#CALLRESPONSE X blackwood gallery, mississauga

january 8 - 27, 2018

Artists: Christi Belcourt, IV Castellanos, Marcia Crosby, Maria Hupfield, Ursula Johnson, Cheryl L'Hirondelle, Isaac Murdoch, Esther Neff, Tanya Tagaq, Tania Willard and Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory with local respondents Jennifer Kreisberg and Laura Ortman

Organized by: Tarah Hogue, Maria Hupfield, and Tania Willard

Because care is not a domestic question but rather a public matter and generator of conflict
- Precarias a la Deriva

Encompassing a five-part exhibition series, performances, publications, and workshops, Take Care follows a 2016 group exhibition, curated by Letters & Handshakes, at the Blackwood Gallery. That exhibition, I stood before the source, featured artists confronting the aesthetic problem of representing contemporary capitalism, and concluded with this impulse: to imagine a “shift from the metrics of accumulation to the requirements of care as an ordering principle of social relations.” [1] Immediately, however, this statement encounters the “crisis of care,” [2] the problematic within, against, and beyond which Take Care mobilizes more than 100 artists, activists, curators, and researchers.

The exhibitions, performances, publications, and workshops comprising Take Care are organized around five circuits of care. Visit the full project page here.

Stewardship decentres the isolated individual as the privileged recipient or scene of care, and forefronts “epistemically-diverse” conceptions and collective practices of care that centre upon relationships to land, territory, and nonhumans.

Download the Circuit 4 micropublication, featuring project descriptions, a curatorial essay by the members of #callresponse, artist biographies, and full colour illustrations throughout. 

Blackwood Gallery invited the co-organizers to engage with the institution’s collection of Inuit Art as a site-specific response to the thematic of Stewardship, the fourth circuit of the Take Care project that occasioned this iteration of #callresponse. The co-organizers invited Beatrice Deer, an Inuk singer from Nunavik, to select works from the collection to be hung on the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. These works are accompanied by textual responses written in English and Inuktitut from Deer’s own perspective as an Inuk woman. A number of other local responses have also been commissioned, including a “visitation” of Ursula Johnson’s durational song-based performance Ke’tapekiaq Ma’qimikew: The Land Sings with Cherish Violet Blood and Rosary Spence, song workshops for youth led by Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Ursula Johnson in partnership with Peel Aboriginal Network Friendship Centre, a “writer-in-residence” who will take over the project’s social media platforms, and a panel discussion unpacking the concept of stewardship in relation to Indigenous and artistic considerations.


Blackwood Gallery’s latest exhibition is a call to action, The Varsity


Artists-in-Residence: Cherish Violet Blood, Beatrice Deer, Ursula Johnson, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Rosary Spence
January 2018
Blackwood Gallery


Social Media Writer-in-Residence: Aylan Couchie
December 15, 2017 to January 27, 2018

#callresponse and the Blackwood Gallery created a Social Media Writer-in-Residence program to support diverse perspectives on the project. A Call for Proposals was circulated in November 2017 across social media platforms in search of Black, Indigenous, or POC-identified writers, artists, and content creators engaged with questions of intersectional feminism(s), Indigeneity, community-building, stewardship, and other forms of critical care, social justice, and solidarity work. Through this process, Aylan Couchie was selected to compose visual, textual, and audio responses to the #callresponse exhibition and public programs. Making creative use of social media platforms, the Social Media Writer-in-Residence will help build a network of support for the ongoing work of Indigenous women past, present, and into the future.


Feminist Lunchtime Talks
Indigenizing Institutions 
Wednesday, January 10, 12–2pm
Blackwood Gallery
Presented in partnership with Women and Gender Studies

Following the publication of Canada’s 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission report and resistance to celebrations of Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, many Indigenous groups and allies have called for greater attention to the legacies of discrimination and oppression that have shaped the development of the nation. This panel responds to these calls by asking what it means to effectively Indigenize an institution, in a society deeply shaped by settler colonialism. Our esteemed panel of discussants will share their experiences of Indigenizing institutions in the GTA and across Canada, including the problems, paradoxes, and possibilities of these efforts.

Jill Carter, Assistant Professor, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance and Centre for Indigenous Studies, University of Toronto
Tarah Hogue, Senior Curatorial Fellow, Indigenous Art, Vancouver Art Gallery
Denise Booth McLeod, Indigenous and Community Engagement Coordinator, Toronto Birth Centre
Kris Noakes, President, Peel Aboriginal Network
Moderator: Nicole Laliberte, Assistant Professor, Geography, University of Toronto Mississauga


Ke’tapekiaq Ma’qimikew: The Land Sings 
Performance by Cherish Violet Blood, Ursula Johnson, Rosary Spence 
Wednesday, January 10, 3–8pm
Innovation Complex Rotunda, UTM

Ke'tapekiaq Ma'qimikew: The Land Sings is an audio-based endurance performance that offers an apology to the land for the ways in which our human impact has shaped the landscape and displaced the voices of many Indigenous peoples. Johnson’s project posits song as a positive force that brings people together in the act of singing. The land is recognized as a feminine body and a matriarch by many Indigenous nations, and many cultures determine their movement on the land through song. In the process of collaboration, the song takes shape and gains a new title in the language of the participants and in response to the land on which it is performed.


Opening Reception and C Magazine Launch
Wednesday, January 10, 5–8pm
Blackwood Gallery

In conjunction with the opening reception, C Magazine launches c136 Site/ation,a special issue guest edited by Tania Willard and Peter Morin of BUSH gallery—an experimental, land-based, Indigenous-led artist rez-idency. The issue focuses on Indigenous and non-Western art practices outside of city centres and gallery systems, and questions where and how art exists on the land, in rural settings and communities. With words and images by Billy-Ray Belcourt, Karyn Recollet, Gabrielle L'Hirondelle Hill, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Marianne Nicolson, Anique Jordan, Ashok Mathur, Toby Lawrence, Michael Turner and Jeremy Dutcher, among many others. It features an artist project by Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan, who collaborate under the name Native Art Department International.


Song workshops with Ursula Johnson and Cheryl L’Hirondelle
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Presented in partnership with Peel Aboriginal Network Friendship Centre
208 Brittania Road East, Unit 1

#callresponse develops locally responsive programming arising from community desire and partner venues’ existing or emergent relations with Indigenous communities and organizations. The Peel Aboriginal Network Friendship Centre provides a social setting to foster cultural awareness and education through a range of programs and services in support of the region’s Aboriginal peoples. This song workshop follows from Cheryl L’Hirondelle’s ongoing community engaged and participatory projects (such as her songwriting collaboration with women behind bars), and Ursula Johnson’s collaborative and durational song-based work in #callresponse.



Savage States: Settler Governance in an Age of Sorrow
Public Lecture by Audra Simpson, JHI Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 4–6pm
Jackman Humanities Institute
170 St. George Street, Room 100

In what world do we imagine the past to be settled in light of its refusal to perish and allow things to start over anew? What are the conditions that make for this imagining, this fantasy or rather, demand of a new start point? In this lecture, Audra Simpson considers the world of settler colonialism, which demands this newness, a world in which Native people and their claims to territory are whittled to the status of claimant or subject in time with the fantasy of their disappearance and containment away from a modern and critical present. This fantasy extends itself to a mode of governance that is beyond institutional and ideological but is in this study, deeply affective. Simpson examines how the Canadian practice of settler governance has adjusted itself in line with global trends, away from overt violence to what are seen as softer and kinder, caring modes of governing but governing, violently still and yet, with a language of care, upon still stolen land. She asks not only in what world we imagine time to stop, but takes up the ways in which those that survived the time stoppage stand in critical relationship to dispossession and settler governance and apprehend, analyze, and act upon this project of affective governance. Here an oral and textual history of the notion of "reconciliation" is constructed and analyzed with recourse to Indigenous criticism of this affective project of repair.


All Our Relations: The Art of Land and Indigenous Stewardship
Panel Discussion
Friday, January 19, 2018, 4–6pm
Jackman Humanities Institute
170 St. George Street, Room 100

This roundtable discussion seeks to unpack the concept of “stewardship” from perspectives rooted in place and culture. What is stewardship in relation to Native Feminisms, Indigenous concepts of land, gender, and territory? How does stewardship intersect with sovereignty, artistic practice, and collections? 

Beatrice Deer, Program Officer, Avataq Cultural Institute, the Inuit cultural organization of Nunavik (Northern Quebec)
Lisa Myers, Artist and Assistant Lecturer in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
Lindsay Nixon, Indigenous editor-at-large, Canadian Art 
Eve Tuck, Associate Professor of Critical Race and Indigenous Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto
Moderator: Michelle LaVallee, ‎Director at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Art Centre


Reader-in-Residence Session with Art Metropole
Public reading by Maggie Groat
Wednesday, January 24, 12–1pm
Blackwood Gallery


FREE Contemporary Art Bus Tour 
Sunday, January 28, 12–5pm
The tour picks up at Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West) then departs for Blackwood Gallery, Bradley Museum, and the Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant. To RSVP: email blackwood.gallery@utoronto.ca or call 905-828-3789 by Friday, January 26 at 5pm.



This exhibition is organized and circulated by grunt gallery, and presented by Blackwood Gallery.

#callresponse is produced in partnership with grunt gallery and generously supported by the {Re}conciliation initiative of the Canada Council for the Arts, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Additional funding support from the British Columbia Arts Council.

The Blackwood Gallery is grateful for the generous support of #callresponse from the Jackman Humanities Institute Artist-in-Residence Program, the BC Arts Council, and grunt gallery, with additional support from the Department of Visual Studies and Women and Gender Studies (UTM).

Blackwood Gallery
Kaneff Center, University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6

(905) 828-3789

Monday - Friday:
12 - 5pm (except Wednesday 12 - 9pm)
Saturday & Sunday:
12 - 3pm