Bringing Down Our Dead
Juana Awad, Julian Calleros, Ulysses Castellanos, Rita Kamacho, Arlan Londono, Jesus Mora, Z’otz* Collective
A Space Main Gallery
October 30 – December 12, 2009
Curated by: , Amelia Jiménez
Copresented by: Latino Canadian Cultural Association,
Performances start at 7:30pm
Recently, museums and galleries have shown an interest in the colourful syncretism of the Day of the Dead celebration, focusing on the traditional and folkloric aspects of the ritual. Bringing Down Our Dead departs from that approach, offering a contemporary expression of the ritual, while reflecting the political and social beliefs of our times. The artists’ works — painting, video, performance, and installation — pay tribute to the memory of the departed, and they also denounce violence, voice concerns, and record everyday events. The approaches taken by the artists are informed by their individual experiences as well as by the ways in which contemporary issues both reflect and deflect from those experiences.
Juana Awad’s videos have been screened in Belgium, France, Canada, Holland, and the UK. She has performed at numerous festivals, and most recently starred in Setareh Delzendeh’s play Less Than a Half. Juana has an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, and a degree in Drama and Semiotic Theory from the University of Toronto.
Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Julian Calleros immigrated to Toronto in 2001. In 2006 Julian was part of “The Future of Idea Art,” an artist residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts. In May 2007, he travelled to Mojacar, Spain, for a self-directed art residency at Fundacion Valparaiso, working on fantastic-realistic still life composition.
Rita Kamacho’s performance-based projects focus on borders and boundaries between disciplines, places, and spaces. Her projects are exhibited in festivals, galleries, and on the street. Kamacho has served as a board member of numerous artist-run centres. In 2008 she curated Fraction/Memory, in which artists intervened in urban spaces. This year Rita had her first solo show at Women’s Art Resource Centre.
Arlan Londono is a Toronto based artist and curator. As an artist he has focused on public art interventions, and in his last projects he has focused his investigations on electronic arts. In 2004 Arlan co-created the e-fagia collective. Since 2006 he has organized and curated Digital Event, an annual web and new media art exhibition. (http://www.e-fagia.org)
Jesus Mora was born in Mexico. He studied drawing and painting in Mexico at Casa de la cultura de Chapultepec, Unidad Cuahutemoc, at the Toronto School of Art and Illustration, and received a Drawing and Painting diploma from the Ontario College of Art and Design. He has exhibited his work in Canada, Mexico, Italy, Germany, and Serbia.
The Z’otz* Collective was formed in 2004 by Nahúm Flores, Ilyana Martínez, and Erik Jerezano. The artists collaborate on works that include drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, and site-specific drawing installations. Recently, Z’otz* participated in Nuit Blanche with an installation for the Gardiner Museum. In 2007, the Collective travelled to Serbia for a residency at the Loznica Cultural Center and the Belgrade School of Fine Arts.
Amelia Jiménez studied at the Catholic University of Chile, the Ontario College of Art, and Studio Camnitzer in Italy. Her multidisciplinary works have been exhibited in Chile, Canada, Germany, Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia, Serbia, and Cuba. She has curated exhibitions of Latin American artists for Harbourfront Centre, Gallery 1313, Propeller Centre for the Arts, and A Space Gallery.