SCOPE is an ongoing collaboration with Artist and Curator Nina Czegledy and is part of the Critical Media non-profit project.
It consists of a series of interdisciplinary encounters and mini art interventions to be presented in a variety of flexible, easy to install formats in various cities in Ontario. The objective is to facilitate mobility and visibility of artists across different urban centers, and to establish a dialogue between local and visiting artists, as well as artists and the general public. The exhibited artworks will include performances, projections, or small installations. Specifically, SCOPE will ask the following questions: How are the places of residence of each participating artist shaping his/her art? How does this creativity affect the community in general? What kind of cross-fertilization could be established between cities in the province?
The focus of art activities in Ontario and Canada has a tendency to take place in major city centers and in traditional gallery spaces. SCOPE proposes to invert this tendency by hosting the events in different cities and non-traditional venues across the province. We envision between three (3) or four (4) venues located in different cities, which will host one local artist and one visiting artist. The local artist will later become visiting by bringing his/her work to another city. The tour is estimated to be up to one year. At the end of the tour the artists and representatives of the hosts will share their experiences and will engage in a final project discussion in Toronto. We are committed to the establishment of a dialogue that is not limited to personal or social interactions, but also includes the transmission of different knowledge, media of choice and local specific traditions. Thus, the content of the micro-exhibitions and interventions will be interdisciplinary, including science-art investigations, explorations into indigenous knowledge, innovation and sustainability, and possible dialogic solutions among each other.
Interventions and dialogues might not always occur in the traditional space of the gallery, but will potentially occupy venues of various sizes and use, such as shop windows, small spaces, or the outdoors. In order to enable artists and artworks to travel to different venues, the format chosen is intentionally flexible. Thus, we encourage the artists involved to be open and to adapt to changing circumstances and venues: we envision analog and digital artworks whose materials, technologies and construction can be as portable as possible, so that they can travel across Ontario in timely and sustainable manners. In each city we intend to collaborate with local co-organizers who will contribute as advisors, especially concerning curatorial selections. Possible formats may include projections, photo based works, performances, urban interventions, small mixed media or sound installations whenever possible, specific to the various locations.
Ultimately, flexible format and mobility respond to the need to address an ongoing “disconnect” between the constellations of different local art scenes in Ontario (including Toronto), and the insularity that often characterize the arts outside of the main urban areas. Outreach activities will be decided with the galleries and venues involved and will consist of thematically linked events that address the specific topics and formats expressed by the artists involved, while linking and anticipating further topics. Ideally, these activities will take the form of round tables, presentations, or artist talks.
The touring structure of this project is unique. We are committed to creating a two-way circulation of artworks and new forms of artistic collaboration, promoting both the touring artist and the host artist. This method will not only help us and the touring artists better embrace different local contexts, but will also improve the audience participation. It has been noted that greater concentrations of artists and arts-related events lead to higher degrees of arts participation among residents. Through participation and political action, citizens can shape their community to better reflect their values.
More information can be found on the project’s website