Generations of Queer

March 12 to June 28, 2014
Exhibition brochure

OCAD University celebrates WorldPride 2014 Toronto with Generations of Queer. Opening March 12, the exhibition presents vital and compelling narratives through the works of four Toronto-based artists. Influenced by age, background, current context and health, each of these artists has different stories to tell.

The Love Mind series by Robert Flack (1957–1993) represents some of his final works, a set surreal and powerful 26 C-prints. Short videos and films by John Greyson address topics including identity, AIDS and activism. Also on display, Prison Arabic, a video of flashcards he drew while detained in an Egyptian prison last year. Multimedia artist and graphic novelist Elisha Lim conveys the creativity, tenacity and power of not being straight, white or cisgendered. The exhibition includes a large number of Lim’s drawings, comics and videos. Kiley May is a young Mohawk storyteller, artist, creator and shaman. May’s videos Homo Noeticus and You Are Not Your Genitals deal with identity and gender, among other themes.

“Storytelling becomes a political action in the work of all of the artists in Generations of Queer,” says curator Lisa Deanne Smith. “It is important to hear these stories and to understand and celebrate how they affect our lives both within and outside of the queer community.” Bringing these artists together focuses the ongoing queer dialogue, emphasizing the passion, humour, diversity, spirit, intelligence and talent with which they communicate — always with the beauty of humanity highlighted.

Visitors are encouraged to tell their own stories of what queer pride means to them on the Queer Pride Chronicles blog.

Opening Events: Wednesday, March 12

6:30 p.m.: A conversation with John Greyson, Elisha Lim and Kiley May
OCAD University Auditorium, 100 McCaul St.

8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Opening, Onsite [at] OCAD University, 230 Richmond St. West.

About the Participants

Robert Flack (1957-1993) was born in Guelph, ON, and moved to Toronto to study at York University (BFA 1980). He began employment at Art Metropole in 1980 and assisted on General Idea projects. From 1981 his work was shown nationally and then internationally. Public collections include the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. Paul Petro Contemporary Art represents the Estate of Robert Flack.

John Greyson is a Toronto-based film and video maker who has been politically active in the Toronto queer community for the past 33 years. With short videos and feature films he explores topics ranging from anti-censorship battles, AIDS discrimination, same-sex marriage, militarism, the tar sands and the fight for AIDS treatment drugs in Africa and the world. He is recognized for his documentary interviews, historical narratives, opera, found footage and camp. His work reflects many of the legal and politically struggles for queers in the 1980s as well as world politics with a strong queer voice.

Elisha Lim exhibits illustrations and animated shorts internationally and has advocated against transphobia and racism on United Nations panels and as the director of Montreal’s first Racialized Pride Week. Lim’s comic strips Favourite Dating Tales, Sissy, The Illustrated Gentleman and 100 Butches are acclaimed by Autostraddle, Bitch Magazine and New York Times bestselling author Alison Bechdel, Lim’s debut graphic novel 100 Crushes will be published in June 2014 by Koyama Press and launched on June 15 at Onsite [at] OCAD U.

Kiley May is a young Mohawk storyteller, artist, creator and shaman. May is also a two-spirit, trans, queer and genderqueer human being who works in film, photography, writing, journalism, fashion, dance and performance art. May’s gender pronouns are they/their/them.

Lisa Deanne Smith is engaged in a cultural practice that moves between mediums — art, curating, writing and community events — exploring issues of voice, experience and power. She has exhibited internationally including White Columns, The New Museum and Mercer Union. Currently, she is Acting Curator at Onsite [at] OCAD University. Recent curatorial projects include Biological Urbanism: Terreform ONE; No Dull Affairs: Karen Lofgren, Vanessa Maltese and Jillian McDonald; and I Wonder: Marian Bantjes.

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