toronto’.


The circle’s energies

The white cube is the modern exhibition space. The circle is the ancestral, cosmological shape of the First Nations. To symbolically effect the transference from one into the other, Anne-Marie Proulx is directly inspired by the six directions of the Algonquian medicine wheel—Algonquian is the linguistic family to which Innu belongs—and by its traditionalist, spiritual meanings, in the organization of her installation: east-west, north-south, land-sky.
At YYZ, we enter from the north—tshiuetin. The colour white, like the hair in old age, is associated with this direction. It symbolizes wisdom. Opposite, the viewer sees the large photographic wall situated to the south—akua-nutin—which also means water, the Gulf. Water is life and the colour associated with it is red, like blood, a vital liquid. There are no coincidences here: the large image shows water currents merging, and the Great Lake Ontario, nearby, is on the same side. To the left, the east—mamit—where the sun rises and with which the Innu associate the colour yellow, we hear the spoken language of Pakua Shipu. The west—natimit—is symbolized by a wall painted black. Where the sun sets and the night is born, it is also the metaphor for the last great journey that one undertakes, towards the spirit world. In the centre, on the ground—assi—rest other works, which follow the direction of an arrow pointing to the north, marking an inclination, almost to the sky.

Territorialities, spiritualities, and oralities. Aimaninu, the conversation going on, flows between these concepts.


The ebb and flow of the shallow river

Look. Look closely at the immense wall image to the south. Consider the detail of the large-scale photograph to which Anne-Marie Proulx exposes us, which she offers up to our eyes. In shades of grey, the ebb and flow of the currents tightly wrap a cormorant in its reflection.

Listen. “Shipu nikamuitak”: “The river’s lapping sings.” Does the image not match what Joséphine Bacon poetically whispers to us? Or the audible words of a conversation? Or else are these the waves of the Great Lake Ontario, also located to the south? And why not a blending of places?

Observe. The photograph causes the wavelets of the river to mix with those, more abundant, of the Gulf. Again, territorialities, one might say. John Berger says that “a photograph is effective when the chosen moment which it records contains a quantum of truth which is generally applicable, which is as revealing about what is absent from the photograph as about what is present in it.”[ii]

And, in the distance, other worlds, other dreams. Using the technological eye, for a moment the artist becomes a shaman: the viewer becomes a traveller.

“Circulate, make yourself doubly nomadic,” the work suggests. It draws us into the gallery, but also artistically brings us to a specific location on the Pakua Shipu, the river that is “shallow because there are sandbanks.”

Travelling from the city of Quebec, where she lives and works, Anne-Marie Proulx camped on the river, at the site called Uepishtikueiat, that is to say “where the current narrows” between the banks. But was she merely dreaming, when one knows that the Innu use the same word to name Quebec City—there, where the river is narrowest? Interpreting dreams, message sticks, and shoulder blades, and hearing the rhythms of the teueikuan (drum), these things still lie at the heart of this culture, which is in constant dialogue with Papakassiku, the master of the caribou.

There is also the bird anchored in these tangled waters. The cormorant seems ready to fly, from the earth toward the sky. It is another key to understanding “the meaning of the world.”[iii] In keeping with the caribou and wolverine of the foundation myths, legends, stories, and tales, the bird incarnates the spirit of the Animals, which links Earth and Heaven, the other axis that connects the real territories of Mother Earth to the cosmological and mythological territories of the Sky, completing the medicine wheel.


Erasing to see the voices of the Nitassinan

To circulate in the gallery is to hear and read under a double influence: the white cube metamorphosing into a circle and selected words that encourage seeing and hearing, rather than reading, the Innu orality transcribed in your languages.

Within the space are strange dictionaries, bizarre in the Baudelairean sense of an art criticism relying on poetic suggestiveness. These open dictionaries are, in fact, magnificent photographic textures more than bookish readings. This is because the pages that we see are altered in an enigmatic way.

Anne-Marie has erased the entries that would normally define a dictionary, to highlight certain phrase-journeys. Here, translation means transcription; reading is equivalent to listening, hearing to imagining.

On these pages—photographed in this way, using a subtractive method—floats, like winter snowflakes or summer fireflies, an Innu word which, once translated, lets a phrase flow out, a voice from the Nitassinan.

And it is no coincidence that we are floating among the audible words of Innu host and friend Mathias Mark, which have also been brought back from Pakua Shipu by the one he calls “Anemani”!


From Pakua Shipu to Toronto’—old alliances are activated

This writing does more than accompany the exhibition Aiminanu. In my mind, it possesses the spirit of a wampum belt, its stylized words used by way of geopolitical treaties. As a Wendat (Huron) from Wendake, near Kébeq (Quebec City), let me tell you a secret: as the Innu name Uepishtekueiat links Pakua Shipu and Quebec City for Anne-Marie, so Nionwentsïo, in Wendat, unites Toronto’ and Wendake for me as its neighbour.

The artistic aiminanu brings me back emotionally to the Huron-Wendat pathway that runs along the Humber River through Toronto’ to throw itself into Lake Ontario in the Nionwentsïo, our historic, ancestral territory. Indeed, these toponyms originate from the shared culture of the great Wendat confederacy and that of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), who cohabitated for a long time, due to maize cultivation, on the north shore of the Great Lake, where the city of Toronto’ exists today.

The project created by Anne-Marie Proulx revives and amplifies a continuing alliance, that which brings together our Iroquoian confederations, the Innu, their allies, and, why not, Quebecers and Ontarians. The great Chief Anadabijou explained this important network of contacts in the conversations he had with Champlain, in 1603, at Pointe-aux-Allumettes, near Tadoussac, on the north shore of Magtagoek, the “great walking river” that connects Toronto’ to Pakua Shipu.

In short, YYZ’s gallery vibrates through the art of a journey undertaken in territorialities that not only bring us together, but also speak to us. This is what comes to mind when, from my window, I see the sculpted cormorant near the Akiawenrahk River, the “river with a thousand detours” that leads to Wendake.

Tiawenhk, Anne-Marie.

Guy Sioui Durand


 (translation by Julie Fiala revised by Craig Rodmore)

GUY Tsie8ei 8aho8en yatshih, Wendat endi’, Yanariskwa’ iwayitiohkou’tenh, Wendake ekwayehtih, Teyiatontariye (Québec) indare.

GUY SIOUI DURAND is a Wendat (Huron) based in Wendake, Québec. He is a sociologist (Ph.D), art critic, independant curator, and performer (spoken words). He is specialised in contemporary Amerindian art and contemporary art. He is President of Intervention Editions and member of performance groups Le Tas Invisible (Québec) and Bbeyond (Belfast).

ANNE-MARIE PROULX is originally from Lévis, where she grew up on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River, she now lives and works on the other side of the river, in Québec City. With a practice that integrates words and images, she creates poetic works that are situated between history and myth, a consciousness of the world and its interpretation. Her works present themselves as free spaces, open to the imagination, where the real is transformed to reach new narrative evocations. She has presented her work at La Centrale, Panache art actuel, the Darling Foundry, and Regart, and it will be included in upcoming exhibitions at Galerie UQO, FRAC Lorraine (France), and in the exhibition program of Montréal’s 375th anniversary. She has contributed writing for YYZ, Eastern Edge, Ciel variable, Esse, and Les Éditions du Renard, and has presented lectures at conferences in Québec and internationally. annemarieproulx.com

The artist would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of Mathias Mark, Tanya Lalo Penashue, Craig Rodmore, Guy Sioui Durand, Sodec, Avatar, VU, L’Œil de Poisson, François Simard, Le Labo, and YYZ.


[i] Joséphine Bacon, A Tea in the Tundra / Nipishapui Nete Mushuat, trans. Donald Winkler (Markham, Ontario: Bookland Press, 2017), 32–33.

[ii] John Berger, “Understanding a Photograph,” in Classic Essays on Photography, ed. Alan Trachtenberg (New Haven: Leete’s Island Books, 1980), 293.

[iii] The books Carcajou et le sens du monde (1971) and Carcajou à l’aurore du monde (2016) by Rémi Savard bring us into the mythological world of the Innu.




Par Guy Sioui Durand

Shipu nikamuitak
Minunamᵘ esshi-ishkuteunit shikuteua
Nitamatshuen utshu
Nuapaten assi
Tshiuetin, mamit, akua-nutin, pashtautin, natamit

Tshiuetin minu-tshisikau
Mamit petatpa
Pashtautin apita-tshishikau
Akua-nutin nipun

Uesh ma tshititan

Le clapotis de la rivière chantonne
Éblouie par la chicoutée aux couleurs de feu
Je grimpe la montagne
Au sommet
Une terre
Le Nord, le Sud, l’Est et l’Ouest

Nord annonciateur de beau temps
Est le réveil
Sud le repas
Ouest le repos

Tu m’enveloppes
Sans absence[i]


Aiminanu. « Une conversation est en cours », traduit-on de l’innu-aimun. La relation passe donc par le langage parlé. Son rythme est au présent. Qui plus est, le dialogue évoqué est ouvert, en continu, en évolution (in progress). Mais, surtout, sa formulation nous entraîne. Elle nous transporte vers trois territorialités : géographique, cosmologique et artistique.



Nitassinan nomme le territoire ancestral des Innus. Les missionnaires les appelèrent « Montagnais », ceux qui vont et viennent par-delà les montagnes. Ils sont environ 18 000 de cette Première Nation vivant en Kébeq (Québec) et au Labrador. Des nomades.

Les Innus de Pakua Shipu forment une petite communauté d’environ 350 personnes sur la Basse-Côte-Nord du Québec, qui parlent entre eux l’innu-aimun (moins de la moitié parlent le français et quelques vieux, l’anglais). Ils vivent à l’embouchure de la Pakua Shipu (rivière Saint-Augustin), qui se déverse dans l’immense golfe du Saint-Laurent, prêt à se faire avaler par l’océan Atlantique à proximité du Labrador et de Terre-Neuve. La route ne s’y rend pas. On n’y vient que par bateau, par les airs, en motoneige ou à pied.

Si éloigné géographiquement, ce microcosme est-il absent du portrait dessiné par une modernité allochtone qui n’a pas encore totalement eu prise sur celles et ceux qui vivent en ces terres ?


Akua-nutin, tshiuetin, mamit, natimit

Vus du sud, ce sont des résistants. Dans les années 1960, quand les autorités gouvernementales les ont déportés vers la réserve d’Unamen Shipu (La Romaine), plus au sud, près d’une centaine d’entre eux ont fui à pied à la faveur de la nuit pour retourner à l’embouchure de leur rivière.

Pour eux, le nord signifie de remonter la rivière vers l’intérieur du Nitassinan, vers le nutshimit, pour la chasse au caribou et les activités coutumières saisonnières. L’est veut dire les courants de la rivière, leur route. L’ouest prend l’allure de récits venus du Eeyou itshee (territoires des Cris) qui esquissent une baie, vaste comme une mer intérieure (baie d’Hudson), et très, très loin, passé de grandes prairies, il y aurait des montagnes rocheuses, aux cimes couvertes de neiges éternelles, infranchissables.

Or, plutôt que de garantir une stricte orientation dans l’espace, comme le font les points cardinaux, ces directions prennent davantage leur sens dans des passages immatériels, spirituels, qui permettent de circuler en fonction de la cosmologie algonquienne.

C’est là que s’est rendue une Anne-Marie Proulx à l’écoute, arrivée par Magtagoek, le « grand chemin qui marche », expression de la langue micmaque qui nomme poétiquement le fleuve Saint-Laurent. C’est de là qu’Aiminanu, cette « conversation en cours », provient, et là que la photographe arrime la manière de circuler parmi les éléments de son installation à Toronto’ – autre mot d’origine amérindienne, iroquoien celui-là, sur lequel je reviendrai plus loin.

Ce mode d’existence des Innus, la géographie situant Pakua Shipu et cette manière unique de nommer le monde dans leur langue qu’est l’innu-aimun, se transmutent en un art d’attitudes par une spatialisation audiovisuelle vivante dans l’espace d’exposition de YYZ. Parlons d’une mise en espace photographique et sonore qui obéit aux énergies immatérielles de la circularité et de ses orientations, structurant non seulement la conversation en cours, mais encore son parcours.

De manière élégante, s’apparentant à une chamane ou une alchimiste, Anne-Marie Proulx tente de métamorphoser le cube blanc, lieu d’exposition de l’art occidental, en un cercle plein d’énergies. Ces forces obéissent aux cycles naturels qui caractérisent, comme les mots transcris dans un dictionnaire les nomment, la cosmologie, la spiritualité et la poésie des lieux concrets du Nitassinan, à la fois territoire réel et celui de tous les imaginaires.

La stylisation épurée du dispositif créé s’affranchit dès lors de toute tentative d’anthropologisation, de tout exotisme folklorisant, trop souvent suggéré par le concept de « rencontres » des mondes. Car il s’agit d’art actuel ici, dont je qualifierais  l’esthétique – pour reprendre la dernière stance de la poétesse Joséphine Bacon, Innue de Pessamit citée ici en exergue – de « sans absence ». C’est dire que les éléments visibles et audibles révèlent et questionnent les relations bien réelles d’une artiste nomade qui s’est rendue et a connu ce milieu qu’est Pakua Shipu, tout autant que celui du photographique à l’ère de l’expansion multimédia dans lequel elle œuvre au sein du champ de l’art. En ressortent ce climat, cette sensation, cet art d’attitudes qui tanguent par leurs formes vers une transgression des usages coutumiers, là-bas et surtout ici à Toronto’.


Les énergies du cercle

Le cube blanc, c’est la salle d’exposition moderne. Le cercle, c’est la figure cosmologique amérindienne ancestrale. Pour effectuer symboliquement la mutation de l’un en l’autre, Anne-Marie Proulx s’inspire directement des six directions de la roue de médecine algonquienne – famille linguistique dont font partie les Innus – et de ses significations spirituelles traditionalistes pour déployer son installation : l’est-l’ouest, le nord-le sud, la terre-le ciel.

Chez YYZ, on entre par le nord – tshiuetin. La couleur blanche, comme les cheveux à l’âge avancé, y est associée. Elle symbolise la sagesse. À l’opposé, le regardeur voit le grand mur photographique situé au sud – akua-nutin –, qui signifie aussi l’eau, le golfe. L’eau est vie et sa couleur associée est le rouge, comme le sang, liquide vital. Point de hasard ici : la grande image donne à voir des courants d’eau qui fusionnent, et le grand lac Ontario, tout près, est de ce côté. À gauche, l’est – mamit –, où se lève le soleil et auquel les Innus associent la couleur jaune, on entend la langue parlée de Pakua Shipu. L’ouest – natimit – est symbolisé par un mur peint en noir. Là où le soleil se couche et où la nuit naît, c’est aussi la métaphore du dernier grand voyage que l’on entreprend, vers le pays des esprits. Au centre, sur le sol – assi – repose d’autres œuvres, qui adoptent l’orientation d’une flèche pointée vers le nord, marquant l’inclinaison presque vers le ciel.

Territorialités, spiritualités et oralités sont donc ici sciemment convoquées par l’art. Aimaninu, la conversation en cours entre elles, en découle.


Les flux et reflux de la rivière peu profonde

Regardez. Regardez bien l’immense mur-image au sud. La finesse de la grande photographie à laquelle Anne-Marie Proulx nous expose, qu’elle nous donne à voir. Tous de nuances de gris, le flux et le reflux des courants d’eau enserrent de leurs reflets un cormoran.

Écoutez. « Shipu nikamuitak » / « Le clapotis de la rivière chantonne » . L’image ne rejoint-elle pas ce que nous chuchote poétiquement Joséphine Bacon ? Ou les paroles audibles d’une conversation ? Ou bien sont-ce les vagues du grand lac Ontario, lui aussi situé au sud ? Et pourquoi pas un mélange des lieux ?

Observez. La photographie fait se métisser les vaguelettes de la rivière à celles, plus amples, du golfe. Toujours les territorialités, me direz-vous. John Berger dit qu’« une photographie est frappante quand le moment choisi qu’elle enregistre contient une quantité de vérité universelle qui révèle autant de ce qui est absent de la photographie que de ce qui est présent en elle »[ii].

Et, au loin, d’autres mondes, d’autres rêves. Utilisant l’œil technologique, l’artiste se fait un moment chamane : le regardeur devient voyageur.

« Circulez, faites-vous doublement nomade », suggère l’œuvre. Elle nous attire dans la galerie, mais aussi nous amène artistiquement à un endroit précis de la Pakua Shipu, cette rivière « peu profonde parce qu’il y a des bancs de sable ».
Partie de la ville de Québec, où elle vit et travaille, Anne-Marie Proulx a campé sur la rivière, au lieu dit Uepishtikueiat, c’est-à-dire « là où le courant rétrécit » entre les berges. Mais n’a-t-elle fait que rêver quand on sait que les Innus utilisent le même mot pour nommer Québec, là où le fleuve est plus étroit ? Interpréter les rêves, les bâtons à message et les omoplates, entendre les rythmes du teueikuan (tambour) forment toujours le cœur de cette culture qui est en constant dialogue avec Papakassiku, le maître des caribous.

Il y a aussi cet oiseau ancré dans ces eaux qui se nouent. Le cormoran semble prêt à s’envoler, de la terre vers le ciel. C’est une autre clef, pour « le sens du monde »[iii]. Dans la lignée du caribou et du carcajou des mythes fondateurs, légendes, récits et contes, l’oiseau incarne l’esprit des Animaux, qui lie Terre et Ciel, l’autre axe qui lie les territoires réels de la Mère Terre aux territoires cosmologiques et mythologiques du Ciel, complétant la roue de médecine.


L’effacement pour « voir les voix » du Nitassinan

Circuler dans la galerie, c’est entendre et lire sous une double emprise : le cube se métamorphosant en cercle et des mots sélectionnés qui donnent à voir et à entendre, plutôt qu’à lire, l’oralité innue transcrite en vos langues.

Dans l’espace se trouvent de bien étranges dictionnaires, bizarres, au sens dans lequel l’aurait entendu Baudelaire, adepte d’une critique d’art misant sur la suggestivité poétique. Ces dictionnaires ouverts sont, en fait, de magnifiques textures photographiques plus que des lectures livresques. C’est parce que les pages que l’on y voit s’absentent de manière énigmatique.

Anne-Marie a procédé par effacement des énumérations qui définissent normalement un dictionnaire, pour mettre en relief des phrases-voyages. Ici, traduction signifie transcription ; lire équivaut à écouter ; entendre, à imaginer.

Ainsi photographiées sur le mode de la soustraction, ces pages ouvertes font flotter, tels des flocons de neige hivernaux ou des lucioles estivales, un mot innu qui, une fois traduit, laisse couler une phrase, une voix provenant du Nitassinan.

Aussi n’est-ce point un hasard si l’on flotte dans les paroles audibles de l’hôte et ami innu Mathias Mark qu’a aussi rapportées de Pakua Shipu celle qu’il appelle « Anemani » !


De Pakua Shipu à Toronto’. D’anciennes alliances s’activent

Ce texte ne fait pas qu’accompagner l’exposition Aiminanu. À mes yeux, il possède l’esprit d’un grand collier de wampum, ses « paroles stylisées » en guise de traités géopolitiques. Disons une confidence que je vous fais en tant que Wendat (Huron) originaire de Wendake, près de Kébeq (Québec) : autant le nom innu Uepishtekueiat relie Pakua Shipu et Québec pour Anne-Marie, autant celui de Nionwentsïo, en wendat, soude pour moi, qui suis son voisin, Toronto’ et Wendake.

L’aiminanu artistique me ramène avec émotion sur le sentier huron-wendat qui longe la rivière Humber traversant Toronto’ pour se jeter dans le lac Ontario, dans le Nionwentsïo, notre territoire ancestral historique. En effet, ces toponymes proviennent de la culture commune à la grande confédération des Wendats et à celle des Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) qui ont longtemps cohabité, par la culture du maïs, sur la rive nord du grand lac, aire où la ville de Toronto existe aujourd’hui.

Le projet créé par Anne-Marie Proulx ravive et amplifie l’alliance de toujours, celle qui rapproche nos confédérations iroquoiennes, les Innus, leurs alliés et, pourquoi pas, les Québécois et Ontariens. Le grand chef Anadabijou expliqua cet important réseau de contacts dans les conversations qu’il a eues avec Champlain, en 1603, à la Pointe-aux-Allumettes, près de Tadoussac, sur la rive nord de Magtagoek, le « grand chemin qui marche » et qui relie Toronto’ à Pakua Shipu.

En somme, la galerie YYZ vibre par l’art d’un périple entrepris dans des territorialités qui non seulement nous rassemblent, mais qui, de plus, nous parlent. C’est ce à quoi je pense en observant de ma fenêtre le cormoran sculpté près de la rivière Akiawenrahk, la « rivière aux mille détours » qui mène à Wendake.

Tiawenhk, Anne-Marie.

Guy Sioui Durand


GUY Tsie8ei 8aho8en yatshih, Wendat endi’, Yanariskwa’ iwayitiohkou’tenh, Wendake ekwayehtih, Teyiatontariye (Québec) indare.

Wendat (Huron) originaire de Wendake, GUY SIOUI DURAND est membre du clan du Loup. Sociologue (PH.D.), critique d’art, commissaire indépendant, conférencier de renom et performeur Sioui crée aussi des harangues performées exprimant l’oralité amérindienne. L’art actuel et l’art amérindien sont ses domaines d’intervention.  Il est président des Éditions Intervention de Québec et membre des collectifs d’art-performance Le tas Invisible (Québec) et Bbeyond (Belfast).

Originaire de Lévis, où elle a grandi sur les rives du fleuve Saint-Laurent, ANNE-MARIE PROULX vit et travaille maintenant de l’autre côté du fleuve, à Québec. Avec une pratique qui fait se rencontrer les images et les mots, elle crée des univers poétiques qui se situent entre l’histoire et le mythe, la conscience du monde et son interprétation. Ses oeuvres se présentent comme des espaces de liberté, ouverts à l’imaginaire, où le réel est transformé pour atteindre de nouvelles évocations narratives. Récemment, ses oeuvres ont fait l’objet d’expositions à La Centrale, Panache art actuel, la Fonderie Darling, Regart, et son travail sera bientôt présenté dans des expositions à la Galerie UQO, la FRAC Lorraine (France), ainsi que dans la programmation d’expositions du 375e anniversaire de Montréal. Ses textes ont été publiés dans différentes publications et revues, et elle a présenté des conférences tant au Québec qu’à l’étranger. annemarieproulx.com


[i] [i]Joséphine Bacon, Un thé dans la toundra Nipishapui nete mushuat, Montréal, Mémoire d’encrier, 2013, p. 36-37.

[ii] John Berger, L’air des choses, Paris, Librairie François Maspéro, 1979, p. 20.

[iii] Les livres Carcajou et le sens du monde (1971) et Carcajou à l’aurore du monde (2016) de Rémi Savard nous font entrer dans le monde mythologique des Innus.


CCC: The Sublime in Quotations







A friend came to see me in a dream. From far away. And I asked in the dream: Did you come by photograph or by train? All photographs are a form of transportation and an expression of absence. [1]

(I think I remember reading that) most painted Egyptian figures are in eternal profile; something about the continuity of life after death. Eternity now exists online. Profiles of deceased relatives and friends keep lingering on our screens, and computer algorithms keep asking us if wed like to invite them to art openings or fancy dress parties.

Nobody used to mean no body, but bodies matter less and less. Matter matters less and less. Expressions of absence. The Sublime in Quotations is an attempt to reconcile this new reality where figure, object, image, and data are all collapsing into one eternal presence. The exhibition was created as a work in five chapters, each explore a theme central to this ongoing collapse.

I.Myth making

II.The cyclops, and the vanishing point

III.Floating or falling through the net

IV.Absence and profile

V.Collection as preservation

The Sublime in Quotations comprises a new video work and an installation that builds on CCCs sound art and sculptural practice.

CCC is a collection of artists, writers, and audio producers. We like to be described as a nebulous assortment of curious individuals who work together to create temporary installations and uncanny experiences that exist in the world for a few moments until they dont anymore. Recent installations include Hold On Hold On Some Things Last Forever at Katzman Contemporary (Toronto, On) and at Forest City Gallery (London, On). Recent audio works include The Slow Now and Lazaros Dream produced for the Koffler Center of the Arts (Toronto, On). Their work has also been featured at the old BBC Building (London, UK); CCA (Glasgow, UK) and Princeton University (New Jersey, US).

CCC would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts as well as the assistance of Struts Gallery/Faucet Media Arts Center and YYZ.

[1] John Berger, A Seventh Man


Aryen Hoekstra: The Flicker

(in partnership with theImagesFestival)


This exhibition is co-presented in partnership with the Images Festival.  For more information visit imagesfestival.com

Two hatted figures hid their faces and plugged their ears. The concussive return of the white frame was too much to bear. But me, Im no more object now than when the lights first dimmed.The Flicker had made-me-over in its own image, but that image was merely dormant before I queued up. It was a revealing. A peeling back of skin and stage and screen, denuding the projection until it hardened under the brightness of its own flashing light. With this crystalline, glinting bit the theatres subsurface was violently drilled, coughing up an inky oil that lubricated the seat covers. I slid down a row or two. As my eyes readjusted, I noticed that the ground beneath me was full of holes though nobody else seemed to care.

Is to be likeThe Flicker to be like a porous planet? An arterial network of entries and exits carrying blobs of black from below to above. The Black Lagoon as if it was the Creature itself. Its force hidden under rocky cover, accruing capital as it flowed upward. Gaseous exhalations wafted up and down the aisles of the theatre. As above, so below. I thought, in its excess, that it might spill out into the lobby where the concession and posters are kept, carrying popped and un-popped kernels along with it. A slip-n-slide back out to the street, and daylight, and the city, but that too had been drilled. An over-handled planet with no place left to stand, but the seats remained full. Bodies pointed at backs of bodies. The floor had always been sticky, but now it was black. Total darkness, only its theory before my eyes, like right before the credits roll.

ARYEN HOEKSTRA is an artist and writer based in Toronto, ON. Recent solo exhibitions include Celestial bodies at 8-11 and Choreography for Screenat Mercer Union (both Toronto, ON). Other recent exhibition venues include Scotiabank Nuit Blanche (Toronto, ON); the Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton, AB); Gallery 44 (Toronto, ON); Forest City Gallery (London, ON); Modern Fuel (Kingston, ON); Blackwood Gallery (Mississauga, ON). He has contributed writing for YYZ Artists Outlet, Susan Hobbs, COOPER COLE, and Daniel Faria Gallery. His art criticism has appeared in Canadian Art, C Magazine, Border Crossings, and Magenta Magazine. From 2014 2016 Hoekstra served as the Director of G Gallery. He is currently a contributing editor at Towards.info, and runs the independent project space Franz Kaka in Toronto, ON.

Aryen Hoekstra would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.

Call for Directors of the Board

Call for Directors of the Board
YYZ ARTISTS OUTLET Board of Directors (Volunteer Position)

We are currently accepting applications to join YYZ Artists Outlet’s Board of Directors for a 3-year term.

YYZ Artists Outlet seeks energetic and committed collaborators to actively participate in the programming, strategic planning, and leadership of YYZ Artists Outlet as members of the Board of Directors. YYZ’s Board is comprised of individuals possessing a variety of perspectives, disciplines, skills and expertise. We are committed to reflecting diversity in our composition and encourage applications from individuals of indigenous and diverse cultural heritage, as well as individuals of non-binary gender identities and with different abilities. Currently, we are particularly interested in applications from individuals who shares a keen interest in art; however, are not necessarily arts professionals. Because we are seeking insight and input toward the development, execution and championing of a new strategic plan, candidates with experience in fundraising and fiscal management, promotions, program development and oversight, and other development activities required to guide our organizational mission are especially encouraged.


The Board of Directors is the legal authority for YYZ Artists Outlet (YYZ). As a member of the Board, a Director acts in a position of trust for the community and is responsible for the effective governance of the organization.

YYZ’s Board meets monthly or bi-monthly depending on need. Estimated time commitment is 10-12 hours per month, including meetings, correspondence and individual tasks that support staff on a project-by-project basis.


Attend and participate in the scheduled Board and Programming Committee meetings;

Attend and support special events and YYZ functions;

Approve, where appropriate, policy and other recommendations received from the Board, its standing committees and YYZ management;

Monitor all Board and governance policies, review the Boards structure, approve changes and prepare the necessary bylaw amendments;

Participate in the development of YYZs annual programming and operating goals and objectives;

Approve YYZs annual budget;

Approve the hiring and release of YYZ senior management;

Actively participate in fundraising.


Knowledge of local, national and international contemporary artistic practices;

Interest in volunteerism;

Good communication, management, delegation and follow-up skills;

Commitment to YYZs goals and mandate;

Available time to participate in Board and committee activities;

A YYZ member (or willingness to become a member);



YYZ supports critical and experimental artistic practices through exhibitions, publishing, educational programs and the commissioning of new works. By prioritizing the agency of artists, YYZ provides a unique platform for building communities and advancement of culture.


YYZ is an artist-centric environment. We place the artist at the centre of all activities and advocate for fair remuneration, balanced representation, and creative freedom. YYZ fosters collaboration in both our internal operations and our programming activities. Internally, we act on consensus and encourage dialogue. Externally, we engage with other institutions and work closely with artists. YYZ promotes openness. We provide multiple entry points to YYZ and its activities and seek to reach and cultivate audiences locally and beyond.


YYZ Artists Outlet Board of Directors will consider expressions of interest on an ongoing basis until the position(s) are filled. Please send a (250-word maximum) statement of interest with CV to: bod@yyzartistsoutlet.org.

YYZ Artists Outlet 140-401 Richmond St. W. Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

Tel: 416-598-4546