U N D E R THE RAIN OF O T H E R S
Artwork: Vlakplaas: 2 June 1999 (drive-by shooting), video 2:40 min. 1999
Wedneday November 2 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm
At the 4TH SPACE: J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve West.
Friday November 4
Opening: 5pm tp 8pm. Activation: 6pm tp 7pm
The exhibition is collectively curated by the SBC team (Nuria Carton de Grammont, Antoine Bertron, Carla Rangel, Samuel Lebel Gagnon) & Olivia Southcott, recipient of the 2022 Elspeth McConnell Award for Fine Arts from Concordia University.
The team would like to thank Flavia Hevia and Clara Goyer for their precious help.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
"I will not be ashamed of my sadness, of my nostalgia," said the Argentine poet and activist Juan Gelman, demanding justice for the disappearance of his son and daughter-in-law at the hands of agents of the dictatorship. The exhibition Under the Rain of Others is inspired by the book of the same title written by the author during his exile in Rome in 1980, which draws a fierce critique of the military regime while situating memory as a process of personal and collective reconstruction, a duty that belongs to us all.
What stories are we ready to tell and how are we ready to listen to them? The works of Hannah Claus, Till Roeskens, Pablo Gershanik and Jo Ractliffe share as their point of origin the post-traumatic processes from the political and spatial reconstruction of mourning from the Aboriginal feminicides in Canada, the occupation of the Palestinian territories, the dictatorial regime in Argentina and the apartheid in South Africa. Through performance, installation and video, the exhibition presents the spectral landscape of the past that haunts us unwaveringly to announce the need for awareness, for transformation.
To capture the anachronisms of historical trauma, Gelman explains that "it is difficult to reconstruct what happened; the truth of memory fights against the memory of truth." By spatializing absence through various testimonies, images, and activations, the works return to affect from its capacities to heal and restore collective experience. But it is also a question of reconstructing the symbolic territories of memory as the symptom of a repressed knowledge that calls into question the future based on the avoidance of traumatic experiences and painful knowledge. In this way, the works gathered here are an antidote against the impulses of historical amnesia and the intimidation of silence.
Under the Rain of Others probes resilience, empathy, and struggles for memory, as Elizabeth Jelin would say, from the reenactment of art narratives.
Hannah Claus is a Kanienkehá:ka and English visual artist who explores Onkwehón:we epistemologies as living transversal relationships through her artistic practice. A 2019 Eiteljorg fellow and 2020 Prix Giverny recipient, current exhibitions include Radical Stitch (McKenzie Art Gallery; Regina); Whetūrangitia [Made as Stars] (Dowse Art Museum; Lower Hutt, Aotearoa); and Plastic Earth (Centre Culturelle Canadienne; Paris, France). Claus is a member of Kenhté:ke, in Ontario.
Pablo Gershanik is an actor, stage director and theatrical pedagogue graduated from the International School of Theatre Jacques Lecoq and the University of Paris-Cité. He’s also an actor for Cirque Éloize, the Philippe Genty Company and the Compagnia Finzi Pasca. Gershanik is also the creator of the Intimate Miniatures Methodology. He developed this method with his project Quatre-Vingts Balles dans l’Aile, created as part of a residency at the Haroldo Conti Cultural Center of Buenos Aires and the Centquatre in Paris, in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
Till Roeskens, born in 1974’s Germany, lives and works off the land in a collective farm located in the Crau plains, at the foot of the Alpilles mountains. Inhabited by a passion for geography, his art developed itself at the crossroads of terrestrial fragments and those who would chart their roads there. What he brought back from these explorations, whatever form these may take, was never but a simple report, but an invitation to the sight’s exercise, a quest for freedom, an attempt to situate oneself in this infinite world.
Since the 1980s, Jo Ractliffe’s photographs have reflected her ongoing preoccupation with the South African landscape and the ways it figures in the country’s imaginary, particularly the violent legacies of apartheid. In a country with a powerful tradition of social documentary, Ractliffe is known for her distinctive approach, drawing attention to the absent and unseen, alluding to traces of meaning beyond the evidentiary.
Learn more about the artists, their artwork or their practice by consulting the following complementing articles, interviews and essays:
Nicole Acheampong, A Photographer Traces the Ghosts of Loss and Trauma in Southern Africa, Aperture, December 3 2021
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, Artists Talk: Israel/Palestine. An Interview with Till Roeskens, Words Without Borders, November 4 2010