When I Touch You,

Co-curated with Adam Bierling

February 28-March 7, 2020, at the Ada Slaight Student Galleries, OCADU, Toronto, ON for the Feminist Art Festival (March 5-7, 2020)


Photo documentation by Marcus Marriott
Curatorial statement by Adam Bierling

In a world where the word feminist may be a part of daily conversation, where the subversive is becoming the mainstream, we have to ask ourselves, what is feminist? Is it an easy word to use to make one seem more political? Does it deal simply with individual experiences, and instagramable phrases, or is there something more to it?

The exhibition title When I Touch You, references writing from Erin Manning, “when I read to touch you, I touch not the you who is fixed in space as pre-orchestrated matter/form. I touch the you that you will become in response to my reaching toward” (87).  Manning shows that we are not simply individuals, we are complex people whose being in the world is forever changing depending on who and what is around us. This quote also points to a rethinking of leader/follower relationships- what happens when we disrupt that dynamic and see everyone as having something to share, as being able to “touch” each other? When I Touch You, proposes that what shapes a feminist way of thinking is a commitment to deep observation of our relationships, in order to understand and then subvert the power dynamics at play.

The artists shown explore the questions, how do we move through the world? How do I affect those around me, and how am I affected in turn? Who do I become when I am touched by others? Who do they become in response?

Manning, Erin, Politics of Touch: Sense Movement, Sovereignty, University of Minnesota Press, 2006.

In Association with the Feminist Art Collective fore the Feminist Art Fest Funded in part by the Slaight Family Foundation