12 FEBRUARY 2021 – 10 APRIL 2021

Nina Leo and Moez Surani, “The Irrefutable Border: Canada Series, no. 43,” 2020, archival ink on cotton rag, 5 x 4 ft. Image courtesy of the artists.


An image as a rebuttal to the claims of nostalgia. A border as an aperture. A scent as a revolutionary force. Yesterday Today Tomorrow presents three new works: the custom scent in the Heresies line titled “My Baghdad” and “My Barcelona”; an aural-image proposition “Was Yesterday So Much Better Than Today?;” and the photo series “The Irrefutable Border: Canada Series.” Leo and Surani’s research into contemporary sites of migration, interviews with border guards, asylum seekers, and members of advocacy groups continue to deepen our understanding of the issues with which these works engage: issues of personal and national identity, and the effects these forces have on consciousness, intimacy, and subjectivity.

NINA LEO is a Canadian cross-disciplinary artist. She has shown her work in galleries and public institutions internationally, including the Beyond/ In Western N.Y. 2010 Biennial, Kunsthaus Santa Fe (Mexico), Nuit Blanche (Toronto), The Lobby Gallery (Chicago), New Zero Arts Space (Yangon) and Al Fanoun Gallery (Abu Dhabi). She has received grants from The Canada Council for the Arts and The Ontario Arts Council as well as the 2013 Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Award for Short Prose (USA). She has participated in residencies including the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada) and the Ventspils International Writers’ Residency (Latvia). Over the past five years, her olfactory research has developed through associations with the Monell Chemical Senses Center (P.A.) and the Institute for Art and Olfaction (L.A.). She has presented and published her research in Canada, the U.S, Italy and the U.A.E. Currently, she is an associate professor within the Sculpture/ Installation department and a member of the graduate studies faculty at OCAD University in Toronto.

MOEZ SURANI‘s writing has been published internationally, including in Harper’s Magazine, Best American Experimental Writing 2016, Best Canadian Poetry, and the Globe and Mail. He has received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, which supported research in India and East Africa, and he has been an artist-in-residence in Finland, Italy, Latvia, Myanmar, Switzerland, Taiwan, the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada and at the MacDowell Colony in the United States. His visual and performance works have been shown in Toronto at Theatre Passe Muraille, Nuit Blanche, Videofag, Red Head Gallery, and internationally at the Cross Gallery in Taipei, the New Zero Arts Space in Yangon, Palazzolo Acreide’s city hall in Italy and he is a member of the artist-run centre Gallery 44 in Toronto. He is the author of three poetry books: Reticent Bodies (Wolsak & Wynn, 2009), Floating Life (Wolsak & Wynn, 2012), and Operations (Book*hug, 2016), which is comprised of the names of military operations, and reveals a globe-spanning inventory of the contemporary rhetoric of violence. A new collection of poetry titled Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real (Book*hug, 2019) was published in fall 2019. In an investigation of mediation, image and contemporary politics, he is currently collaborating with Nina Leo on a collection of installation work.

The artists would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council for their generous support.