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Installation view from Special Works School, Bambitchell at Gallery TPW
Installation view from Special Works School, Bambitchell at Gallery TPW, Photo Credit Toni Hafkenschied

Artists produce original work on theme of surveillance in research-creation initiative

Surveillant Subjectivities: Youth Cultures, Art and Affect is a research-creation initiative led by Dina Georgis, associate professor at the University of Toronto, and Sara Matthews, associate professor at Wilfrid Laurier University. The project explores the ways in which youth in the Toronto region experience surveillance as an embodied aspect of their everyday lives, expressed affectively, through emotion and social practice. The research collaborators on the project are Gallery TPW, Toronto and the Canadian contemporary artistic duo Bambitchell.

As part of the project, the artists were commissioned to produce original work responding to the theme of surveillance. Their multi-part installation, Special Works School, was exhibited at Gallery TPW Jan. 13 – Feb. 24, 2018. You can read a review of the exhibit published in Canadian Art and authored by Aaditya Aggarwal. Youth participants encountered the exhibit in a series of workshops at Gallery TPW in February 2018. The project aims to further public dialogue about the ways in which youth encounter and negotiate cultures of surveillance, and to contribute to the scholarly literature on research-creation as a mode of collaborative, critical, ethnographic research.

Based on the project, Georgis and Matthews presented a paper that explores results from the project at Youngsters 2: On the Cultures of Children & Youth Conference Association for Research in Cultures of Young People, Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada on May 11, 2019. The project also provided an opportunity for Georgis and Matthews to curate an exhibition of works by Somali-Canadian multi-disciplinary artist Abdi Osman. Titled Variations in Black, Queer and Otherwise: Works by Abdi Osman, the exhibition was on view at The Art Museum, University of Toronto June 5 – July 27, 2019.

Surveillant Subjectivities: Youth Cultures, Art and Affect was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Learn more about Surveillant Subjectivities project and Sara Matthews' other projects.

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