In this multichannel video installation by artists Patrick Cruz, Serena Lee and Casey Mecija, place is both inheritance and memory; it is at once shifting ground, and colonial remnant. Marked by distinct geographies of Toronto’s Asian communities, these works address a politics of location through diasporic tensions of tradition, racialization, and translation. The viewer, implicated in this immersion, can engage with the videos through their phones, and access translated subtitles in multiple Asian languages.
This exhibition is coproduced by the Modest Eyes collective, with curation by Project Lead Immony Men and Maiko Tanaka and production support from OCAD University, Public Visualization Lab including Luke Garwood, Jon Silveira, Lequanne Collins-Bacchus, Immony Men, and Patricio Davila.
Orasyon (Vespers) is a diaristic video essay that attempts to reimagine memories from the process of migration. Through this recovery of knowledge, viewers are displaced to a disorienting space of remembrance.
Patrick Cruz is a Filipino Canadian multi-disciplinary artist. He holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and pursued his Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Guelph.
Drawing from Hito Steyerl’s concept of “free fall” and the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi Chuan, Lee explores the idea of balance—not as a state but as movement–through inherited narratives of material ism, immigration, and animism in Toronto’s gentrifying Leslieville and Broadview Chinatown.
Serena Lee is a third-generation Chinese-Canadian artist, who holds an MFA from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. Her work layers cinema, performance, voice, image and text to map a political grammar of harmony.
Mecija blends three karaoke songs from musicals that were mired in controversy for their casting of Asian leads. Changing the gender pronouns in the songs and inciting questions of Asian representation and authenticity, her video creates space to think about the intimacies of queerness, diaspora and the colonial histories of South East Asia.
Casey Mecija is a multidisciplinary artist working with music, film and performance. Psychic Materials (2016), Mecija’s first solo album, addresses themes of queerness, diaspora, history, and love.