FAG Feminist Art Gallery (Deirdre Logue, Allyson Mitchell, Morgan Sea and Heidi Cho)
Graphite, India ink, collage on paper
Left Panel: 46 5/8” x 22” / Middle Panel: 56 ¼ x 22” / Right Panel: 46 ¾” x 22”
Collection of the Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough
Ann MacDonald Director/Curator, Doris McCarthy Gallery The Doris McCarthy Gallery commissioned the Feminist Art Gallery (Deirdre Logue and Allyson Mitchell, with Heidi Cho and Morgan Sea) to create a work that would contribute to the ongoing discussion of sexual violence in our Canadian context, including on university and college campuses, as well as the University of Toronto Sexual Violence Policy that was implemented in January #silenceisviolence was installed in the busy atrium of the University of Toronto Scarborough s Instructional Centre, where it generated many direct conversations on campus and across on-line platforms. The Doris McCarthy Gallery is grateful to the artists and to their associates for creating and sharing their outspoken and outraged representations of viable and collective responses to the realities of rape culture. In response, Zoe Whittall, has contributed a personal essay that speaks to years of frustration, yet concludes with the hope that can be found in the young women who reject status quo and relentlessly oppose oppression.
FAG states: In anticipation of this policy, and with the knowledge that this policy and the process of its creation and implementation will be flawed, and its outcomes fraught, still we have hope that because of centuries of activism insisting on justice for survivors and the annihilation of rape culture, the most marginalized people will move from margin to centre. This installation includes two large murals that depict the movements and individual activists that have put pressure on institutions of education, law, government, and the media to address the conditions of toxic masculinity, white supremacy, colonialism, and other structural inequalities that breed and even encourage sexual violence. The activists represented here flank the centre mural, which depicts the university itself and the complicated relationships that individuals and communities have as insiders, outsiders, perpetrators, survivors, and policy-makers: a collective body that comes together for the project of learning and problem-solving and has great potential to decolonize curriculum, centre survivors, and support those who are most marginalized. Unfortunately, this isn t always or even usually the case, and it is up to us to stay vigilant to hold together, make space for voices to make change, and insist on socially just accountability in structured and everyday ways.
External Media for this project:
Allyson Mitchell, Morgan Sea and Deirdre Logue working in the Feminist Art Gallery (Heidi Cho, not pictured)
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Heidi Cho is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto. She self-publishes comics and zines about being a queer Korean navigating family and mental health. Her work has appeared in C Magazine, Shameless, and Peak Magazine. She has interned with FAG Feminist Art Gallery, as well as Red Dress Productions. She is currently working on a graphic novel about intergenerational trauma and healing.
Mandi Gray attempts to intersect empirical research, activism, art, and humour to critically examine and discuss issues of sexual violence in her work. Gray’s writing about her own sexual assault and subsequent legal battles has appeared in NOW Magazine and the Toronto Star. She is currently producing a feature-length documentary film titled Slut or Nut: The Diary of a Rape Trial. In her spare time, Mandi works on her PhD in the Department of Sociology at York University.
Deirdre Logue holds a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and an MFA from Kent State University. Recent solo exhibitions of her award-winning work have taken place at Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art (Winnipeg), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto; artist-in-residency), Open Space (Victoria), Oakville Galleries, the Images Festival (Toronto), the Berlin International Film Festival, Beyond/In Western New York (Buffalo), YYZ (Toronto), and articule (Montreal).
Logue has contributed over twenty-five years to working with artist-run organizations dedicated to media arts exhibition and distribution. She was a founding member of Media City, the executive director of the Images Festival, executive director of the CFMDC, and is currently the development director at Vtape. Logue has been dedicated to working at the Independent Imaging Retreat (the Film Farm) in Mount Forest, Ontario, since 1997 and directs the FAG Feminist Art Gallery with her partner/collaborator Allyson Mitchell.
Allyson Mitchell is a maximalist artist working in sculpture, performance, installation, and film. Her practice melds feminism and pop culture to investigate contemporary ideas about sexuality, politics, and the body. These articulations have resulted in a coven of lesbian feminist Sasquatch monsters, a room-sized vagina dentata, an army of genius Holly Hobbies, and a woodland utopia library of political knowledge.
Mitchell’s works have exhibited in galleries and festivals across Canada, the U.S., and Europe, including Tate Modern (London), the Textile Museum of Canada (Toronto), the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto), Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts (San Francisco), Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), the British Film Institute, Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto).
Her most recent collaboration with artist Deirdre Logue includes KillJoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House in Toronto, London, and Los Angeles. The two just completed an artist-in-residency program at the Art Gallery of Ontario, where they completed new video and sculptural work for the travelling exhibition I’m Not Myself at All. Mitchell is an associate professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at York University and runs the FAG Feminist Art Gallery with her partner Deirdre Logue.
Morgan Sea is a cartoonist from the Canadian Prairies. Her practice often blends fantasy and queer theory to create trans feminist comics, zines, and new media endeavours. Past projects include producing forty episodes of Tranzister Radio, a monthly radio show celebrating trans activism and cultural production. Sea studied video and performance art at Concordia University and ACAD. She lives in Toronto with her girlfriend and their three cats, while studying comics in a master’s program at OCAD University.