Aman Sandhu and Swapnaa Tamhane work in collaboration under the name "August Fröhls", named after a pajama shop in Mönchengladbach, Germany, which closed in 2014 after nearly a hundred years.
August Fröhls (Aman Sandhu and Swapnaa Tamhane)
Curated by Rea McNamara
Gardiner Museum, Toronto
August Fröhls (Aman Sandhu and Swapnaa Tamhane) invited artists and creative practitioners to engage with local forms of storytelling, teaching, object histories, and music within a site-specific installation on the exterior of Gardiner Museum inspired by the portable classroom.
For August Fröhls, a significant amount of their early education in the Greater Toronto Area (specifically Scarborough and Markham) was spent in portable classrooms. Sandhu and Tamhane explore their speculative hypothesis that the presence of portable classrooms at Canadian schools could be viewed in parallel to the influx of immigrants into the Canadian landscape. Originally intended as temporary space solutions, portable classrooms eventually became permanent infrastructure, set in place to provide extra room for a population growth that the main buildings could not have anticipated.
Propositioning the portable as a space for peripheral pedagogy and histories, August Fröhls created a site-specific outdoor installation harkening to the recognizable materials of the portable structure, and presented a series of events that elicited lesser-known histories. Furthermore, operating from a belief that improvisation is a catalyst for the unearthing of third-space, collaged histories, improvisation as related to forms of pedagogy, storytelling, and history of objects were explored throughout the duration of Portable Stories.
The Peripheral Histories of Asha Puthli
August 11, 2017
August Fröhls (Aman Sandhu & Swapnaa Tamhane) held a talk with cult figure Asha Puthli, looking at her influence throughout the decades from her work with free-jazz musician Ornette Coleman to her oft-sampled self-titled LP and her current considerations of sound as a form of defence. A consummate storyteller, Puthli walked through her multifaceted history which functions as a lens to pivotal moments in iconic cultural histories.
Documentary Screening: Imagine The Sound (1981)
August 14, 2017
Filmed at a studio on Mutual St. in Toronto, Imagine the Sound brings together interviews and performances by the prime innovators of the once-controversial free jazz movement of the 1960s. The first feature documentary by Toronto-based director Ron Mann (Grass, Comic Book Confidential) is an eloquent tribute to a group of highly celebrated artists that helped forge the avant-garde jazz of the 1960s.Critic and film historian Jonathan Rosenbaum has said that Imagine the Sound “may be the best documentary on free jazz that we have.” The film features interviews and performances by pianists Cecil Taylor and Paul Bley, tenor saxophone Archie Shepp, and trumpet player Bill Dixon. Alongside the dynamic performances, the film captures the diverse history and politicized roots of this unique musical genre. Imagine the Sound is an important chapter in the history of the jazz documentary.
Alternative Forms of Learning
August 17, 2017
This workshop engaged with Negarra Kudumu, who views education as a form of curation, and Timothy Yanick Hunter and Esmaa Mohamoud, members of Black Artists’ Union. They discussed and engaged with ideas of how to consider forms of learning that are wholly representative and unearth unknown histories into more formal education structures. This workshop was led by August Fröhls and moderated by Pamila Matharu.
Presenting Stories about Objects from Peripheral Histories with Aanchal Malhotra
August 25, 2017
Aanchal Malhotra presented “Remnants of a Separation”, an Oral History archive focusing on material memory. It is the first and only material study of the Partition of India, taking into consideration those objects that refugees brought with them when they migrated across the border, those objects that were left behind in houses and lastly, those objects that were lost in the midst of the journey of migration.
Presenting Stories about Objects from Peripheral Histories with Sameer Farooq
August 29, 2017
Sameer Farooq discussed new ceramic works created for HERE: Locating Contemporary Canadian Artists at the Aga Khan Museum (July 2017-January 2018).