GUT_BRAIN 1: Destructive Desires and Other Destinies of Excess

GUT_BRAIN 1: Destructive Desires and Other Destinies of Excess

Blackwood Gallery at University of Toronto Mississauga

September 5, 2023
GUT_BRAIN 1: Destructive Desires and Other Destinies of Excess
Part one
September 5–November 15, 2023
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Blackwood Gallery at University of Toronto Mississauga
University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga Ontario L5L 1C6

T +1 905 828 3789
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Curated by Irmgard Emmelhainz and Christine Shaw

With Mónica Arreola, Adrián Balseca, Rebecca Belmore, Miguel Calderón, Tania Candiani, Patricia Domínguez, Gauri Gill, Regina José Galindo, Tala Madani, Dafna Maimon, Marisa Morán Jahn, Yoshua Okón, Daniela Ortiz, Teresa Serrano, Joseph Tisiga, Laureana Toledo with Irma Pineda, Couzyn van Heuvelen, Miguel Ventura, Alberta Whittle, and Lorena Wolffer with Kira Sosa Wolffer.

GUT_BRAIN is an exhibition series inspired by the primary movements of the digestive system: ingestion, propulsion, mechanical breakdown, chemical digestion, absorption, and elimination. Staged in six movements in sites between Mississauga, Canada and Oaxaca, Mexico, the project will move from injury to potential, from separation to symbiosis, from damage to possible futures.

As earth’s metabolic rhythms have been made to converge with anthropocentric needs and desires, the nutrient cycling process has been disrupted, leading to environmental catastrophe. Our bodies-minds are mirroring what is happening in nature: environmental devastation is reflected in our diminishing microbiomes creating an epidemic of inflammatory diseases. We remain mirrors of the natural world: or rather, of the modified versions that we ourselves have created. Part of the devastation is related to the 20th Century war against bacteria and microbes for which antibiotics and pesticides were invented, a mission intrinsically linked to colonialism’s desire to modernize, valorize, and purify. In this context, we must bear in mind that our condition is currently that of ‘posthumans’: forever chemicals, pesticides, plastics are part of our bodies now as much as of our ecosystems. How can we conceive of possible futures considering the inevitable and lethal fusion of the technosphere and the biosphere? How are artists imagining epistemological breaks towards possible futures?

Connecting artists, scholars, and activists from across the Americas and beyond, GUT_BRAIN acknowledges injurious forms of interdependency and imagines desiring differently: micro and planetary eroticism, making kin, holistic health, community-organized stewardship, and an erasure of the categorical distinctions between humans, animals, systems, seeds, plants, bodies of water, and bacteria.

GUT_BRAIN 1: Destructive Desires and Other Destinies of Excess
The first movement, Destructive Desires and Other Destinies of Excess, materializes at the mouth. As a site of ingestion, sexuality, sustenance, and language, the mouth tracks the origins and symptoms of injurious forms of interdependency that have led to our toxic world. This two-part movement focuses on artists who recognize that modern technologies at the center of a project of future worldmaking are linked to destructive desires, toxic masculinity, feminicide, dependency on fossil fuels, land dispossession, chemical contamination, wasted and remaindered populations, and the colonial technosphere to sustain life. Other destinies of excess will be taken up in part two of GUT_BRAIN 1.

In the Blackwood galleries: Tania Candiani, Daniela Ortiz, Joseph Tisiga, Miguel Calderón

In the UTM food court: Couzyn van Heuvelen

In the UTM campus lightboxes
Cycle 1: Adrián Balseca, Mónica Arreola, Yoshua Okón, Gauri Gill
Cycle 2: Tania Candiani, Regina José Galindo, Rebecca Belmore, Laureana Toledo with Irma Pineda

Related programs
October 7: Video program

Small World Music Centre, 180 Shaw St, Toronto
With works by Tala Madani, Patricia Domínguez, Laureana Toledo, Miguel Ventura, Yoshua Okón, Paloma Contreras Lomas, Teresa Serrano, Adrián Balseca, Regina José Galindo, Alberta Whittle, Marisa Morán Jahn, Ignacio Acosta.

November 9: Performance
Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St W, Toronto
With Lorena Wolffer and Kira Sosa Wolffer.

See full details about the video and performance programs on our website.

GUT_BRAIN 1: Destructive Desires
and Other Destinies of Excess is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the University of Toronto Mississauga. Christine Shaw’s research was supported in part by a Curatorial Research Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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Blackwood Gallery at University of Toronto Mississauga
September 5, 2023

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