Hosted by ART + PUBLIC UnLtd.
Installation view of Chris Curreri: A Surrogate, A Proxy, A Stand-In. Photo: Tim Forbes
ART + PUBLIC UnLtd. invites you on a virtual tour through three of Agnes’s current exhibitions, Chris Curreri: A Surrogate, A Proxy, A Stand-In, Studies in Solitude and The Dark Room. We aim to bring you an exhibition experience that gives you a sense of the program in space, an understanding of curatorial considerations, dialogues between artist Chris Curreri and Agnes curators Emelie Chhangur and Suzanne van de Meerendonk, insights behind key works and a live Q&A opportunity facilitated by Rebecca Carbin.
It is also an opportunity to experience Agnes Reimagined, the institutional transformation currently in play at Agnes.
A Surrogate, A Proxy, A Stand-In continues Chris Curreri’s interest in liminal spaces and the relation between concepts. His work explores the space where processes unfold before becoming fixed, underscoring the meaning that exists in the connections. A Surrogate, A Proxy, A Stand-In connects, through the artist’s own history, the experimentation of the darkroom to the nighttime freedom of the gay bar. Curreri, Chhangur and van de Meerendonk together discuss the relationship between Chris’s solo exhibition and concurrent exhibitions of work from Agnes’s collection.
Installation view of The Dark Room. Photo: Paul Litherland
Installation view from the Bader Gallery into A Surrogate, A Proxy, A Stand-In. Photo: Paul Litherland
Over the past two decades, curator, writer, and artist, Emelie Chhangur has emerged as a leading voice for experimental curatorial practice in Canada, 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 gallery contexts. Currently, as the Director/Curator of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, she is working on Agnes Reimagined: an institutionally-engaged project that uses architecture as a material and the curatorial as a methodology to build new infrastructures for experimental museological practice. This work follows a significant curatorial career at AGYU, where Chhangur lead the reorientation of AGYU toward becoming a civic, community-facing, ethical space driven by social process and intersectional collaboration, founded the artist residency program, and received 25 OAAG Awards for contributions in writing, publishing, exhibition-making, public and education programming.
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.” In 2019, Chhangur won the Ontario Association of Art Galleries’ inaugural BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) Changemaker Award and in 2020, the prestigious Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence. She is the most awarded curator in Canada.
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.
Suzanne van de Meerendonk is the Bader Curator and Researcher of European Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University, where she most recently curated the exhibition Studies in Solitude: The Art of Depicting Seclusion (4 September 2021–27 June 2022). She received her MA from the University of Amsterdam and her PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara as a specialist in Dutch seventeenth-century art and visual culture. Before joining Agnes, Suzanne has worked for a range of public and university museums, including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Art Design & Architecture Museum at UC Santa Barbara and the Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University in Hamilton NY.