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Karina Griffith, Abdi Osman, Racquel Rowe and Wayne Salmon


Curated by Rinaldo Walcott


April 21 - June 24, 2023
Opening reception: Thursday, April 20, 6-8pm

This exhibition exemplifies Black aesthetic traditions in still photography and moving image. Too often Black art is understood solely through the lens of identity, representation, and belonging but the works on view in BLACK(Cite) exceed such limiting readings through their use of citation, formalism, and abstraction. Working in documentary, collage, and abstract traditions of Black art making the artists employ various modes of working that includes: poetic meditations of the sea and water, documenting the everyday of Black life, performing Black living, and commenting on sexuality, gender and its pleasures. The exhibition seeks to place the work of these Black Canadian artists in dialogue with broader diasporic conversations, while calling to mind the work of Black artists found in the art historical canon.

Presented in partnership with:

Braids, Regent Park 23x16.jpg

Wayne Salmon, Braids, Regent Park, 23 x 16 inch gum bichromate over cyanotype, 2005. Courtesy of the artist.

Karina Griffith is an artist and researcher who uses moving image, performance and installations to question archives and conditions of spectatorship. Griffith’s films and installations have been shown at international galleries and festivals, including SINNE Gallery, the Helsinki International Arts Programme, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Arsenal Gallery Poznan, Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brussels, Galerie Mytris, Hebbel Am Ufer, alpha nova & galerie futura, Institut für Alles Mögliche, Ara Pacis Museum, SAW Gallery, Foundry Art Centre, Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts, among others. She has curated film and interdisciplinary programmes for the Goethe Institute, Berlinale Forum, Oberhausen Film Festival, alpha nova & galerie futura and VTape. Griffith joined the curatorial team of the Berlinale Forum Expanded in 2021. She lectures at the Institute for Art in Context at the Berlin University of Art and is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto's Cinema Studies Institute, where her research on Black authorship in German cinema interacts with theories of affect and intersectionality.

Abdi Osman is a Somali-Canadian multidisciplinary artist and an assistant professor of practice at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). Osman's work focuses on questions of Black masculinity as it intersects with Muslim and queer identities.

Racquel Rowe is an interdisciplinary artist from the island of Barbados, currently residing in Canada. She has exhibited across Canada and holds an MFA from the University of Waterloo and a BA(Hons) in History and Studio Art from the University of Guelph. Her practice is continuously influenced by many aspects of history, matrilineal family structures, diasporic communities and her upbringing in Barbados. Her work takes the form of performance, video site-specific work and installation.

Wayne Salmon is a Toronto-based artist working in photography, film and installation. Born in Jamaica, Salmon immigrated to Canada in the early 1980’s. His work is concerned with Black sociality, with particular focus on issues and experiences related to history, migration, memory, Black music and literature. He

received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Toronto Metropolitan University.  

Rinaldo Walcott is a writer, critic, and professor of Black diaspora expressive cultures. He is the Carl V. Granger Chair of Africana and American Studies and Chair of the Department of Africana and American Studies at the University of Buffalo (SUNY). Rinaldo is the author of The Long Emancipation: Moving Toward Black Freedom (Duke, 2021) and On Property (Biblioasis, 2021).

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