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Twinning Artists – Twinning Cities: Avalon

After four and a half years at its original location in 100 McCaul Street, Onsite [at] OCAD University will use this winter’s break to move to a new, much-expanded location at 230 Richmond Street West as part of this year’s on-going celebration of OCAD University’s 135th anniversary.

The inaugural exhibition in this new venue is the first in a series of partnerships between Canadian and foreign artists that is called “Twinning Artists—Twinning Cities,” and that was conceived of in collaboration with Partners in Art. Avalon (Bangalore and Toronto) is the first project in the “Twinning” series. To launch Avalon, Toronto’s Oliver Husain completed a residency in Bangalore this fall, during which he shot a new film titled Item Number — a backstage drama inspired by architect KM Heinz, which will premiere in Bangalore in late April. 

The Toronto exhibition of Avalon, co-curated by Shai Heredia and Charles Reeve, will introduce three highly regarded artists from Bangalore — Abhishek Hazra, Yashas Shetty and Bharathesh G D — and incorporate collaborative elements by Oliver Husain. This exhibition will explore fantasy through drama — dreams of flamboyant houses with eclectic facades — mythological imaginings of Kannada cinema — visual exploration of local micro organisms… Avalon is a place where art confronts the science of modernity.

Abhishek Hazra(Bangalore, India)
Oliver Husain Toronto, Canada)
Yashas Shetty Bangalore, India)
Bharathesh G D (Bangalore, India)

Curator’s Tour with Charles Reeve:
Thursday, February 16, 6:30 p.m.

Gallery Tour with Pamila Matharu
Thursday, March 23, 6:30 p.m.

Heinz performance by Oliver Husain
Saturday, April 14, 4 p.m.

When: Exhibition runs from Thursday January 26, 2012 to Sunday June 3, 2012
Where: at Onsite [at] OCAD U gallery’s new location at 230 Richmond Street West

More about the participants:

Abhishek Hazra is a visual artist based in Bangalore. He graduated from the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. His work explores the intersections between technology and culture through animated shorts and performance pieces that often integrate textual fragments drawn from real and fictional scenarios. He is also interested in the social history of scientific practices in colonial India.

Oliver Husain is a filmmaker and artist based in Toronto. After studying film and art in Germany and India, he was founding member of two collectives, the performance troupe Da Group and the music video production Husain Klöfkorn. His experimental films and videos often expand into the cinema or gallery space as screening performances or installations. Using multiple formats and genres, his work proposes a re-imagining of social formations and normative spaces. Recent solo exhibitions include the Art Gallery of York University and Susan Hobbs Gallery. In 2011 his work was included in shows at Portikus Frankfurt, ICA Philadelphia and the National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta.

Artist, composer and educator Yashas Shetty is an Artist in Residence and faculty at the Centre For Experimental Media Arts at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology and an artist in residence at the National Centre For Biological Sciences (NCBS). His practice includes installation, sound, software and biotechnology, and bridges art and science. He also creates dialogues between scientists, artists and the larger community. He has conducted workshops and taught in colleges in India and abroad. He is developing an open source framework and community for artists and designers working with living organisms.

Bharathesh G D is a video and performance artist based in Bangalore where he studied art history and philosophy. His practice is often based on collaboration and explores various disciplines such as installation, public art, sound, art outreach programs, and video.

In 2003, curator and filmmaker Shai Heredia founded Experimenta, an international festival for moving-image art in India that has become a significant forum for artists’ film and video. Heredia has curated experimental film programs at major venues worldwide, including the Tate Modern; the Berlin International Film Festival; the Images Festival, Toronto; EXIS, Seoul; and Light Cone’s nomadic Scratch Projections, Paris. Her latest film, I Am Micro, co-directed with Shumona Goel, has screened at the Guggenheim Museum (Berlin/NYC), the Rotterdam Film Festival, and the Images Festival.

Charles Reeve is Associate Professor of Liberal Arts & Sciences and Art at OCAD University, where he is also Curator for Onsite [at] OCAD U.

Onsite [at] OCAD U Gallery Hours:
Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

Admission to the gallery and all related events is free.