Emelie Chhangur, Director Curator of Agnes Etherington Art Centre talks with Qanita Lilla about her radical curatorial practice. Growing up in Paris, Ontario in an assimilationist paradigm, she talks of harnessing experimentation and rejecting the confines of the status quo. Emelie’s lived experience of cultural mixing and of negotiating multiple worlds allows her to open up curatorial practice to non-Western traditions but also to bring together forms that might not have a natural affinity. She describes her practice as scrappy, experimental and unexpected worldmaking that started in a bright yellow kitchen.
In set design class, I had this profound experience of collaboration, of working across differences, of building something as a team together, and of being able to understand that collaboration is about bringing together individuals with different strengths.
Emelie Chhangur, is a curator, writer, and artist, and the Director and Curator of Agnes Etherington Art Centre. Chhangur has emerged as a leading voice for experimental curatorial practice in Canada and is celebrated nationally and internationally for her process-based, participatory curatorial practice, the commissioning of complex works across all media, and the creation of long-term collaborative projects performatively staged within and outside the gallery context. Distinguishing herself as a cultural worker dedicated to questioning the social and civic role of the public institutions of art, Chhangur has developed a curatorially-engaged approach to working across cultural, aesthetic, and social differences through a practice she calls “in-reach”—a methodology that has since transformed engaged institutional practice in the arts across Canada.
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With Opened Mouths: The Podcast is hosted by Dr Qanita Lilla and produced by Agnes Etherington Art Centre in partnership with Queen’s University’s campus radio station, CFRC 101.9 FM.