Image courtesy of the artist.

Trackings and Trappings | Curator Talk with Bopha Chhay

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 – 6pm
Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art | 1, 460 Portage Ave | Winnipeg MB | Canada

Programmed as part of our Summer Institute I: Trackings and Trappings with faculty members, Natalie Purschwitz, Justine A. Chambers, and Anju Singh, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art was pleased to present guest speaker Bopha Chhay.

In consideration of critical and alternative curatorial practices that emphasize the importance of the gallery as a space for dialogue and creative engagement, Chhay discussed Artspeak’s recent year of programming. With a mandate to encourage dialogue between visual arts and writing practices, Artspeak has been asking ‘How do we change the language we use to speak about artistic practice and institutions within the context of wider socio-political concerns?’ Approaching how they conceive of what constitutes ‘public(s)’ and different forms of engagement has been at the forefront of how Artspeak has attempted to change their use of language and therefore the narratives and the voices they want to give space to. What are our responsibilities to acknowledging and reconfiguring our relationship to place? Instead of terms such as ‘audience’, Artspeak has been thinking more along the lines of community building, and the mutual exchange and time it takes to build community. This requires a change of pace, a slowing down and different approach to time within their programming and relationship with their communities.

Bopha Chhay is the director/curator at Artspeak, an artist-run centre in Vancouver. She provides editorial support for Bartleby Review and is one of the co-editors of a Vancouver-based publication, Charcuterie. She has held positions at Enjoy Public Art Gallery (New Zealand), Afterall Contemporary Arts Research and Publishing (UK,) and 221A Artist run centre (Vancouver). Chhay graduated with an MA in Art History from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Upcoming programming at Artspeak will challenge the role of the artist-run centre, notably asking how it can contribute to creating spaces allowing for new forms of engagement to reimagine current limits in cultural production and shape alternative practices.

This talk is available in our online video archive.

All programming is free and open to the public.


Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art recognizes we are in the territories of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Dakota, Dene, Métis, and Oji-Cree Nations. Plug In ICA is situated in Treaty 1 territory, the ancestral and traditional homeland of Anishinaabe peoples. Treaty 1 was signed in 1871, taking this territory from seven local Anishinaabe First Nations in order to make the land available for settler use and ownership (Referenced from the University of Winnipeg).

Our Summer Institute in 2019 is generously supported by the RBC Foundation and Johnston Group.

Plug In ICA extends gratitude to our artists, generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers, with special thanks to our Director’s Circle.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enables us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at or by contacting Angela Forget:

For more information on this and our other education programs, contact Nasrin Himada at

For general information please contact: or call 1.204.942.1043