the cut, the tear & the remix: contemporary collage and Black futures - Nia Centre for the Arts

the cut, the tear & the remix: contemporary collage and Black futures

A New Imagining of Black Futures


April 22 - July 22, 2021

Immerse Yourself In the Future of Black Temporal Experiences

Image: Yung Yemi, When The Fam Lose Faith Hold Them Up, 2020

Culminating the work of our Curator-In-Residence stylo starr, Nia Centre for the Arts and McMaster Museum of Art present a virtual exhibition opening on April 22 – May 1. the cut, the tear & the remix: contemporary collage and Black futures bring together the work of eight contemporary artists deeply engaged in the excavation of a future informed by their individual ancestral connections to the African and Caribbean diaspora and their varied interpretations of collage.

This online exhibition presents “cut & paste” techniques in not only its traditional tactile paper and photomontage iterations, but also in uncharacteristic expressions of new media including video, text and design. The digital presentation of the remix, as a result of current global circumstances, is in and of itself an envisioning of the future of Black spatial and temporal experiences marking an invitation to participate in this new imagining.

Featuring works by: Emkay Adjei-Manu, Anna Binta Diallo, FEZA, Sonya Mwambu, Kofi Oduro, SPATIAL-ESK, Ghislan Timm, Yung Yemi

Meet the Artists

Emkay Adjei-Manu

Emkay Adjei-Manu is an emerging second-generation, Ghanaian-Canadian artist whose practice includes experimental writing, documentary/analog photography, and collage. Examining themes of embodiment, remembrance, memory, sensuality and spirit, they are drawn to the practice of collage for its expansiveness and ability to examine diverse ruminations on personal experiences. Emkay has worked in arts-based research and workshop facilitation with various non-profit organizations. Follow them on Instagram.

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Anna Binta Diallo

Anna Binta Diallo’s artwork investigates memory and nostalgia, creating unexpected narratives through explorations of identity. She was born in Dakar, Senegal, and raised in Winnipeg, MB. Her work has been shown nationally including exhibitions in Brandon, Winnipeg, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Central and internationally in Finland, Tawian, and Germany. She is currently based in Montreal, QC. Follow her on Instagram.

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FEZA is a visual artist born in Kinshasa, DR Congo and raised in Edmonton, Canada. Her work includes photography, film and visual collages. Whether it is through art or community organizing, Feza’s work is a meditation on the daily experiences of Africans within the Canadian context, exploring experiences of migration, memory and kinship. She draws inspiration from her Congolese heritage, incorporating archival material such as photographs, video and audio sources. Feza’s work has been shown at the Montreal Museum of Fine arts and at various community events, and she is currently based in Ottawa, Ontario. Follow her on Instagram.

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Sonya Mwambu

Sonya Mwambu is an experimental filmmaker and editor based in Toronto. She graduated from York University’s film production program where she developed her craft in shooting and experimenting with analog film, exploring concepts of race, language and a connection to her cultural identity. Born in Kampala, and raised in Canada, her films are often centred around the intersections of her identities. She has presented films at the Toronto History Museum and most recently with Cinema Politica based in Montreal.

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Kofi Oduro

Kofi Oduro is a creative engineer, thinker, poet, and performer living in Montreal, Quebec. His artistic practice is an observation of the world around us, that he puts into artworks for others to relate to or disagree with. Through videography, poetry and creative coding, Oduro highlights the realms of human performance and the human mind in different scenarios. His work has been presented nationally and internationally in various festivals and live events including the EyeMyth Media Arts Festival, Chale Wote Festival, Stoker Art Festival, Nocturne Halifax, as well as the Accra Film Festival in Ghana. Follow him on Instagram.

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SPATIAL-ESK is an artist of Zambian heritage based in Canada. He explores the interplay between urban space, architecture and cultural experience. His work comprises of carefully photographed ‘collage-models’ which bring imagined and constructed worlds to life. He uses collage as a medium to present disruptive and provoking concepts which often materialize into larger temporary and built works. His work has since been published in Blueprint Magazine – UK, Burrasca Journal, Italy, Parksify, California and has had work exhibited at the ‘Future of Art’ exhibition at Tate Modern, London. He currently works from his studio in Toronto. Follow him on Instagram.

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Ghislan Timm

Ghislan Timm (Jess-lin/Jiz-lan) (she/they) is an experimental filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist based in Tkaronto (Toronto). Their work is influenced by Afro-Caribbean folklore and culture, Afro-futurism, soundscape, and cinema, and often appropriates archival film and imagery to shape non-linear narratives from fragments of memories. Ghislan has presented works at the Ada Slaight Gallery at OCAD University, Fugue: Canadian First Person Alternative Films Festival in Shanghai, China and she participated as a resident artist in the Black Women Film! Canada Leadership Program in Toronto in 2019. Follow them on Instagram.

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Yung Yemi

Yung Yemi (Adeyemi Adegbesan) is a Toronto-based artist whose multidisciplinary practice aims to examine the intersectionality of Black identity. He brings together varying elements to create his Afrofuturistic portraits, inspired by a range of source materials that embody the history and future of the culture. Yemi’s work interrogates the dichotomy of the richness of Black experiences against an imposed societal homogeneity often seen through traditional Westernized narratives. Follow him on Instagram.

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About The Curator

Stylo Starr is a visual alchemist based in Hamilton, Ontario. She has a BFA from Brock University and studied design at Mohawk College. A founding member of COBRA (the Coalition of Black and Racialized Artists) Hamilton, she has worked with varied organizations including Centre[3] for Artistic and Social Practice, Hamilton Arts Council, and McMaster University (curating the 2020 BFA graduation exhibition) and has exhibited at the Art Gallery of Hamilton and Art Gallery of Burlington among others. Known primarily for her multi-layered collage work, which has been featured on large public installations, international publications and apparel, Starr’s visual investigations surround predominantly BIPOCs and their relationship to the basic principles and elements of design, while reaffirming their agency as revered subjects of art history. | IG: @mouthfullofstars

About Curator-In-Residence Program

Presented in partnership with the McMaster Museum of Art, the Curator-in-Residence is a pilot learning opportunity for an emerging Black curator to work with and within both an institutional and community setting. Working and learning alongside MMA Senior Curator Pamela Edmonds, as well as other curators and advisors, the emerging curator will gain skills, insight, and resources to further her independent curatorial practice, while producing a public exhibition with support from Nia Centre. Learn more here.

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