Image: Swapnaa Tamhane, Supports for Unnecessary Ornamentation, 2014-2016


Basil AlZeri, Swapnaa Tamhane

A Space Main Gallery

February 26 – March 26, 2016

Curated by: Vicky Moufawad-Paul

In conjunction with the exhibition Protectives, join Basil AlZeri, Jacob Korczynski, Vicky Moufawad-Paul, and Swapnaa Tamhane for a conversation about protective gestures that employ strategies of affection, empathy, irony, and institutional critique.

Wednesday, March 23, 8PM at A Space Gallery

Protectives is an exhibition that ruminates on old and new tools for protection. A matrix of events within the last decade—including unspeakable violence, climate change, near economic collapse, increased migrants and refugees—have given rise to an “age of anxiety.” In this context of global fear, in which governments are trading in citizen’s freedoms and rights for so-called security, how do individuals calculate risk and strive for protection? Artists Basil AlZeri and Swapnaa Tamhane were invited to consider transhistorical and transcultural impulses to protect one’s body, one’s family, and other perceived forms of community. They were asked to think about protection from whom, for whom, and with what resources. The projects they have developed for this exhibition provide touch points from their experiences and research by engaging strategies of affection, empathy, the everyday, irony, and institutional critique. This two-person show is a gesture toward what it might mean to mobilize apparatuses of protection.


Basil AlZeri is a visual artist living and working in Toronto, Canada. AlZeri’s practice involves the intersection of art, education, and community engagement, taking multiple forms such as performance, interventions, gallery and public installation. AlZeri’s work has been shown in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Sackville, Regina, Vancouver, Mexico City, Santiago, and Tartu/Estonia, and he will be one of the artists in residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2016.

Swapnaa Tamhane is an artist and curator. She was a curator at the Power Plant, Toronto, and Museum Abteiberg, Moenchengladbach, where she worked on the exhibition “In Order to Join the Political in a Historical Moment,” which toured to Mumbai (2015). Her works have been exhibited with CONTACT, Nuit Blanche Toronto, and KHOJ, Bangalore. Tamhane, with designer Rashmi Varma, has recently co-curated a book on design from India titled Sar: The Essence of Indian Design, due out in May 2016 with Phaidon Press. She also works in collaboration with Aman Sandhu under the title August Froel.”

Vicky Moufawad-Paul is a Toronto based curator and writer. She is the Director/Curator at A Space Gallery. She has curated exhibitions at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Carlton University Art Gallery, Gallery 101, MAI: Montreal arts interculturels, Latitude 53, Museum London, McIntosh Gallery, Contact Photography Festival, InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre, Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, A Space Gallery, and 16 Beaver. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario and an MFA in Film and Video from York University. Moufawad-Paul has published texts on several artists including Harun Farocki, James Luna, Emily Jacir, Wafaa Bilal, Paul Dennis Miller, Deirdre Logue, Mohammed Mohsen, Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen, Juan Ortiz-Apuy, Basil AlZeri, Erica Lord, John Halak, Rehab Nazzal, Adam Broomberg, Oliver Chanarin, Akram Zaatari, and Yto Barrada.