Public Parking
A journal for storytelling, arguments, and discovery through tangential conversations.
'Indigenous Futurism is now': in conversation with Santiago X”
Friday, March 20, 2020 | Jameson Paige
In recent years, the United States has finally started to formally acknowledge its volatile relationship to the original peoples of the land, despite their long protestation and resistance to erasure. In the U.S. and Canadian art worlds, this recognition, though late, has come with a host of reparative institutional tactics, some of which include the performance of printed and spoken stolen-land acknowledgments or dedicated space in exhibition calendars for Indigenous artists. Though these efforts are certainly worthwhile and should continue, it is important to note that they are merely first steps on a path towards the rematriation of land and cultural autonomy for Indigenous folks in the U.S and Canada. Santiago X is an artist based in Chicago whose work contends with the growing pains of making space—physically and intellectually—for...
The Good, the Camp, and the Ugly
Wednesday, March 11, 2020 | Angel Callander
Leigh Bowery, Carmen Miranda, “Love Shack,” Showgirls, Björk’s swan dress at the Oscars, Macy Gray’s outfit emblazoned with the release date of her next album at the 2001 MTV VMAs, reality television, just about everything Lady Gaga has ever done—in a truly nebulous set of relations, references, and time periods, these things all have in common that they are beholden to the legacy of camp. Last year’s Met Gala put camp on our minds again, reviving Susan Sontag’s prominent essay, “Notes on Camp” (1964), and distributing it to celebrity stylists in what was itself a campy gesture of mingling pop culture and intellectualism.    Camp has not really been at the forefront of discourses surrounding cultural production over the past decade; though, in actuality, it has operated heavily in the background....
Structures in the Unconscious: Ming Hon's Exciting Consequences
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 | Mariana Muñoz Gomez
Ming Hon’s production Exciting Consequences is set up to engage with the re-examinations of psychoanalysis, voyeurism, and scopophilia (the desire to “take other people as objects, subjecting them to a controlling and curious gaze”)1 that occupied feminist film theory for the last quarter of the 20th century. Thematically, the performance is based on the gaze, sexuality, and self-awareness. Hon includes sex toys and 1980s porn in her re-enactments of accidentally learning about sex as a child, later including internet culture to allude to contemporary access to porn and sexual self-education. These materials are used by Hon to perform a narrative stemming from a childhood in which she finds and looks through her father’s dirty magazines and VHS tapes. As audience members, we are given various voyeuristic opportunities throughout the performance. The stage is set up as a bedroom without walls so we can see the “backstage” of the production including makeup artist (Rachel Lynne Jones), as...
3rd Kamias Triennial: in conversation with the curators/organizers
Friday, February 21, 2020 | Luther Konadu
With beginnings dating back to 2014 , Kamias Triennial (Quezon City, Philippines) has steadily created a formidable alternative to the flashy blockbuster art exhibition event. Though grown out of an independent mentality, it continues to thrive with the retained relations the organizers have fostered over the years with local artists and organizations in the host city. In its third iteration, the Triennial is a picture of what arises out of sustained collaboration and community interdependence within the limits of available resources. Hosted across several venues, this year's offering gathers over twenty different artists and collectives with connections to over ten countries many of which will be in attendance for the Triennial. And in lieu of the added costs of shipping finished works, the participating artists' presence there will be used...
Some aesthetic curiosities and adventures from the 2020 Material Art Fair
Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | Mark Pieterson
In its seventh year, Mexico City’s Material Art Fair has certainly cemented itself as one of the premier global destinations for art. Focused, fresh, dynamic and unpretentious, the fair continues to draw some of the more important and critically curious works that perfectly balances local discourses and practices with currents occurring in Europe and the Americas (note the exception of galleries from the African continent and periphery areas. Whether this is a lack of outreach from fair organizers or interest from prominent galleries on the continent of Africa and other areas of the global south is up to speculation). To say it’s matured since its inauguration in 2013 initially begs the question, for what, how and for whom? Yet, in the context of the art market, many participating galleries and...
Sieving an Unwavering Voice Through Seven Translations: in conversation with Janell Henry
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 | Mariana Muñoz Gomez
2019 was proclaimed the International Year of Indigenous Languages by The United Nations. Initiatives around the world were created to promote the learning and preservation of Indigenous languages, as well as to raise awareness on the language rights of Indigenous people. 2019 also reminded the world that violence towards Indigenous people, their cultures and their land is ongoing. It is significant that an international organization such as the UN could create a platform for the experiences of Indigenous people worldwide this past year, and of course, events around Indigenous languages, cultures, and rights continue to be organized. (To view some events happening in and around Canada about Indigenous languages, see the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc.’s website.) Winnipeg is known for having the largest urban Indigenous population in...
3rd Kamias Triennial
Monday, February 3, 2020 | Public Parking Staff
We are very excited to be bringing you some coverage of the 3rd Kamias Triennial from Quezon City, in the Philippines. Beginning February 7th through 22nd, the third edition of the triennial will unite a breadth of international and local artists in a series of exhibitions, performances, screenings and workshops across multiple venues in the city. Under the title of “Sawsawan: Conversations in the Dirty Kitchen”, this iteration of the triennial as the organizers and curators describe, “foregrounds [an] intention to gather [in a space] where we can engage in messy, complex and nourishing conversation generated by the many voices of our artists and audiences.” Please check back in as our local Quezon City correspondent brings us some highlights occurring throughout the two-week festival. We will also bring you our...
Rhythms of life, grief, and renewal: in the garden with Eve Tagny
Monday, January 27, 2020 | RYAN AD
Through the imperceptible wifi connections linking myself and Eve Tagny, I could feel her love, trials, and vast experience with plant life. Coming together over FaceTime conversations darting between Winnipeg, Montreal, and Johannesburg, from fall to early winter, we spoke at length in varying shades of brown and green. She mentioned her current favourite plants (one is Gunnera, for those wondering), we shared thoughts about the relationship between nature and trauma, and her meditations on the garden as a space of pause remain imprinted on my mind. In Tagny’s practice, natural, living materials act as mediums to disseminate the poignant feelings of trauma that life experience brings to all of us. The conversation, touching topics harrowing to some, and quite personal at times, was altogether warm, inviting, and refreshing—and much...
Opinion: Chinese People Have a Saying for This
Tuesday, January 21, 2020 | Viola Chen
The film is named The Farewell in English. In Chinese, it’s called 别告诉她, which would more accurately translate into English as ‘Don’t Tell Her’. My friend, in positively reviewing the movie, said: “You know an Asian girl who went to art school and then made this movie.” He was absolutely right. Bitchily, I thought, yeah I got that from the commentary that the translated English film title is probably supposed to make. Still, I couldn’t feel as ironic about seeing it as I would have liked to. I watched it twice, once on my laptop alone and stoned in my bedroom, and once in a trendy independent theatre with my mom. This was the Asian movie of the year; “like Crazy Rich Asians,” my mom said loudly in the theatre,...
2019 Flashbacks: Despairs and Delights
Thursday, January 16, 2020 | Katie Connell and Esmé Hogeveen
Dear Katie, Year-end ‘lists’ (I can’t resist the scare quotes!) have always struck me as inherently optimistic. I also find that reflecting on beloved content from the previous year reminds me of all the media I wished I’d engaged with — books left unread, tabs reluctantly closed, screenings missed, and exhibitions that ended before I got my shit together! (TBH, I often find that reading other people’s year-end lists inspires FOMO.)  In the spirit of confronting insecurities, then, I should admit that I’ve been binging Gossip Girl. I’ve been watching the series as I recuperate from surgery. While it’s possible that painkillers are dulling my senses, I also think I might be rekindling a love for teen dramas (kinda exciting!). Speaking of which, have you seen Euphoria? I haven’t, and...
Updating the logic of the monument: in conversation with Susanna Jablonski
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 | Angel Callander
Susanna Jablonski is a Stockholm-based artist working with sculpture, moving image, sound and music to test the boundaries of materials, time, and human experience. She considers the tensions of interpersonal relationships in the collective, as mediated through objects, nature, historical consequences, and human-built systems.  Jablonski is a frequent collaborator of artist and filmmaker Santiago Mostyn. And together with performance artist Cara Tolmie, she organizes an ongoing series of Listening Sets as part of their joint research project “Gender of Sound,” which hosts work by artists that support a practice of close listening with the participation of an audience (encouraging those with all levels of experience or enthusiasm for music). The project gathers these voices in a collaborative effort to find a language for articulating the myriad ways we listen, hear,...
Hot noise and the shape of grief: in conversation with Debby Friday
Monday, November 25, 2019 | Shaya Ishaq
Debby Friday is one of the most dynamic and multi-faceted performers I have been able to engage with. Her performances are electric, aggressive, and arresting but that is only one of a few mediums at her fingertips. A self-described experimentalist, her creative and intellectual palette spans wide, ranging from performance, writing, sound theory, and audio-visuals.We crossed paths years ago in Ottawa through a mutual friend. Although the encounter was brief, it has been wonderful to witness the evolution of her creative practice since then. From the beginning of her DJ days in Montreal to the leap into recording and producing original work - her dedication to herself is clear.  Our conversation took place on an early mid-September afternoon as back-to-school energy was in full swing for both of us. The...
Hanging on a Pendulum: Ayesha Singh's Notes on New Delhi
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 | Noor Bhangu
When I started reading about Ayesha Singh’s work, I was also reflecting on utopia in relation to localized aesthetics and ‘global’ migrations. I had just visited Jonas Meskas’ posthumous exhibition, Let me dream utopias, at Rupert in Vilnius and circled in the exhibition essay: “‘Real utopias,’ Mekas claimed, ‘may only be found within one’s small closed village evoked with the specific mouth muscles of one’s mother’s tongue.’” In our interview, Singh and I never got around to asking each other the name of our ancestral village, but I think (and I hope) we felt the pulse of the ghost muscle linking her art practice with my own critical/ curatorial inquiry. Ghost muscle, to say something of our tongues’ twisted, even if no longer taut, entwinement with the colonizer’s language. We...
Definitions of Class: in conversation with Karen Asher
Tuesday, October 15, 2019 | Emma Mayer
Karen Asher picks me up from my parent’s house in the suburbs. We decide to go to Rae & Jerry’s for our interview. Rae & Jerry’s is a relic of 1960’s postwar Winnipeg, a steakhouse still dimly lit and covered in red velvet and wood panel. It sticks out like a sore thumb on the city's Portage Avenue with its long, covered driveway originally used for valet service. Once the epitome of fine dining, Rae & Jerry’s now sits somewhere in between a high-class experience and a tongue-in-cheek joke.  I’m going to be speaking with Asher about her most recent exhibition, Class, at Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art. In the past, Karen worked primarily with still photography. In her website bio, Asher describes her artwork as an exploration of...
Jerusalem In My Heart // Radwan Ghazi Moumneh
Monday, August 12, 2019 | Luther Konadu
Look up any image of Radwan Ghazi Moumneh and you’d likely see him donning some form of shades. I ready my phone call with Moumneh, I’m curious what he looks like so I search up for his photo online. As the phone rings and he eventually picks up, I thought about sharing my observation with him. I wondered if he had shades on as we spoke. I couldn’t picture him without it. I don’t ask, instead, I’m caught in his voice and in our conversation.  Something he said later in our chat about cracking open a proverbial door for his audiences during performances and allowing them to make up their own experience resonates with the shades’ visual obstruction. With his now ten-plus years project Jerusalem In My Heart (JIMH), what...
Inhabiting zones of estrangement
Wednesday, July 10, 2019 | Angel Callander
Andrei Tarkovsky's seminal 1979 film Stalker was produced in the late Brezhnev era of the Soviet Union, and centres on the journey of three men to a forbidden location called the ‘Zone’– the product of an extraterrestrial visitation, purported to manifest the deepest desires of any person to enter it. Every empire has an end, an exhibition at Toronto’s Franz Kaka, juxtaposes the work of Jennifer Carvalho and Jenine Marsh to explore the material sensibilities and conceptual dialogues of their art practices through the lens of the film. Together, Marsh’s sculptures and Carvalho’s paintings summon the themes and visual languages of Stalker; its mysterious ‘Zone’; and its investment in time utilizing what Tarkovsky referred to as the “long take.”  Like the ‘Zone’ of the film, a site of antagonism and...
Spacious utterances: in conversation with Cudelice Brazelton
Thursday, June 27, 2019 | Luther Konadu
Its weeks before the opening of his one-person exhibition at the Frankfurt am Main upstart gallery HUSSLEHOF and I’m in correspondence with Cudelice Brazelton over email. He tells me things are coming together, it’s been a bit confusing but productive nevertheless. This sounds familiar. Brazelton has told me this before. The part about things being confusing. Reading his email, I try picturing him in this setting of confusion. As if I could somehow redirect this momentary fog toward some reassuring clarity. Months prior, in another conversation, Brazelton earnestly reflected on the tonal shifts in his material selection. Where he once seemed fervent to let the viewer into some part of his world, to render bare his vulnerabilities and worries without hesitation or varnish, he describes his current outlook on his...
Easing into states of vulnerability: a conversation with Steven Beckly
Tuesday, June 11, 2019 | Ethan Murphy
I am sitting in Toronto artist Steven Beckly’s light-filled studio surrounded by the work he lives with like I have many times before. Only this time, I get to ask him about them and his broader practice. In May of 2017, I saw an image of two arms linking on a giant billboard in my neighbourhood. It was by Steven as part of the CONTACT photography festival and was immediately invested in his work. A couple of months later, I went to the Toronto Art Book Fair at Artscape Youngplace and met him for the first time. I told him I loved that image and picked up a couple of issues of his unbound zines. He asked if he could photograph me so I left him my contact information. We...
A Sound for Punctuation
Tuesday, May 28, 2019 | Sophia Bartholomew
Flickering light, water over film skin. the sound of the wind on the watercoloured like a sunset or a redness that comes from the heat. you are absorbed by the light of the day walking through the window, travellers. you watch her hands linked together like an old tree, the house shaded by soft limbs of cedar. she looks at the corner of the room, the sounds of insects and birds chirping. wasp body floats in the water, full of shadows and plant debris fallen from the sky. follow the grain of the wood with the blade of the axe, making a sound for punctuation. to live your own life, to have your own reasons and faith in them: she looks at you with the bells chiming, she says, foxes,...
Writing in an apocalyptic world : in conversation with Arielle Twist
Thursday, May 23, 2019 | Marissa Sean Cruz
I first met Arielle Twist IRL, in Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal last fall. She was touring for the launch of her newly released book and running a writing workshop at a café. Read any of Twist’s poetry and you’ll feel your heartstrings being tugged, it’s raw and poignant. She has major auntie energy: knowledgeable and assertive, paired with cutting eyeliner comparably sharp as her wit. A group of us sit in a circle, scribbling responses to her deeply profound writing prompts, “What part of myself did I have to kill to exist in a colonized world?” In her newest collection of commanding poetry, Disintegrate/Dissociate channels human vulnerability, sensuality and the reflections of rebirth and death. Her work stands grounded in opposition to colonial violence that continues to undermine sex, gender, and sexuality. As...
Starting with the object: in conversation with curator Heather Rigg
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | Clare Samuel
I first encountered Heather Rigg’s curatorial work for An unassailable and monumental dignity at Contact Gallery in 2017, and was blown away. It reframed images of Black masculinity in the public sphere. Each work sparked off one another in a way only a strong curatorial vision can create. Rigg grew up in Victoria, BC and relocated to Toronto in 2008 where she received her MA from Ryerson University’s Photographic Preservation and Collections Management (PPCM). She worked at the Art Gallery of Ontario as part of that program, then as Programming Administrator for the Contact Photography Festival. In July she was appointed Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs at Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography. Last year, Rigg initiated the project space ma ma, with long-time friend and collaborator Magdalyn Asimakis....
Makeshift privacy and pissing bodies: in conversation with HaeAhn Kwon
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 | Laura Demers
I think of HaeAhn Kwon's assemblage works as solutions to open-ended questions. How might we tweak our surroundings to bring light to the things we take for granted? How do our surroundings shape us, our bodies, and the way we behave? How can one inflect change, or make the best of a situation, with minimal means? Or as the artist asks: “How do incongruent parts come together meaningfully to suggest an otherwise?” Working in drawing, sculpture, and installation, Kwon's practice largely revolves around the idea of “the makeshift” -- a word that aptly describes the haphazard site of art production, the art object that emerges both from chance and necessity, and the daily labour of making-do. The makeshift, as she describes it, implies operating creatively within (and despite) material limitations,...
“‘Is This Progress?’ And Other Timely Questions”: in conversation with Misael Soto
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 | Jameson Paige
Loosening, rethinking, and altering the ways we navigate space and relate to one another are Misael Soto’s bread and butter. The Miami-based artist is currently working on large projects situated in public space, rooted in a practice that has continuously intervened in the systems that govern the everyday. Daily life is often riddled with unexpected and often contradictory phenomena that usually go unnoticed and unquestioned: construction street signs, scaffolding, and crisis-averting equipment are all obvious indicators of change—sometimes even threats —yet their ubiquitous and quotidian deployment eases potential anxieties, certainly staving off the urgency that required their invention in the first place. In a moment heightened by polarizing politics, many artists are looking to the nature of relations and relationships between people. Soto considers the challenges of our time through...
The Lake and The Late: in conversation with Sindhu Thirumalaisamy
Thursday, April 18, 2019 | Fabiola Carranza
I first met Sindhu Thirumalaisamy in San Diego. We reconnected later at the airport in Tijuana while we waited to board a plane to México City where we were going to take part in a summer study program at SOMA. Back then, I had only heard about a soundscape she'd done inside a hospital. It layered and built tension around hospital life in a magical and meditative way. As I got to know Sindhu, I noticed her ability to listen with great care and that appealed to me. I wanted to work with her. I later found out she was a filmmaker when she started to work on her latest project, The Lake and the Lake. Both her film and sound works are location-based, multi-lingual, and collaborative. She experiments with...
A cue for continuity: in conversation with Ashley Holmes
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 | Luther Konadu
Listen to any of Sheffield’s Ashley Holmes’ mixes on NTS Radio and it can feel like getting a warm welcome into the mind of a mixer who is every bit as delicate about his choices as he is with their successive arrangements. You can picture Holmes spending hours sifting through record after record, lining them up, seamlessly placing disparate textures together before broadcasting it for us to hear. But he also manages to make the results flow intuitively and casual.  Each time, he takes us on a meandering journey into the decades and then brings us forward and then back again. This back and forth maneuvering is done to a point where you start to lose any geographic or historic orientation you may align the tracks towards. Instead, we are...
The Thickness of That Fabric
Friday, March 29, 2019 | Sophia Bartholomew
gusts of sheets like lungs, breathing the air. dandelion leaves and blades of grass. dimpled fruit branches rustling like a horizon. between here and the pear tree—heat and the slowness of waiting. she says relationships between people are beautiful. head held in creases and folds. deep watered intention or else a seething fury. nearby a woman crouched in a tree, a painted figure eating a fruit. pears piled high in a bowl, she says, I didn’t ask your opinion on being a woman. white noise. white plaster hand, limp-wristed. a man with a cloth held in front of his face made of plaster. hands on her hip bone, sheets tangled up in the line. beside the sink, a window, yellow dish soap, a crumpled piece of paper towel.     I watch...
Not All Men Are Men
Thursday, March 28, 2019 | hannah_g
If I were a journalist, I might begin this piece so: “Davis Plett (23) a petit blonde in a pink two-piece with wide, gold, metal choker, black stilettos, and glasses, began their performance in the midst of a rapt audience. Seated in a large 1980’s office chair (emphasizing their build), Plett operated an overhead projector/laptop hybrid in silence as acetate after acetate, and digital screen after screen of text and image rolled over the fabric of the old projection screen … ” The visual description of the subject, once common in tabloids, directs the reader towards assumptions about intelligence, intention, personality, social standing, and availability. A female-identified body in a public role was regarded as an available body. This still holds true. With simultaneously greater subtlety and absolute brazenness, female,...
Mutant 1 Dew 3, 4, 5: in conversation with Nicole Brunel
Friday, March 22, 2019 | Brennan Kelly
I first met Nicole Brunel in the summer of 2009. That year’s iteration of Sled Island Festival was about to begin and there was some sort of event—the details of which I can’t quite recall—taking place at Olympic Plaza in downtown Calgary. I had just finished a gig poster for a show Nicole’s band, Puberty, was scheduled to play, and so when a mutual friend introduced us that evening we talked a bit about drawing and music. At the end of summer, I moved to Montreal with some friends and a few months later, Nicole and their bandmates crashed at our place while on tour. Over the next ten years, Nicole and I kept in loose contact over social media, but I wouldn’t see them again until a surprise encounter...
"Photography has always been a medium in crisis": in conversation with Gonzalo Reyes Rodriguez
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 | Jameson Paige
At what Spatio-temporal turning point do images change in meaning, value, and/or audience? Now in a time when images proliferate ad nauseam, the medium of photography speeds towards a precipice of crisis, hinged on its ubiquity, exponentially increased accessibility, immateriality, and now widely understood rehearsed construction. Gonzalo Reyes Rodriguez is an artist based in Chicago whose practice contends with photography’s ails, as well as its history, through a formal approach reminiscent of the Information and Systems artists from the 1960s and 70s. In our conversation, he reminds me that, “photography has always been a medium in crisis,” and that our contemporary questioning of its proliferation is just another point of contention along its conflict-ridden timeline. Rodriguez’s work is not preoccupied with a medium-specific version of photography as much as its...
Contact Is Crisis: Azza El Siddique’s Let Me Hear You Sweat at Cooper Cole
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | Tatum Dooley
Wetness has long been considered a destructive force. Floods. Waterboarding. Torrential downpour. Drowning. Sobbing. A leaky facet. Dampness that leads to mold. In Ancient Greek, wetness was associated with the female body and with it carried connotations of destruction. “Physiologically and psychologically women are wet,” Anne Carson wrote in her essay “Dirt and Desire.” She goes on to quote Hippokrates:   The female flourishes more in an environment of water, from things cold and wet and soft, whether food or drink or activities. The male flourishes more in an environment of fire, from dry, hot foods and mode of life.   This binary between wet/dry and women/men is repeated in contemporary culture. Women’s wetness is weaponized against them. The weeping woman is weak; the sexual woman, impure. Women’s wetness is dangerous, it...