AGYU follows a thought-provoking path in fall line-up

This fall, don’t follow the same path twice. Take the alternative route out there to the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) where crossroads converge. That’s the message from the AGYU, whose fall program of events and exhibitions, which opens Sept. 17 at 6pm, is bound to be interesting and thought-provoking.

“You won’t believe your eyes,” says Emelie Chhangur, AGYU assistant director/curator. The palindromic title of the opening exhibition, no. it is opposition., hints at its central focus – what Brazilian artist Carla Zaccagnini describes as “forking paths and crossroads.” The exhibited works are premised on replication but ultimately prove to be different (forking paths), or appear completely disparate but ultimately end in the same place (crossroads).

Above: On Equality and Difference I: Casas Gemelas (Twin Houses), 2005, by Carla Zaccagnini

The exhibition plan repeats itself with a full-scale replica of the AGYU lobby inside the gallery that acts as a frame for the works included in the exhibition – the viewer enters the exhibition twice and sees the same work again, but differently. “At first you won’t notice that everything is doubled. Everything is doubled. Look once, and then come back and look again,” says Chhangur.

Right: Carla Zaccagnini

“The same is true for our vitrines, which you might, at first, confuse with actual stores, cafés or offices from other parts of Toronto, for instance Parkdale and North York,” says Chhangur. There are elements from the same city but with very different visual clues, none of which originate on York’s campus. Nevertheless, they are there because of a month-long summer residency with Brazilian artist Rodrigo Matheus, the creator of the new work (see YFileJuly 24). “Sneak a peak through the blinds and open your eyes to new ways of seeing what you know you’ve seen before,” says Chhangur.

Ride on the AGYU Performance Bus to the opening reception of the fall exhibitions on Wednesday, Sept. 17 with hosts Ina unt Ina. “It’s double the fun and double the pleasure with this spectacle-based electronic diva duo,” says Chhangur. “Part tongue-in-cheek, part aesthetic exploration, the twin personas of Ina unt Ina (Celina Carroll and Christina Zeidler) animate original computer-generated music for guests through visuals, movement and live vocals.” The free Performance Bus departs OCAD (100 McCaul St. in Toronto) at 6pm sharp and returns downtown at 9pm.

Left: Duas Margens – Pacifico, 2006, by Carla Zaccagnini

Also, visit the AGYU’s booth at this year’s Toronto International Art Fair (TIAF) from Oct. 2 to 6, where the crossroads of Parkdale and TIAF first appear with the help of students from Parkdale Collegiate and Toronto artists Pamila Matharu (BEd ’00, BA ’02) and Jessica Thompson (BFA ’98). Come see the landscape of Parkdale reflected in the layout of the TIAF. Later, in December, that crossroad will re-appear, this time with TIAF reflected in the geography of Parkdale.

Tour all three of Toronto’s art fairs on Sunday, Oct. 5 when the AGYU’s Performance Bus drives the spaces in between the upArt Contemporary Art Fair, Parkdale International Art Fair (PIAF) and TIAF with Toronto artist-host Ulysses Castellanos. Full of surprises, the free Performance Bus departs from TIAF at the Toronto Convention Centre at 12:30pm sharp en route to upArt at the Gladstone Hotel and then on to the PIAF at the Convenience Gallery, and back again.

Through experimentation and informed by the specific activities of collaborators, Studio Blog, AGYU’s internet resource alternative for artists and curators, has diverged, splitting into two branches and variations of development. “On the one hand, we have curators and artists, located in different cities, conducting virtual studio visits; on the other hand, artists and curators from the same city collaborate to produce a single work,” says Chhangur. New studio visits with Toronto artist Sandy Plotnikoff visited by Vancouver curator Jesse Birch, and Vancouver artist Abbas Akhavan visited by Toronto curator Nicholas Brown, and a new collaboration between Toronto’s Jennifer Murphy and Lise Hosein can be found at the Studio Blog.

Right: AGYU Performance Bus hosts Ina unt Ina (Celina Carroll and Christina Zeidler)

The Black Creek Storytelling Parade will return this fall when AGYU partners with youth from the Jane and Finch Boys & Girls Club. Inspired by the Black Creek’s habitat, Toronto artists Liz Forsberg (MES ’07) and Laura Reinsborough (MES ’07) lead an interdisciplinary arts program that will culminate with an art-filled celebration along this community watershed.

For more information, visit the AGYU’s Web site.