Pedro Barbáchano, Snack Witch aka Joni Cheung, Jin Heewoong, Kevin Jung-Hoo Park, Christy Kunitzky, Laurel Rennie, Aman Sandhu and Holly Timpener
Curated by Marie Martraire and Michele Thériault
Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montréal
April 23—May 21, 2022
The eight artists in IGNITION 17 share their personal lived experiences, political reflections, and poetic engagements with realities that have affected us and our communities for centuries: experiences of migration, (mis/non)representation of our identities and histories, power relations, and unconscious biases. Their installation, photographs, texts, moving images, or textile works not only decry long-standing problems catalyzed by the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, they also propose strategies such as collective actions, radical care, and self-work to effect structural, institutional, and personal change.
Hiring marks my fixation with the words: We’re Hiring. Two words that have increasingly become sirens to announce new roles for racialized candidates in cultural institutions and universities. Hired into brutal structures—I’ve had an acute anxiety the past few years about what’s being got and how we’re being retold. Losing the apostrophe indicates an ending of hiring, it’s inevitable. I propose that ending is where generative change begins.