press release

June 6–October 2, 2022

I am land
Part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022

I am land is a three-part exhibition series that explores the role of the artist as a chronicler. Many artists have a deep interest in representing the past, exploring the present, and imagining the future. This series and its public programs highlight and celebrate how individuals and communities have the power to create their own histories.

This exhibition brings attention to stories that come directly from the land. Engaging with storytelling practices specific to a certain place, the artworks in this show highlight history-making as a site-specific exercise. I am land that speaks is the third and final chapter of the I am land exhibition series that considers how artists take on the role of chroniclers. From Eric Gallardo’s and Tania Willard’s collaboration with and acknowledgment of other-than-humans, to Lisa Myers’s, MADEYOULOOK’s, and Chris Mendoza’s exploration and criticism of land development and private property, the show reflects on the destructive relationship we continue to have with our environment while also proposing changes that will improve our collective existence. It also expands on the work of the chronicler by opening up time into non-linear explorations of the future, with artists Alvin Luong and Cannupa Hanska Luger presenting documents of speculative futures. Exploring embodied connections to land, this exhibition also includes off-site gardens and virtual programs that involve participatory and community-based methods for learning and growing together. I am land brings up ideas of public history and empowers collective history-making, demanding that our public spaces reflect our past, present, and future.

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Maya Wilson-Sanchez is a curator and writer based in Toronto. She has worked in numerous galleries and museums, including the AGO, Gallery TPW, and MKG127, and has curated exhibitions at Xpace Cultural Centre, the Royal Ontario Museum, Pride Toronto, and the Art Gallery of Guelph. Their essays, reviews, and exhibition texts can be found in various publications including The Senses and Society Journal, Canadian Art, Contemporary HUM, and the book Other Places: Reflections on Media Arts in Canada. In 2019, she was an Editorial Resident at Canadian Art and a Curatorial Resident at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. The 2020 recipient of the Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators and a 2021 participant at the Tate Intensive, she also teaches in the Criticism and Curatorial Practice program at OCAD University and is the Associate Editor at C Magazine.