Video: Exhibition Tour | Sovereign Intimacies and of سندباد and sandbox

Join us for a virtual walk through of our current exhibitions, Sovereign Intimacies and of سندباد and sandbox, shot and edited by James Dixon featuring a conversation with curators Nasrin Himada and Jennifer Smith.

Sovereign Intimacies is a group exhibition co-curated by Nasrin Himada and Jennifer Smith, in partnership with Gallery 1C03, with support from Video Pool Media Arts Centre. Featuring the work of Hassaan Ashraf, Annie Beach, Ayumi Goto, iris yirei hu, melannie monoceros, Peter Morin, Mariana Muñoz Gomez, Wanda Nanibush, M. NourbeSe Philip, Meghann O’Brien, Marie-Anne Redhead, Cheyenne Thomas, and David Thomas.

Sovereign Intimacies explores themes of cultural and community exchange between Indigenous artists and artists from the diaspora, more specifically artists who are First Nations, Inuit and Métis collaborating with artists living in what is currently called Canada who came to this land and are not part of the settler/colonial history of the country. The group show consists of pairings of artists, as well as individuals, whose work is based on process and relationship building, and for those whose work is invested in active conceptualization around topics of friendship and intimacy, who are working to build collective vision of a sovereign future.

The curatorial intention is to present not only work in a gallery space, but to focus on an extensive online public program featuring readings, talks, workshops, screenings, and other local community engagements and encounters. The aim is to construct a space where these conversations highlight collaboration and exchange of knowledge. The community is centered, knowing that this exhibition cannot respond to and encompass all the needs of future discussions, but sets the goals for the community to continue these discussions to amplify our collective voice.

of سندباد and sandbox is composed of two works: Medina Wasl: Connecting Town, a thirty-minute film shot in 16 mm transferred onto video; and “U.S. Customs Demands to Know” consisting of twenty LED-lit packages in various sizes. The exhibition brings into view the complex and layered narratives that emerge when an embodied sense of knowing is prioritised. Khoshgozaran is committed to deep research, foregrounding her desire for inquiry and the interconnected ways in which landscapes, memories and dreams manifest into the language of moving-images. In Medina Wasl: Connecting Town, Khoshgozaran examines the history of the landscape of the California desert, how it is mired in appropriations of Middle Eastern tropes that began in the early 1900s, and since then has become the site for military training camps. An archipelago of simulated Middle Eastern villages have popped up all over the US since 9/11, simulating the experience of war taking place in Afghanistan and Iraq. The film draws relationships between distant landscapes and presents a perspective on American consumption that is not free of its racialized violence. The title “U.S. Customs Demands to Know” is a direct quote from a policy legislated after 9/11 that allowed US authorities to search any package without consent. The boxes once contained archival and research material that were sent from Iran to Los Angeles. Laid out across the gallery floor, they condition a sense of dream-like movement toward an otherworldly place. There is something tangible in both pieces that not only acknowledges the violence ingrained in these national security structures, but that moves beyond their world view and opens the possibility for us to also witness another story being told.