How does land inform our stories? What kinds of histories are shown publicly? When do our personal stories become part of dominant history?
I am land that speaks brings attention to stories that come directly from the land. Engaging with storytelling practices specific to a certain place, the artworks in this exhibition at Toronto’s Union Station highlight history-making as a site-specific exercise.
This show is the third and final chapter of curator Maya Wilson-Sanchez’s I am land exhibition series that considers how artists take on the role of chroniclers. From Eric Gallardo’s and Tania Willard’s collaborations with and acknowledgments of other-than-humans to explorations and criticisms of land development and private property by Lisa Myers, MADEYOULOOK, and Chris Mendoza, the show reflects on the destructive relationship we continue to have with our environment while proposing changes that will improve our collective existence. It also expands on the work of the chronicler by opening up time into non-linear explorations of the future, with artists Alvin Luong and Cannupa Hanska Luger presenting documents of speculative futures.
Exploring embodied connections to land, I am land includes off-site gardens and virtual programs that involve participatory and community-based methods for learning and growing together. The exhibition brings up ideas of public history, aiming to empower collective history-making and demanding that our public spaces reflect our past, present, and future.
I am land that speaks is on view until October 2. Learn more at artworxto.ca.
ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art, 2021–2022 is a year-long celebration of Toronto’s exceptional public art collection and the creative community behind it. Working closely with artists and Toronto’s arts institutions, the City of Toronto is delivering major public art projects and commissions, citywide, from fall 2021 to fall 2022. Visit artworxto.ca for details.