Fall issue of Canadian Art Magazine

A year in the making, the fall 2020 issue of Canadian Art, available now, surveys the aesthetic practices and legacies of Black art production in Canada and beyond. Edited by Denise Ryner, writer and director/curator at Or Gallery, and Yaniya Lee, writer and features editor at Canadian Art, “Chroma” continues the work of “Bodies Borders Fields,” a 2019 symposium that reflected on how legacies of Black art and Black presence are omitted from Canada’s contemporary art narratives. With recent (renewed) institutional interest in Black Canadian art, and the twin pandemics of systemic racism and COVID-19 revealing how social inequality touches all sectors of life, how is Blackness being thought and rethought? In what ways are artists pushing for change? How does art address, and archive, these moments? Blackness, and Black creative practices, has survived through excesses and refusals; in “Chroma,” artists, writers and thinkers continue discussions that have too often been sidestepped in mainstream contemporary art publications—including this one.

Find some of the online content here:

Read “Excesses and Refusals,” an editorial note by Yaniya Lee and Denise Ryner, here:

Bodies, Borders, Fields Symposium
November 22, 23 and 24, 2019
Toronto, Canada

A “simultaneous conversation” took place on August 16, 1967 between seven speakers in Toronto and New York with the cooperation of Bell Telephone Company, the CBC and artscanada magazine (formerly Canadian Art). This cross-border conversation was recorded and published in that year’s October issue of artscanada, which was, dedicated to “black” as a concept, painterly medium, symbol as well as socio-political category, expression and status.

Convened by Denise Ryner in collaboration with Yaniya Lee, Bodies Borders Fields is a free, public symposium that re-imagines the 1967 conversation about “blackness” with particular attention to blackness and fugitivity as represented in critical art practices today. Responding to an absence of black experience in the conversation between the 1967 panelists—an absence that has since been examined by writers Fred Moten, Krys Verrall and others—Bodies Borders Fields will dislocate the original panel discussion to contemporary contexts and representations of black and blackness in sound, performance and visual culture with respect to black social life and expression.

Find recordings of the talks and performances (under the resources tab) here:

A Toronto-based working group that employs practices of citation, annotation and autobiography as modes of activating feminist art, writing and research practices.

As part of the 150 Hours School, Emilia and Amalia were ‘entrusted’ to one another and through the exchange of authority and writing, their differences became one another’s point of reference for the world.

The group uses informal knowledge sharing and experimental writing to cultivate relationships of mentorship, collaboration and reciprocal indebtedness between generations of artists, writers, thinkers, curators and practitioners.

Our writing and reading groups, film screenings, publications, public talks and workshops are intimate exchanges through which we centre the personal and the political in a desire to activate the undetonated potential of the past. Within our partnerships, we create space and redistribute resources to address feminist histories that have been obscured or overlooked.

EMILIA-AMALIA is an open group that invites all levels of engagement. We are all experts, and no one is an expert.

EMILIA-AMALIA is initiated by Cecilia Berkovic, Yaniya Lee, Annie MacDonell, Zinnia Naqvi, Gabrielle Moser, Leila Timmins, cheyanne turions and Shellie Zhang.

EMILIA-AMALIA meets on the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron-Wendat, who are the original owners and custodians of the land.

Find more information about our programs, workshops, residencies and chapbooks here: