Objects in Mirrors: Mexican Artists on Canadian Mining

We invited Mexican artist and founder of Soma, Yoshua Okón to talk about the harmful effects of Canadian mining in Mexico. His ideas will be presented as part of The bank, the mine, the colony, the crime: A walk for the radical imagination against Bay Street, organized by Walking Lab. This event will be part of the 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art.

Objects in Mirrors presents the work of Mexican artists who directly challenge practices and politics of foreign extraction in their country. Our objective is to introduce participants to Canadian extractivism in Latin America via the critical perspectives of artists living in directly affected areas. Participants will be given the opportunity to view visual art and performances of some of the key anti-extractivist artists in Mexico through a link to a dedicated website, sponsored by the Institute for Creative Exchange.

In this event, we will meet at Bay Wellington Tower, where Alamos Gold and New Gold have their offices in Toronto.

Yoshua Okón was born in Mexico City in 1970 where he currently lives. His work, like a series of near-sociological experiments executed for the camera, blends staged situations, documentation and improvisation and questions habitual perceptions of reality and truth, selfhood and morality. In 2002 he received an MFA from UCLA with a Fulbright scholarship. His solo shows exhibitions include: Yoshua Okón: Collateral, MUAC, Mexico City and Amparo Museum, Puebla; Yoshua Okón, Ghebaly Gallery, LA; Yoshua Okón: In the Land of Ownership, ASAKUSA Tokyo; Salò Island, UC Irvine, Irvine; Piovra, Kaufmann Repetto, Milan; Poulpe, Mor Charpentier, Paris; Octopus, Cornerhouse, Manchester and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and SUBTITLE, Städtische Kunsthalle, Munich. His group exhibitions include: Manifesta 11, Zurich; Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul; Gwangju Biennale, Korea; Antes de la resaca, MUAC, Mexico City; Incongruous, Musèe Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne; The Mole´s Horizon, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels; Mercosur Biennial, Porto Alegre; Amateurs, CCA Wattis; San Francisco; Laughing in a Foreign Language, Hayward Gallery, London; Adaptive Behavior, New Museum, NY and Mexico City: an exhibition about the exchange rates between bodies and values, PS1, MoMA, NY, and Kunstwerke, Berlin. His work is included in the collections of Tate Modern, Hammer Museum, LACMA, Colección Jumex, and MUAC, among others.

More about Yoshua Okón and his work can be found here: www.yoshuaokon.com

His comments about Canadian mining in Mexico are here:

Una nota sobre ICE en Canal 22 de México (Español)

El 4 de septiembre, Edgardo Bermejo dedicó su sección, Diáspora Cultural, al trabajo de ICE. Estamos muy agradecidos con Edgardo y con el equipo de Noticias 22 por la nota. Ustedes la pueden ver aquí:

La sección "Diáspora Cultural" de "Noticias 22". El escritor Edgardo Bermejo nos habla de la migración cultural que ha tenido México a lo largo de los años y que ahora representa a nuestro país alrededor del mundo. En esta ocasión nos presenta al mexicano Salvador Alanís, uno de los creadores del Institute for Creative Exchange en Toronto, Canadá.

#2: A Road trip that follows the beatnik movement across the country

By Nicolas Vergara

The first time that Vivian read something about gangs in Toronto was Christmas 2010, in Ireland, when she was nineteen years old and studying English Literature. The gang in question was MS-42 and its name appears in a draw that she found in one book at Temple Bar Book Market.  The name of the gang was written in a bookmark, and the complete sentence said Peace for MS-42 or something related to pigeons. In one of its corners, the bookmark also said Toronto, 2007, and something about donations or charity. 

She google the gang and found this:

In the middle of November, David Dang, nineteen, was kidnapped on his way out of a Blue Jays game. Although the street was far from deserted, there were no witnesses, except for five David’s classmates, who saw him head to a Tesla car, where a person in sunglasses was waiting for him. That afternoon, David didn’t come home and his parents filed a police report few hours later, after they had called few of his friends. When he was found, two days later, his body shows unmistakable signs of strangulation. A Greek immigrant found his body near Thomas Merton School. The greek was accused of the homicide and spent one week in a cell, at the end of which he was released. When he got out he was a broken man. He was asking for his son, and a month later they left together Canada, via Niagara, to the United States. The police report said that the Murder was made in the name of M-42.  In January 2009, five members of M-42 gang were arrested. they were accused of several murders committed after Davi’s one. 

From that day on, she became an enthusiastic follower of that gang, and set out on a quest to find more information about them. For years, she thought that Canada was a peaceful place, but she realized that was just ideology —as her professor loves to say—.  She told this story to Andres, one day that they were having a picnic. That day, they were also doing a map about On the road.  

The map looks like this one:


Poet Nicolás Vergara (Santiago de Chile, 1981), lives and works in Toronto.