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The Third Scenario

Dates September 14.2023

The Third Scenario examines the act of art making through hyphenated conditions – states and environments in flux that challenge the idea of art and identity as fixed entities. This group exhibition highlights critical approaches to making and investigations of personal narratives, while moving into larger discourses on what it means to create while living in Canada. Disrupting the expectations of both art making and representation, the artists push beyond medium specificity, investigating materialist impulses through painting, text-based and mixed media works, as well as installation.

The Third Scenario is inspired by theorists such as Homi Bhabha and his concept of the Third Space, which explores the interstices of colliding cultures, and John and Ruth Useem’s work investigating Third Culture Kids – those raised in a culture and nation separate from their parents’ culture and country of nationality for a significant part of their development. With a focus on the expression of hybridity, the exhibition refuses to settle in one world or another, crossing boundaries of identity and geography while transcending binary dichotomies of cultural heritage. Collectively, the works evoke a strong sense of artistic production as an investigation of experience, contextualizing this within broader discourses of community and culture. As each artist expands their medium, ideas of place or place-lessness are also destabilized. Their work points to the complexity of creation and subjectivity in the contemporary Canadian arts landscape, exploring conditions of liminality, inversion, and transference.

Image detail: Justin Ming Yong, Watering the Stones, Diptych 1 (detail), 2023, cotton, silk, batting, and thread, 203.2 x 162.6 cm. Courtesy of the artist

AGG’s interactive tours are presented with the support of the 2020 City of Guelph Emergency Fund.

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