Here Again, At the Crossroads explores the historic transit hub of Union Station as a site of constant movement and change. Every day, thousands of people transverse the hallways of Canada’s largest train station, marking a stop on their journey to familiar places or new beginnings.
Three contemporary artists, Andre Wagner, Jayda Marley (also known as The Poet MJ), Jordan Sook examine the conditions that shape the Black experience, and what it means to be arriving at yet another point in our collective histories, where everyone is being called to defend Black lives.
The Poet MJ examines notions of displacement and freedom and what it means to build cities that you never truly belong too. Through powerful black and white photography Andre reveals the nuances and vulnerabilities of being Black in America. Jordan’s towering sculpture pays homage to the lives of Black railway porters, men who typically went unnoticed walking these very halls. Together their artwork asks more questions than it answers, and our hope is for it to serve as a catalyst for self-reflection.
You can safely experience the exhibit in the Oakroom West Wing at Union Station.Learn More
Andre D. Wagner is a photographer living and working in Brooklyn, New York. His work has been commissioned by The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Cut, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, WSJ, Time Magazine and Vogue, among others.
He explores and chronicles the poetic and lyrical nuances of daily life, using city streets, neighborhoods, parades, public transportation and the youth of the twenty-first century as his visual language. His work and practice fits into the lineage of street photography that investigates the American social landscape, often focusing his lens on themes of race, class, cultural identity and community.
Jayda Marley, also known as The Poet MJ, is a 19-year-old nationally acclaimed Queer Afro-Indigenous poet of Ojibwe & Jamaican Descent, youth activist, and community healer from Tkaronto. As a former competing poet, Jayda holds the 1st place National championship title of “Voices of Today 2018.” She is also the founder and creative director of the new open mic series “For The Queer Coloured Girls After Me.”
Jordan Sook is a contemporary mixed media artist who works and resides in Toronto, Canada. His work has been exhibited in various group shows including the MacLaren Art Centre (2017), the Manifesto Art Festival (2018), and The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery (2018). Sook’s distinctive personal style emanates youth and playfulness, and his work invites us to view the world from a subjective innocence while exploring the relationship to the modern human complex in relation to consumerism, economics and the social environment.
Thank You For Keeping Us On Track was inspired by an innate desire to go beyond representation and amplify the under-told stories of Black success, triumphs and contributions across North America. The work pays tribute to the Black Canadian porters who formed the first Black Railway Union in North America (1917). Their contributions helped to stabilize Canadian economics, and lay a framework for future unions by other minority collectives groups to be formed.
Alica Hall has been working at the intersection of art, communications and community development for the past 10 years. Her curatorial practice is driven by a desire to explore identity and power, excavate lesser-known stories and a commitment to expand the visual narratives surrounding the Black experience. Alica also works to build capacity and resilience in the communities she is a part of. She has worked as a curator, programmer, and communications strategist. In 2018, she took on the role of Executive Director at Nia Centre for the Arts. In her time at the Centre, she has launched their first residency program, curated the first Black Art Fair in Toronto as well as private exhibits which has resulted in the sale of over 20 pieces of artwork with proceeds going directly back to the artists. In 2019, she was selected to represent Canada at the European Union’s Cultural Diplomacy program for leaders in the arts.
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