Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Jessica Karuhanga, Chandra Melting Tallow, Carmen Papalia with Heather Kai Smith, jes sachse, Aislinn Thomas
September 18, 2021 - February 13, 2022
Curated by: Carmen Papalia
Co-presented by Tangled Art + Disability and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
RMG: September 18, 2021 – February 13, 2022
Tangled Art + Disability: September 17 – October 29, 2021
Undeliverable is a continuation of artist Carmen Papalia’s curatorial practice. Envisioning curation as a form of care, the exhibition brings together six artists from the Mad, Deaf and disability community, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Chandra Melting Tallow, Jessica Karuhanga, jes sachse, Aislinn Thomas, and Carmen Papalia with Heather Kai-Smith, re-envisioning the museum around the demands and desires of the disabled body/mind. Presented across two spaces – Tangled Art + Disability and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery – the exhibition features ambitious new work that challenges institutional structures and centres mutual accountability.
Kindly note that both the RMG and Tangled Art + Disability are scent free spaces. In order to remain respectful of individuals who may have sensitivity to certain scents or smells, we would like to ask all visitors to help us in creating a fragrance free environment that everyone can enjoy.
Interested in learning more about sensitivity to scents and fragrances? Head over to our Instagram feed for a Takeover by artist Aislinn Thomas that shares more information about how you can help make public spaces more accessible and safe for all those who experience barriers from the toxicants that are in so many personal care, cleaning, building, and fragrance products.
About the Curator and Artists
Carmen Papalia is an artist and disability activist who uses organizing strategies and improvisation to navigate his access to public space, art institutions, and visual culture. His socially-engaged practice expresses his resistance of support options that promote ableist concepts of normalcy, like white canes and other impairment-specific accommodations that only temporarily bridge barriers to participation in an otherwise inaccessible, policy-based system. Papalia designs experiences that invite participants to expand their perceptual mobility and to claim access to public and institutional spaces. Papalia’s walks, workshops, and interventions are an opportunity to model new standards and practices in the area of accessibility.
Heather Kai Smith is an artist who currently lives and works in the unceded Coast Salish Territory known as Vancouver. She completed her MFA at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2017), and her BFA in Drawing from the Alberta College of Art and Design (2009). Her current practice explores the potential embedded within archival images of protest, collectivity, and intentional communities activated through drawing, observation and iteration. Rooted in the practice of drawing, her work has lent itself to projects in animation, printmaking, and installation.
Jessica Karuhanga is an African-Canadian artist who works through writing, video, drawing and performance. She has presented her work at The Bentway, Toronto (2019), Nuit Blanche, Toronto (2018), Onsite Gallery at OCAD, Toronto (2018), Museum London, London (2018), Goldsmiths, London, UK (2017) and Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2016). Her writing has been published by C Magazine, Susan Hobbs Gallery and Fonderie Darling. She has been featured in i-D, DAZED, Visual Aids, Border Crossings, Toronto Star, CBC Arts, filthy dreams, Globe and Mail and Canadian Art. She earned her BFA from Western University and her MFA from University of Victoria. She lives and works in Toronto, Canada.
Vanessa Dion Fletcher graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016 with an MFA in performance, and has exhibited across Canada and the US, including Art Mur (Montreal), Eastern Edge Gallery (Newfoundland), The Queer Arts Festival (Vancouver), and Satellite Art Fair (Miami). Her work is in the Indigenous Art Centre (Gatineau, Quebec), Joan Flasch Artist Book collection, Vtape, and Seneca College. Vanessa is supported by the City of Toronto Indigenous partnerships fund as artist in residence at OCAD University for 2019.
Aislinn Thomas is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes video, performance, sculpture, installation, and text. She culls material from everyday experiences and relationships, creating work that ranges from poignant to absurd, and at times straddles both. Her recent works explore the generative nature of disability while pushing up against conventional access measures. Aislinn is a settler of Ashkenazi and British descent. She currently lives and works near the Grand River, on land promised to the Six Nations.
Chandra Melting Tallow is an interdisciplinary artist, musician and writer of mixed ancestry from the Siksika Nation. Their practice confronts the ghosts of intergenerational trauma and their relationship to the body – utilizing both humor and surrealism to subvert oppressive structures of power. They have exhibited across Turtle Island as an installation, sound and performance artist.
jes sachse is an artist, writer and performer whose work addresses the negotiations of bodies moving in public/private space and the work of their care. Their work & writing has appeared in NOW Magazine, The Peak, CV2 -The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing, Mobilizing Metaphor: Art, Culture and Disability Activism in Canada, and the 40th Anniversary Edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Jes presently lives in Toronto.
Relative Gradient by Vanessa Dion Fletcher. A large, thin circle is made of porcupine quills folded back and forth in a zigzag pattern. The colours of the quill embroidery form a gradient of warm reds, pinks, yellows, browns and whites.