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Black History Month 2016 – ODESI sponsored a student-led exhibition curated by Graphic Design student Zvikomborero Mhakayakora, winner of the OCAD U Big Ideas Fund

Pixelation: interrogating the ways in which contemporary art and design perpetuate or challenge anti-blackness

Exhibition: February 1 to March 1, 2016, in the main lobby at 100 McCaul St.

Danièle Dennis (Toronto, ON)
Audrey Hudson (Toronto, ON)
Evan Jerry (Toronto, ON)
Alexandra Johnston (Toronto, ON)
Jessica Karuhanga (Toronto, ON)
Setti Kidane (Toronto, ON)
Anna J McIntyre (Montreal, QC)
Shantel Miller (Toronto, ON)
Bidemi Oloyede (Toronto, ON)
Lido Pimienta (Toronto, ON)
David Zapparoli (Toronto, ON)

Pixelation featured 11 artists whose works draw attention to the ways in which racial stereotypes come to shape "what it means to be black." Individual and collective agency were central tropes within the exhibition. Each artist sought to reclaim their self-representation and to create a space where people are able to talk about uncomfortable topics.

Pixelation showcased a diversity of aesthetics and a range of media -- painting, sculpture, photography, video performance, and soundscape -- in order to reflect on how black identity has been formed and continues to
be made in this contemporary moment. These works explored many themes including whiteness as default, institutionalized ethnocentrism, displacing racial stereotypes, internalized self-hatred, resistance against consumer culture, dominant settler society, modern practices of enslavement, notions of identity, the process of decolonization and the search for "home."

As a grouping, the works in Pixelation highlighted the multifarious nature of black contemporary art and provided a glimpse into what it means to be black in the context of contemporary Canadian society.

Highlights from the exhibition opening: 

Students gathered at Pixelation opening

[Image description: Guests at Pixelation opening reception]

Student performance at Pixelation opening

[Image description: Dance performance by student group MXD Steps at Pixelation Opening]

Pixelation was generously sponsored by The OCAD U $1,500 Big Ideas Fund, The Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives, Office of the President, Office of the Vice-President Academic, Faculty of Art, Faculty ofDesign, Graduate Studies, Paere and the OCAD Student Union.