About the Exhibition
In 1971 the National Gallery of Canada presented its first retrospective of a living female artist, Joyce Wieland's True Patriot Love exhibition was considered a feminist milestone. Wieland's objective was to "renew and begin to invent Canada's future." Through art, she believed, "the positive energies and people coming together would release the country from its fate."
Taken from a verse of the Canadian national anthem, the exhibition True Patriot Love at Sur Gallery in turn addresses the ways in which immigrant artists interpret and internalize patriotism in Canada, how they leave an imprint on a geographical and metaphorical landscape and map their own trajectories of their adopted homeland defining an alternative national identity.
Patriotism to a country involves a perspective of identification with a nation, relying on a personal belief system to identify with a concept of homeland. However, we now live in a country that considers second-class citizens those who possess double nationalities and can have their Canadian citizenship easily stripped away. As immigrants to Canada, our "patriot love" is challenged, our emotional attachment to this nation is closely scrutinized and any possible perception we have of belonging to this land is instead questioned by politicians.
While discourses of patriotism in Canada are scarce, immigrant voices offer a liminal space of identification. Rather than pursue patriotism to a nation, artists in this exhibition counter attack with critical lenses. Through video, photography, performance, printmaking and drawing the artists breed new voices, translate images and interpret languages that offer the potentiality of a new Canadianness.
TAMARA TOLEDO is a Toronto-based curator, artist and cultural administrator. She is a graduate of OCAD University and holds an MFA from York University. Toledo is co-founder of the Allende Arts Festival and Latin American Canadian Art Projects-LACAP and is acting Curator of Sur Gallery and Director of LACAP.
Toledo is a 2007-2008 recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts for Culturally Diverse Curators for Residencies in the Visual Arts program through which she implemented the first Latin American Speakers Series at A Space Gallery. Since then Toledo has brought over twenty internationally renowned artists and curators to Canada to give lectures, interviews and artist critiques; curated multiple exhibitions in Toronto disseminating the work of both local and international Latin American artists; and has participated in various conferences in New York, Vancouver and Toronto. She has written articles on Latin American art for ARM Journal, C Magazine and Fuse Magazine.
Sur Gallery acknowledges and appreciates the financial support of its funding partners.