LOOSELY ASSEMBLED / ASSEMBLAGES SOUPLES
CYCLE 1 : COLLECTIVE QUESTION
15 FEBRUARY TO 15 APRIL 2019
Organized by Danielle St-Amour
Hosted by SBC Gallery
Exhibition design by Collective Question, in collaboration with Ali Shamas Qadeer
INDEX designed by Ali Shamas Qadeer
Build and design assistance by Mathieu Lambert
SBC is pleased to announce the opening of the multi-part exhibition, LOOSELY ASSEMBLED, organized by Danielle St-Amour. LOOSELY ASSEMBLED will examine the role of publishing in pedagogical, collective and radical spaces. The exhibition will unfold in four cycles between February and August 2019. The first cycle of the exhibition is organized by Collective Question, a working group comprised of Julie Niemi, Steven Chodoriwsky, and Christopher Lee, in collaboration with graphic designer Ali Shamas Qadeer.
Collective Question (CQ) investigates themes of radical pedagogy and the role of the syllabus within educational spaces. These lines of inquiry emerge from their archival research on Tolstoy College, an anarchist educational community active at the University at Buffalo at the State University of New York (SUNY Buffalo) between 1968 and 1985. Tolstoy was one of a number of experimental colleges founded by SUNY Buffalo in an attempt to appeal and connect to the radical youth movements of the 1960s, a project headed by then-President of the University, Martin Meyerson. Tolstoy College’s faculty members, including Charles Haynie and Charles “Chip” Planck, organized the college on a pacifist-anarchist platform, channelling Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s essays on education and his questions on “How to live?” and “What to live for?”
Focussing on expressions of Emotion and Feeling, Tolstoy College embedded and centered the personal and subjective experience of faculty and students in both the content and the infrastructure of its teachings. In this space, the syllabus was positioned both as the aspirational outline for pedagogical experiment, as well as an agreement of sorts with the bureaucratic university that simultaneously engaged and critiqued the host institution and its actions.
Rooted in these notions, CQ views the syllabus as a utopian form of publication that acts as many things: a contract, a shroud, a plan, a lie, a projection, a deflection, a script, and a document. For LOOSELY ASSEMBLED, CQ have composed a syllabus that positions both the gallery environment and the exhibition’s design as its elements. Objects such as brooms, chairs, tables, shelves, and so on become elements of this syllabus, alongside site-specific furniture and improvised construction within the gallery space. Each element of the syllabus has been chosen or created with an imperative to disrupt, provoke and encourage engagement with the the site and its materials, while facilitating the three primary imperatives of LOOSELY ASSEMBLED’s programming: Archiving, Making, and Circulating.
As infrastructure, CQ’s syllabus will be in continuous use by invited artists throughout the following three cycles of LOOSELY ASSEMBLED. The site will actively archive the materials and documents that are produced by each cycle. These materials will be made available in the INDEX, a web platform conceived and designed by Ali Shamas Qadeer to document, reflect upon, and critically engage with the work undertaken throughout LOOSELY ASSEMBLED.
ALI SHAMAS QADEER is a graphic designer and educator based in Toronto. He works in web, print, as well as web and print. After completing a BA in philosophy and religious studies at McGill University, he developed an independent design practice in New York City before returning to school to complete an MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2014. His work focuses on algorithmic form-making, interaction design, and the possibility of graphic design to operate as a new discipline within the humanities. After returning to Canada in 2013, Ali joined the faculty of OCADU where he is an Assistant Professor in the graphic and industrial design programs.
JULIE NIEMI is a curator, writer, and editor currently based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is an Assistant Curator at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. She received an M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, where she was commissioning editor of aCCeSsions. From 2013–2015, she was co-founder and editor of VIA Publication. Her writing has appeared in Frieze, Temporary Art Review, CAS, and Art21 Magazine.
CHRIS LEE is a graphic designer and educator based Buffalo, NY, and Toronto, ON. He is a graduate of OCADU (Toronto) and the Sandberg Instituut (Amsterdam), and has worked for The Walrus Magazine, Metahaven and Bruce Mau Design. Chris’ research explores graphic design’s entanglement with power, standards, and legitimacy. Chris is an Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo SUNY, and a member of the programming committee of Gendai Gallery, and Squeaky Wheel. He is currently co-guest-editing issue 141 of C magazine on the theme of “Graphic Design.”
STEVEN CHODORIWSKY is a designer, artist, writer and educator based in Los Angeles. His research-based practice employs a diverse range of media including installation, performance, and audio-visual artifacts. Chodoriwsky teaches at Cal Poly Pomona in the Departments of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, as well as at Woodbury University. As an artist, he has held research positions at the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, and at the Center for Contemporary Art, Kitakyushu. He has presented and performed work at international venues including, among others, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, de Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam, and the Suzuki Company of Toga International Theatre Festival, Japan.
LIVE-STREAMED ARTIST TALK
10 FEBURARY, 11AM
20 FEBRUARY, 5-7PM