How She Read: Confronting the Romance of Empire
From January 13 to February 26, Open Space presents Chantal Gibson’s visual and text art exhibition How She Read: Confronting the Romance of Empire.
Gibson is a Vancouver-based artist and educator whose work plunges into the fraught territory of school texts and history books with a sewing needle and re-works historical Canadian texts with black thread in order to revise our ideas of history, nationhood, and how we read. Through altered book sculptures that ensnare the texts with braids and thread, redacted texts, and reprints of old children’s readers, Gibson’s work asks us to consider the voices, stories, and bodies that have been erased or excluded from historical narratives and proposes material ways in which we can resist those historical erasures.
Opening reception: Sunday, January 13 from 3-5pm
Alongside the Open Space exhibition, the University of Victoria’s McPherson Library is hosting a satellite installation of Gibson’s work TOME. TOME: Passages in Black History is a mixed-media installation. Made from coffee stained cotton, products that drove the African slave trade, this dense book complete with footnotes is a topographical landscape of memory. It is imagined from a larger historical narrative about the African Diaspora, the part that remains unknown. Find it on the main floor of the McPherson Library on the right-hand side. For more information.
Chantal Gibson teaches writing and visual communication in the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at Simon Fraser University. As a visual artist with interests in race, gender, and history, her altered texts and installations challenge the cultural production and consumption of knowledge. At their core, her works explore power, exploiting colonial mechanisms of oppression—myths, tropes, types, and metaphors—persistent across readings, writings, and representations of Blackness and Otherness in the Canadian cultural imagination. Most recently, Gibson’s multimedia installation Souvenir was featured in Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art at the ROM in Toronto and MBAM in Montreal. Her debut book of poetry, How She Read, will be published by Caitlin Press in January 2019.
Gibson will be in residence at Open Space from Feb. 14-21, during which time she will participate in numerous events, as well as hold open hours at the gallery.
Thursday, Feb. 14 at 3:00 pm
Reading from How She Read at the University of Victoria’s McPherson Library, Room A003.
Saturday, Feb. 16 at 2:00 pm
Artist talk at Open Space, followed by a panel discussion on confronting the romance of empire in education and cultural institutions, alongside Victoria-based educators, curators, and artists.
Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 pm
Book launch and reading from Gibson’s forthcoming book of poetry, How She Read, at Open Space.
All events are free and open to the public.
Open Space respectfully acknowledges that we are on unceded First Nations territory. The City of Victoria and the surrounding areas lie on the territories of the Coast Salish and Lekwungen-speaking peoples, including the Esquimalt, Songhees, and W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations.
Open Space is not wheelchair accessible and is accessed by a flight of 23 stairs. There are two gender inclusive washrooms, one multi-stall and one single stall with a urinal. If you have any other questions or concerns in regards to accessibility, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-383-8833.