Marigold Santos, secret signals (2), Watercolor, ink, pencil crayon, graphite, metallic leaf on paper, 2011, Photo by Galerie D'Este

Unsettling Imaginaries

Kuh Del Rosario, Julius Poncelet Manapul, Marigold Santos, Leslie Supnet
Exhibition runs November 3 2017 - December 16 2017
Opening: November 3 2017: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Curated by: Marissa Largo
Book Launch and Celebration November 17th from 6 - 10 PM for "Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos and Canadian Imaginaries" co-edited by Robert Diaz, Marissa Largo, and Fritz Pino The exhibition is proudly presented by A Space Gallery with support from the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers Toronto

Unsettling Imaginaries examines the practices of four Filipinx artists in Canada: Kuh Del Rosario (Vancouver/Batan), Julius Poncelet Manapul (Toronto), Marigold Santos (Montreal/Calgary), and Leslie Supnet (Winnipeg/Toronto). 

In the dominant Canadian imaginary, Filipinx subjects are largely seen as serving the neoliberal priorities of the nation’s economy. These perceptions figure the Filipinx as the “perpetual newcomer” and always on the periphery of national belonging. As a counternarrative, the Filipinx artists in this exhibition exceed these stereotypical scripts and are unsettling the dominant structures of privilege and power in Canada. The artists each take on various decolonial diaspora aesthetic strategies and are creating expressions that surpass normative conceptions of gender and sexuality and multiculturalist categories of race and citizenship.


Curated by Marissa Largo, Unsettling Imaginaries comprises of artists who imagine Filipinx subjectivity in excess to the dominant stereotypes that persist in the midst of racist and colonial discourses that are enmeshed in the political, social, and cultural dimensions of Canadian society. Their anti-essentialist expressions delve into the supernatural (Santos and Supnet), alternative forms of belonging beyond the nuclear family and nationalisms (Manapul and Supnet), past the limiting politics of visibility/invisibility and into abstraction and non-representational form (Del Rosario and Supnet), and into representations of gender and sexuality that are informed by decolonial recuperations, queer aesthetics and feminist self-representation (Manapul and Santos).


Together, these works present unruly expressions of Filipinx subjectivity in Canada that are unhinged from multiculturalist and neoliberal tropes. Through queer, feminist, racialized, and diasporic lenses, these artists engage in a decolonial diaspora aesthetic practice that confronts white supremacy, heteronomativity, and patriarchy in ways that reimagine Filipinx subjectivity beyond the dominant narrative of the settler colonial state.

Kuh Del Rosario (b.1980 Manila, Philippines) is a Vancouver-based artist originally from Calgary, Alberta. She graduated with a BFA in Painting from the College of Art and Design in 2003, and has since been working in a particular body of work that is concerned with the elements of the everyday. Del Rosario utilizes found objects and everyday materials as the foundation for her sculptures. She is the founder of Elmo's House Artist Residency located Batan, Aklan, Philippines which provides an idyllic retreat for artists to stay and work in the Philippines and experience its unique beauty.
Julius Poncelet Manapul (b.1980 Manila, Philippines) immigrated from Manila to Toronto in 1990. He attained his BFA from the OCAD University and completed a Masters of Visual Studies and a Sexual Diversity Studies Certificate from the University of Toronto in 2013. He investigates the intersections of his Filipino and queer identities and addresses themes of post-colonialism, diaspora, sexual identity, and identity construction. His work had been presented at the Art Gallery of Ontario (2017), Koffler Gallery (2016), University of Waterloo Gallery (2016), A Space Gallery (2016), Nuit Blanche in Toronto (2010, 2012 & 2014), and WorldPride Toronto (2014) and exhibited works in London, Paris, and Berlin.
Marigold Santos (b.1981 Manila, Philippines) pursues an interdisciplinary art practice involving drawn and printed works, sculpture, animation, and sound. She holds a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Calgary and completed an MFA from Concordia University, Montreal in 2011. Santos is recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Quebec in 2013 and Canada Council for the Arts in 2014 and has exhibited extensively across Canada. She currently divides her practice between Calgary, Alberta, and Montreal, Quebec. Santos would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Leslie Supnet (b.1980 Winnipeg, MB) is a moving image artist who utilizes animation, found media, and experimental practices on film and video. Her work has shown internationally at film festivals, galleries and microcinemas including TIFF (Short Cuts Canada), International Film Festival Rotterdam, Melbourne International Animation Festival, Experimenta India, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, WNDX, Edge of Frame/Animate Projects, and many others. She has been commissioned by Reel Asian, Pleasure Dome/Art Spin, the8fest, Cineworks, and Film Pop! (Pop Montreal). Leslie has an MFA from York University and teaches analog and digital animation at various artist-run centres, not-for-profits and for the Faculty of Art and Continuing Studies at OCAD University.
Marissa Largo is an independent curator whose work focuses on the intersections of race, gender, settler colonialism, and Asian diasporic cultural production. Her projects have been presented in venues and events across Canada, such as A Space Gallery, Open Gallery of OCAD University, Royal Ontario Museum, WorldPride Toronto, The Robert Langen Art Gallery, Nuit Blanche, and MAI (Montreal, arts interculturels).


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