The Blackwood Gallery receives New Chapter funding to mount The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea

The Canada Council for the Arts has awarded the Blackwood Gallery at the University of Toronto Mississauga a one-time-only grant of $375,000 for the presentation of The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea. This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded from a pool of 2,000 proposals through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter Program to support the creation and sharing of exceptional artistic and literary works.
The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea is a three-part project using a transdisciplinary curatorial strategy to demonstrate a plurality of perspectives on environmental violence. The project is curated by Christine Shaw, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Director/Curator of the Blackwood Gallery and will include a multi-site group exhibition (The Work of Wind: Air), two books (The Work of Wind: Land and The Work of Wind: Sea) and an innovative dissemination platform (The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge).
We live in a time of global warming, environmental degradation and radical transformations in the Earth’s ecosystems to the extent that life for future generations will become increasingly difficult. The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea asks: How are we affected by this cancellation of the future? Can galleries better address the increasing volatility and vulnerability of the Earth system? What are the curatorial practices that might respond to ecologies of excess and their effects? Can artists facilitate observation of human impact on the Earth and make observation a truly public enterprise? How can observation lead to action?
Committed to provocative encounters and epistemic promiscuities, The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea will demonstrate the potential of contemporary art as a cultural lens through which a plurality of perspectives on environmental violence can reorient Canadians’ attitudes and action on global environmental issues.
The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea will support and present the work of 39 artists and 26 writers from across Canada and elsewhere in order to look at these issues at a local level from a global perspective. The project’s two books will be co-edited by Christine Shaw, Anna-Sophie Springer (a Berlin-based curator, writer, researcher and PhD candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths), and Etienne Turpin (a Jakarta/Toronto/Boston-based philosopher and Research Scientist with an exact office and the MIT Urban Risk Lab). Contributors will include artists, curators, atmospheric scientists, designers, poets, oceanographers, architects, anthropologists, art historians, media archaeologists, sociologists, economists, physicists, geographers and more. The books will form part of the internationally acclaimed intercalations: paginated exhibition series, published by K. Verlag and Haus der Kulturen der Welt and founded and co-edited by Springer and Turpin.