This exhibition is a small survey of the social conditions and intellectual ethoses within which emerging artists from Toronto are creating. Scratching Where It’s Itching asks: what are the politics informing the materiality of the work displayed? What are the disruptions and conversations allowed in group shows that sample Toronto’s diversity? What are the personal and shared preoccupations resulting from the cultural flattening of Canadian multiculturalism and neoliberal sexual politics? Scratching Where It’s Itching departs from the wish to unite and recognize the multiple stances contributing to both the present and future of Toronto’s creative scene.
Works by Rouzbeh Akhbari, Sebastían Benítez, Diana Hosseini, Esmaa Adam Mohamoud, Dainesha Nugent-Palache, Lido Pimienta, Allanah Vokes, and Curtia Wright present the ways in which desires, dualities, and social myths inform both art discourses and personal points of reference. Like an itch, concerns regarding identity, positionality, and intersectionality cause a desire to scratch, which in this case becomes the need to produce art. These terms occupy the core of current art discourse for politically and socially oriented practices, and are fundamental to the articulation of issues of representation. In this exhibition, the itch is not only an annoyance or an observation originating from the artists’ socio-political awareness, but a catalyst for the dissemination of a range of conversations, like a contagious itch that is induced through visual stimuli. In the event that scratching becomes a relief to a preoccupation, it has also the power to aggravate the irritation.