Sportsmanship Under Surveillance

June 27 to August 8, 2015

The exhibition exposes the impact governments have when using scrutinized surveillance in the name of national security. The artists Jota Castro (Peru/Belgium), Minerva Cuevas (Mexico), Juan Ortiz-Apuy (Costa Rica/Canada), Marcos Ramirez ERRE (Mexico), and Regina Silveira (Brazil), will offer insights on how to adapt, control, rebel and live in an age of heavy surveillance.

All eyes are on us today, as Toronto hosts the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, offering a spectacle of wealth, sports and arts. Underneath the bewildering veil of prosperity and celebrations, the games will also bring heavier control over citizens invading privacy and obstructing notions of what a free society should condemn.

Today, more than ever, Canadians have been exposed to an unprecedented heightened state of security measures and have been given little voice or opportunities to oppose them. The growing level of violence at a global level and the ability of governments to watch over us create states of fear and suspicion amongst the general population. In this context, we can no longer rely on the assumption that our opponents (in the way we would refer to players in a game of sport) will ‘play fair’ under equal terms and conditions or that we completely understand the ‘rules of the game’. When governments dismantle civil liberties or disrupt basic human rights in the name of national security it seems contradictory to ask civilians to follow the virtues of fairness, self-control, courage and persistence essential during the act of a game.

This exhibition reveals the "observer" and "observed" roles are reversed. Instead, the eyes of the artist and of the public are on governments and their policies of surveillance. The artists in the exhibition offer an insight on the dilemma of having to negotiate the terms of the game, they provide guides to demonstrate, they create alternative modes of identification, they expose relationships between hemispheres, they question historical references, and offer philosophical and metaphorical insights that help us survive an age of surveillance.

About the Curator

TAMARA TOLEDO is a Chilean-born Toronto-based curator, arts administrator, visual artist and educator. Toledo is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) in Drawing and Painting and holds an MFA from York University. She is co-founder of the Allende Arts Festival and of Latin American Canadian Art Projects (LACAP).

Her career as a curator began when she received the 2007-2008 Canada Council for the Arts curatorial residency at A Space Gallery. Since then, she has curated several group and solo exhibitions and has been programming the Latin American Speakers Series bringing over 15 internationally renowned contemporary artists and curators to Toronto.

As an artist, Toledo has exhibited her work in public and private galleries in Toronto and abroad and has received several grants and awards in recognition of her artistic merit such as: SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship; Ontario Arts Council Emerging Research Creation Grant; Toronto Arts Council Emerging Visual Art s Project Grant; Annual Purchase Prize, The Schulich School of Business; amongst others.

As an arts administrator, Toledo spent three years working at Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art as Public Programs Manager and Productions Manager of Prefix Photo. Toledo has presented her curatorial work at various conferences such as: Performing Feminist Motherhood (New York), Memory and Migration (UBC, Vancouver) and Critical Dialogues: Cross Cultural Perspectives on Curating and Artistic Practice (Toronto) and has written articles on Latin American art for ARM Journal, C Magazine and Fuse Magazine. She is presently the Director/Curator of Sur Gallery.

Name: Tamara Toledo

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