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Chris Curreri: A Surrogate, A Proxy, A Stand-In
26 February–29 May 2022
Contemporary Feature Gallery
Curated by Emelie Chhangur

Chris Curreri is a Canadian artist working in photography and sculpture. His work lingers in liminal states, capturing processes as they unfold and focusing in on moments before identity is fixed or concepts come into light as fully intelligible, and thus taken as normative. For Curreri, things in the world are not defined by essential properties or essentializing dichotomies (tenderness/violence, beauty/abjection, self/other); they are constituted through relational exchanges with other things. To what extent do we open ourselves up to, or close ourselves off from, such penetrations? This exhibition performs as an allegory of these issues as if they have emerged between the closure of the aperture and the exposure of the photographic image.

A Surrogate, A Proxy, A Stand-In connects, through the artist’s own history, the experimentation of the dark room to the nighttime freedom of the gay bar. The latter is represented by the solarized photographs of the interior of the defunct Beaver, Toronto’s legendary Queen Street queer bar. Thus, the exhibition places itself on a continuum of intimacy and exchange, of haunting and helping, with Canadian Queer art history—Rodney Werden, General Idea, Will Munro and their contemporary avatars: Luis Jacob, partnering in one of the works, and Curreri himself.

Presented in partnership with Contemporary Calgary.

This exhibition is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, and the Toronto Arts Council. Special thank you to David Clare for his generous support of Curreri’s upcoming Agnes published monograph and for facilitating the recent acquisitions of the artist’s work for Agnes’s permanent collection.
Logo: Canada Council for the Arts
Logo: Ontario Arts Council
Toronto Arts Council logo

Chris Curreri, No Tears For The Creatures of The Night, 2021, gelatin silver print. Courtesy of Daniel Faria Gallery

Chris Curreri, No Tears For The Creatures of The Night, 2021, gelatin silver print. Courtesy of Daniel Faria Gallery

Chris Curreri is a Canadian artist who works with film, photography and sculpture. His work is premised on the idea that things in the world are not defined by essential properties, but rather by the actual relationships that we establish with them. Recent exhibitions include: Thick Skull, Thin Skin at Esker Foundation (Calgary, Canada), The Way We Are 1.0 at Weserburg museum für moderne Kunst (Bremen, Germany), Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life at Württembergischer Kunstverein (Stuttgart, Germany), The Ventriloquist at Daniel Faria Gallery (Toronto, Canada), 2017 Canadian Biennial at National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, Canada), Compassionate Protocols at Callicoon Fine Arts (New York, USA), La Biennale de Montréal 2016 at Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (Montréal, Québec). His films have been screened at: Image Forum Festival, Japan; Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata, Argentina; and the Toronto International Film Festival, Canada. He holds an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts at Bard College.

Hero image: Chris Curreri, Self-Portrait with Luis Jacob, 2022. 8’ x 8’ x 8’. Two silicon sculptures, artificial plants, plant stands, custom-designed chair, vintage camera, table. Mirror cube structure designed and fabricated by Mark Birksted and commissioned by Agnes Etherington Art Centre. Courtesy of Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto. Photo: Paul Litherland


Portrait of Chris Curreri

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