On July 6th, the organizers of DEMO-GRAPHICS, the biennial art event of the Greater Toronto Area, held a first Think Tank in order to present the ideas behind the event and the main figures leading to its development. The think tank was successful in bringing together many of the GTA's cultural leaders, including artists, museum directors, leaders from the educational world, curators, representatives from governmental agencies and from the corporate world. The day of presentations and discussions was held in one of the GTA's most active cities, culturally speaking, Mississauga. Mayor Bonnie Crombie came in to speak of her support and enthusiasm for DEMO-GRAPHICS.
The title DEMO-GRAPHICS includes dèmos, the Ancient Greek word for the public space, the place where democracy and learning is exercised. It also includes "graphics", which refers to visuality, the visual arts and writing. Artists from the GTA, Canada and the different countries reflecting the demographic diversity of GTA will be convened to imagine projects. These will be presented in participating institutions throughout the area, including the City of Toronto. Museums, art centers, foundations, social spaces such as public libraries, schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, shops, social centers, factories, production plants, corporate headquarters, public squares and gardens, abandoned lots, as well as private homes in the GTA will constitute the multiple venues where the event will be happening. Different modes of transportation are being thought of in order to connect the venues and enable visitors to access the sites easily, considering the geographical expanse of the GTA.
On the whole DEMO-GRAPHICS, throughout its different editions will be mapping out the new geo-politics that affect the world today. Every two years, it will take the temperature of global and local issues through contemporary art practices.
Contributing to last Monday's discussion, the think tank gathered the following speakers including:
The core group steering the development of DEMO-GRAPHICS is made up of Asma Mahmood, founder and executive director of the event, and director of CCAI and Yvonne Singer, co-director of the event, associate professor in Visual Arts at York University, together with Chantal Pontbriand as artistic director and curator of the first event, and Sarat Maharaj, curator, writer, professor, London, UK, as advisor.
CCAI (Canadian Community Arts Initiative), based in Mississauga, is developing the project with PONTBRIAND W.O.R.K.S, based in Montreal.
CCAI is a non profit organization that has successfully pioneered arts and cultural events in Mississauga such as TD Mosaic Festival, Rock the Coliseum (Indie Music Festival) and Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival.
Most recent exhibitions (selection) : Mark Lewis Above and Below, Le Bal, Paris, 2015; PER/FORM : How To Do Things with[out] Words, CA2M, Madrid, The Yvonne Rainer Project, Jeu de Paume, Centre d’art de la Ferme du Buisson, and Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Photography performs: The Body as the Archive, Centre de photographie d’Île-de-France (CPIF), co-curated with Agency, Dora Garcia, Of Crimes and Dreams, Darling Foundry, Montreal, 2014, Mutations, Paris Photo Platform, Grand Palais, Paris, 2011, Higher Powers Command, Lhoist Collection, 2010; HF|RG [Harun Farocki|Rodney Graham], Jeu de Paume, Paris 2009.
Recent publications (selection) : Mutations, Perspectives on Photography, Steidl/Paris Photo, 2011 ; The Contemporary, The Common : Art in A Globalizing World, Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2013; PER/FORM : How To Do Things with[out] Words, CA2M/Sternberg Press, Madrid/Berlin, 2014; PARACHUTE : The Anthology, JRP/Ringier, Zurich, 2012-2015 (4 Volumes.); I See Words, I Hear Voices, a book by Dora Garcia, Sternberg Press, Berlin.
Website for DEMO-GRAPHICS : www.demo-graphics.net