The Blackwood, Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Rd. N.
artist / participant
09.01.2023 - 23.04.2023
- Movement Two: Ecology
Curated by Farah Yusuf
Part two of This Unfathomable Weight
When every basic system–environmental, political, economic and social–is in crisis and facing collapse, the media can be overwhelming. The sheer glut of information and misinformation circulating from trusted sources and deniers alike create an endless cycle of current events too heavy to dwell on, too extensive to fully comprehend. How do we, on a human scale, contend with all of this news?
In an effort to rouse the public out of resignation and passive acceptance of the state of the planet, Christina Battle’s series how to make sense out of the nonsensical compels viewers to pay attention to the ways our ecology is intertwined with systems of power, exchange, and extraction. Each image contains recent news headlines that focus on climate change, and also address topics like the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, conspiracy, and social uprisings. Like relics of catastrophe, the headlines are surface-level fragments and sound bites of an entangled, complex web of events and actions that have led to dire consequences.
Across the series, Battle offers prompts that seed the impulse to regain a sense of agency against fatalistic attitudes: “FOLLOW THE THREADS OF THE NETWORK,” “ATTUNE TO HOW INFORMATION TRAVELS,” “CONSIDER WHO YOU ARE IN RELATION WITH,” “OUR RELATIONSHIP IS SYMBIOTIC.” With each statement, Battle cuts through the noise of the news with strategies of empathy and criticality that foster collective resilience and action. The analogies between the natural and more-than-human world, urge viewers to recognize social and ecological relationships. These statements are not intended to be a utopian antidote, but rather achievable and persistent empowerments.
This program of images forms part two of a three-part exhibition, This Unfathomable Weight, which animates outdoor lightboxes across the UTM campus and billboards in Mississauga throughout the 2022–2023 academic year. The exhibition grapples publicly with how we make sense of living through the massive crises of recent years. Through an understanding of trauma as a psychic rupture, where meaning-making has been suspended, deferred, or displaced, the project carves out space for reparative gestures of across personal, societal and spiritual registers.
— Farah Yusuf
Each part of This Unfathomable Weight features a fifth image on a public billboard in Mississauga for the first month of the exhibition. For Movement Two: Ecology, the public billboard appears on Lakeshore Road East, east of the intersection with Lakefront Promenade, on the south side facing west, January 9–February 5, 2023.