moez surani & Nina leo
THE IRREFUTABLE BORDER: CHINA SERIES
AUGUST 15 TO 18, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, August 16, 6 - 8 PM
The Red Head Gallery is pleased to present our summer non-member exhibition, The Irrefutable Border: China Series, by artists, Moez Surani and Nina Leo.
Our intention was to spend the summer of 2018 in China as artists in residence. We were invited to Shanghai to develop a photo work The Irrefutable Border: China Series. This piece strategically conflates personal/emotional borders with national/legal ones. Conflating these two categories of borders brings their difference in scale into proximity, ironizing national borders and recognizing the impact of personal boundaries. After five-weeks of effort, however, we were informed that the Chinese government would not approve the cultural exchange visas that would allow us to enter the country and undertake this work. As a response to these changed circumstances, we reconceptualised this series and will preview it at Red Head Gallery.
MOEZ SURANI's writing has been published internationally, including in Harper’s Magazine, The Awl, Best American Experimental Writing 2016, Best Canadian Poetry (2013 & 2014), and the Globe and Mail. He has received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, which supported research in India and East Africa, and he has been an artist-in-residence in Burma, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Taiwan, Switzerland, as well as the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada. His visual and performance works have been shown in Toronto at Theatre Passe Muraille, and internationally at the Cross Gallery in Taipei, the New Zero Arts Space in Yangon, and at Palazzolo Acreide’s city hall in Italy. He is the author of three poetry books: Reticent Bodies (Wolsak & Wynn, 2009), Floating Life (Wolsak & Wynn, 2012), and Operations (Bookthug, 2016), which is comprised of the names of military operations, and reveals a globe-spanning inventory of the contemporary rhetoric of violence. Most recently, he has been working on Heresies, a collaboration with Canadian artist Nina Leo, and a group of international perfumers, to produce a line of custom scents that operate as lyric poems and express diverse and suppressed subjectivities. Heresies was part of a winter 2018 exhibition (curated by Lisa Deanne Smith) at the Onsite Gallery in Toronto. In an investigation of mediation, image and the senses, he is currently collaborating with Nina Leo on a collection of installation work.
NINA LEO is a Canadian cross-disciplinary artist whose work examines societal shifts, the sensorial mechanisms that signal them, and how these shifts impact consciousness. Coupled with this tactile approach to ideology, is an enquiry into where political resistance begins. Leo holds an MFA in Visual Studies (Emerging Practices) from the University of Buffalo, SUNY. She has shown her work in galleries and public institutions across North America, including the Beyond/ In Western N.Y. 2010 Biennial, Kunsthaus Santa Fe (Mexico), Nuit Blanche (Toronto) and The Lobby Gallery (Chicago). She has received grants from The Canada Council for the Arts and The Ontario Arts Council as well as the 2013 Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Award for Short Prose (USA). She has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada and at the Ventspils International Writers' Residency in Ventspils, Latvia. Over the past five years, her olfactory research has developed through associations with the Monell Chemical Senses Center (P.A.) and the Institute for Art and Olfaction (L.A.). This work and research has been presented and published in Canada and abroad. Currently, she is an assistant professor within the Sculpture/ Installation department and a member of the Graduate Studies Faculty at OCAD University in Toronto.