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Shirin Neshat, Jeffrey Gibson, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres at MOCA Toronto

Shirin Neshat: Land of Dreams
Jeffrey Gibson: I AM YOUR RELATIVE
Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Summer
March 10–July 31, 2022

MOCA Toronto’s season of exhibitions continues with internationally renowned artists Shirin Neshat: Land of Dreams; Jeffrey Gibson: I AM YOUR RELATIVE, and a reconfigured exhibition of works by Felix Gonzalez-Torres now titled Winter; alongside Toronto based artists Xuan Ye: It Takes Spirals to Feed the Spiral; and Debashis Sinha: in the house’s endeepened wide gracious flow.

Shirin Neshat: Land of Dreams
Shirin Neshat’s first major Canadian exhibition in 20 years focuses on her most recent project, Land of Dreams, which marks a pivot in Neshat’s gaze toward the “western world.” The central work that gives the exhibition its title comprises over 100 photographic portraits and a video installation, converging photography and film into an immersive experience that presents a perspective on contemporary America. The portraits capture a diverse range of American experiences, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic/Latinx peoples of many ages and genders. Many are inscribed with hand-written Farsi calligraphy,   which annotates the subjects’ dreams or notes their name and place and date of birth. To complement Land of Dreams, the exhibition includes two of Neshat’s seminal films Roja (2016) and Rapture (1999), as well as photographs from the series Women of Allah (1993-1997).

Jeffrey Gibson: I AM YOUR RELATIVE
A newly commissioned exhibition of work by Mississippi Choctaw-Cherokee artist Jeffrey Gibson, I AM YOUR RELATIVE includes a suite of moveable multi-purpose stages that can be reconfigured by performers and visitors. Co-commissioned by MOCA Toronto and the Toronto Biennial of Art (TBA) and situated on MOCA’s free admission first floor, the surface of the stages are covered with posters and stickers designed by Gibson incorporating words and images, drawn from artworks and texts he has created in the past decade. This visual archive, which prioritizes Indigenous, Black, Brown, and queer voices, speaks to strategies of storytelling and place-making and to what histories are remembered and how. Specially commissioned speakers and performers, as well as members of the public, are invited to make use of the space while the exhibition is on view.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Winter
Winter, the first solo exhibition in Canada of acclaimed artist, Felix Gonzalez-Torres (Cuban-born, American, 1957–1996), generates reflections on our relationship to place: the social and natural landscape. Gonzalez-Torres produced an expansive oeuvre before his death from AIDS-related illness, becoming influential for his evocative use of mass-produced objects and his conceptual approach to photography. Invested in destabilizing authority and fixed meanings, he extended certain decision-making responsibilities to owners, exhibitors, and audiences, ensuring the significance of the work would evolve with time. Winter presents a number of significant works including the text portrait, Untitled, 1989, a listing of personal and historical events, names and places with corresponding dates, and Untitled (Public Opinion), 1991, a mass of black licorice candies from which viewers may choose to take. The works, originally configured under the title Summer, have changed form and position, expanding their meaning further. In addition, Gonzales-Torres’ Untitled (Strange Bird), 1993, is presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario at billboard sites across the city of Toronto until May 30, 2022.

Xuan Ye:  It Takes Spirals to Feed the Spiral
Blurring the physical and the virtual, Toronto-based Chinese artist Xuan Ye presents a new multimedia installation, It Takes Spirals to Feed the Spiral (2021–2022). Through ongoing research into spirals as an archetype, Ye reimagines conceptions of space and time. The exhibition looks at how spirals repeat themselves in the smallest components of life and the largest forces in our universe. Within the exhibition space, viewers can participate in Ye’s research by scanning the immersive vinyl wallpaper with their smartphone to reveal a layer of augmented reality.

Debashis Sinha: in the house’s endeepened wide gracious flow
Debashis Sinha’s site-specific sound work explores and expands on the connective nature of the MOCA stairwell. He draws on processes of speculative mythology, derived from a blending of machine learning, sonic art, and audio composition; introducing us to field recordings collected in Kolkata, India and transposed into the Canadian diaspora through sound.

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