June 10, 2017 - Fogo Island Arts - Belonging to a Place
June 10, 2017

Fogo Island Arts

Steffen Jagenburg, Farewell, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, 2013.

Belonging to a Place
An exhibition by Fogo Island Arts
June 22–September 23, 2017

Scrap Metal Gallery
11 Dublin St, Unit E
Toronto ON M6H 1J4


Opening: June 22, 5:30-8pm

Opening Concert: George van Dam

How do we connect with a place?
How do we belong to a plurality of places?
Are we all looking for someplace to belong?

An exhibition is a place where narratives unfold that are at once distinct from reality and intimately connected. In this capacity, Belonging to a Place: An Exhibition by Fogo Island Arts sets the stage where notions of “place” play out.

Reflections on the concept of place are put forward, examining where we feel we belong and how we relate to multiple notions of belonging. A collaboration between Art en Valise, Fogo Island Arts and Scrap Metal, the exhibition features a selection of artists who are alumni or forthcoming participants of Fogo Island Arts’ residency program. However, the works presented do not speak solely of Fogo Island but of other places as well, raising ideas on the complexity of the fabric that fashions and situates places in constant transformation.

Whether shaped by the singular experience of time spent on Fogo Island or informed by other places—physical and psychological, immaterial and imaginary—the artists’ works in the exhibition propose new ways of looking at, unlearning, and rewriting our past, present and possible futures. 

In this theatrical realm of representation and contemplation, animals, artifacts, ecology, geology, people and the political economy are the protagonists. The poetic power of place serves as a backdrop. The artists engage creatively with materials, symbols and signs that point to notions of belonging in a globalized world. 

Today, belonging somewhere, anywhere, is a topic pondered, contested and debated. Notions of place for any single individual are inextricably linked to the places she or he has been, as well as by the images and accounts of places witnessed and imagined. The works in the exhibition prompt and perform these ideas of place, of displacement, the familiar and the foreign, family and society, fantasy and our global reality.

Belonging to a Place offers insights and stories of Fogo Island, as well as of other lands, histories and cultures that converge at the point of a place. Rootedness meets multi-centeredness, the personal meets the public, the community meets the nation, and the national meets the international, global world.

Abbas Akhavan, Nadia Belerique, Marlene Creates, George van Dam, Brenda Draney, Aslan Gaisumov, Flaka Haliti, Steffen Jagenburg, Leon Kahane, Edgar Leciejewski, Jumana Manna, Sarah Morris, Kate Newby, Silke Otto-Knapp, Paul P., Joseph del Pesco, Jeroen de Rijke & Willem de Rooij, Leander Schönweger, Augustas Serapinas, Zin Taylor

Nicolaus Schafhausen, Director Kunsthalle Wien, and Strategic Director, Fogo Island Arts.

Art en Valise
Art en Valise is dedicated to introducing Canadian audiences to new ideas in the contemporary visual arts. We believe in taking risks and being experimental. Having no fixed exhibition space allows us to collaborate freely and be dynamic and flexible in our programming. Art en Valise was established by Liza Mauer, Paul Marks and Elisa Nuyten.

Fogo Island Arts
Fogo Island Arts is a residency-based contemporary art venue that supports research and production of new work for artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians, curators, designers and thinkers from around the world. FIA is an initiative of the Shorefast Foundation, a registered charity dedicated to improving the social, cultural and economic conditions on Fogo Island and other small places around the world.

Scrap Metal
Scrap Metal is a gallery founded by Samara Walbohm and Joe Shlesinger, two avid art and book collectors who decided to put their passions on exhibit. This privately funded organization is committed to presenting bold, critical and poetic contemporary art works through a carefully curated exhibition program.

Press Contact
Alexandra McIntosh, Director of Programs and Exhibitions, Fogo Island Arts:
alexandramcintosh [​at​] fogoislandarts.ca, T +1-709-266-1248

Rui Mateus Amaral, Program Director at Scrap Metal Gallery:
info [​at​] scrapmetalgallery.com, T +1-416-588-2442

Fogo Island Arts
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