Private Thoughts Public Moments

10 September - 10 December 2000
Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

Private Thoughts Public Moments
13 September- 10 December 2000

Opening Reception
Wednesday, September 13,2000
6-8pm Remarks 6:45pm

Exhibition on view in the Canadian Historical Galleries Included with pay-what-you-can admission

Discussion Panel with the participating artists and artist/curator Sutapa Biswas

Moderator: Karen Tisch
Thursday, September 14, 6:30 – 8:00pm
Henry White Kinnear Education Theatre

Private Thoughts/Public Moments is collaboration between the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), the South Asian Visual Arts Collective (SAVAC) and U.K.-based artist Sutapa Biswas. The exhibition brings together site-specific works by artists from SAVAC that engage and interact with different aspects of the Art Gallery of Ontario”s permanent collection. Through workshops with Sutapa Biswas, the participating artists have produced interventions that explore features of the display of Canadian Historical art at the AGO.

The Canadian Historical galleries at the Art Gallery of Ontario chart the identity of what it means to be Canadian through selected visual and textual representations, relaying a history of Canada from the days of the early pioneers, through the colonial period, to the first half of the 1900s. The interventions developed by the artists for these galleries raise provocative questions about established Canadian narratives.

Project Background

Private Thoughts/Public Moments stems from collaborations between the AGO and the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI). In 1998 a sub-committee from the two organizations met to develop programming initiatives for the AGO, one of which was the initiation of the Artist-in-Residence program. This program was designed to establish a mentoring relationship between a recognized international artist and local emerging artists, and to explore issues of social identity and accessibility in the context of the museum. Sutapa Biswas was selected as the artist-in-residence and was invited to Toronto in April 2000 to work with members of SAVAC toward the development of workshops and a public presentation. As curator of Private Thoughts/Public Moments, Biswas selected the artists for the exhibition from proposals submitted in response to the work she initiated during her visit in April. An untitled video installation by Biswas was exhibited at the AGO in the spring of this year.


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