Views on the 4th

Our speaker series hosts racialized artists, curators and arts administrators from Toronto who share their views on themes relevant to their work. Elucidating the politics behind art production, these talks highlight SAVAC’s commitment to critically examine contemporary issues and promote research-based artistic practices in the arts. The talks will bring feature community members from different stages in their career – from emerging artists to established curators.

Invited speakers will present on the 4th.  Occurring on the 4th of selected months and held in the new collaborative working space on the 4th floor of 401 Richmond (The Commons), the series stays true to its name. Guest artists will be announced a month before the scheduled talk on our website, quarterly, and social media.


Sameer Farooq

4 April 2017 at 7pm

Amy Fung

4 October 2017 at 7pm

Deepali Dewan

4 December 2017 at 7pm

Maha Maamoun

4 March 2018 at 5pm

Suspension of Disbelief

“While journalism reports and fiction reveals, aesthetic journalism does both.” – Alfredo Cramerotti

Visual artist Sameer Farooq will present his views on the topic of art as reporting to inaugurate our new speaker series, Views on the 4th. This theoretical and philosophical discussion will expand on a reoccurring tendency among contemporary artists to employ aesthetic journalism as a strategy of recounting historical, political, and personal events. This form of experimentation in the arts encourages viewers to decipher fact from fiction while also considering intentions of the author/artist. Sameer will meditate on the place of the imagination in reframing truth telling and its visual consequences. This topic is particularly timely as popular discourses are preoccupied with debates around veracity. As facts and fictions are being blent, viewers are asked to consider: who has the privilege of representing the truth, and who has the privilege of receiving it?

Sameer Farooq completed an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2014) and a BFA from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam (2005). His interdisciplinary practice investigates tactics of representation and enlists the tools of installation, photography, documentary filmmaking, writing and the methods of anthropology to explore various forms of collecting, interpreting, and display. Upcoming projects include an ambitious public installation at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, a residency with Open Studio, Toronto, and an exhibition inaugurating the University of Reno’s new arts centre. He has exhibited internationally and nationally at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), the Art Gallery of York University, Maquis Projects (Izmir), Blackwood Gallery (Mississauga), Trankat (Tétouan, Morocco), Sol Koffler Gallery (Providence), Artellewa (Cairo), and Sanat Limani (Istanbul). Reviews and essays dedicated to his work have been included in C Magazine, The Washington Post, BBC Culture, Hyperallergic, Artnet, The Huffington Post, Canadian Art, and others. Farooq has been awarded several grants from the Canada Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and the Europe Media Fund, as well the President’s Scholarship at the Rhode Island School of Design.

South Asian Visual Arts Centre
401 Richmond St W. # 450
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8

4 April 2017
6:30pm – Snacks
7:00pm (sharp!) – Talk

Before I was a critic, I was a human being.

A reading and talk by Amy Fung

In addition to reading an excerpt from her forthcoming book-in-progress, Amy Fung will discuss the background of her new project and the research she has undertaken so far across this country we call Canada. Going into official and unofficial histories from institutional archives, oral histories, and gossip, the new work is a creative non-fiction treatment of the violence of white supremacy in the Canadian art world.

This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.

Amy Fung is a writer, researcher and curator currently based in Toronto, Canada, with a specialization in criticism, poetics, and the moving image. Fung has published her writings in Canadian Art, Art Papers, C Magazine, Fuse, and Frieze, among other publications and is a co-founder of MICE Magazine. Fung’s independent curatorial projects have included a two-day reading series featuring Maria Fusco, Eileen Myles, Lynne Tillman, and Jacob Wren co-presented by Artspeak, the Western Front and 221A in Vancouver; and “They Made A Day Be A Day Here,” a touring exhibition at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, the Mendel Art Gallery, and the School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba. Most recently, Fung was the Artistic Director of IMAGES Festival, Toronto for 2015 – 2017. She is currently writing her first book, forthcoming 2019.

South Asian Visual Arts Centre
401 Richmond St W. #450
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8

4 October 2017
6:00pm – Meet and Greet
7:00pm (sharp!) – Talk

(Dis)assembling the Archive

Based on the premise that assembling an archive is also an act of taking it apart, Deepali Dewan will talk about her curatorial work building an Asian photography collection at the ROM and the various projects that have come out of it. The collection explores the practice and evolution of photography in India through key photographers, images, styles, technological advances, and other important “moments” in its evolution, including its gaps, unknown photographers, and histories that cannot be recovered.

An art historian with a special interest in the visual cultures of South Asia and its diasporas, Dewan will highlight her current research interests, focusing on the history and theory of photography, as a way to explore the intersections of image-making, colonialism and modernity.

Deepali Dewan is the Dan Mishra Curator of South Asian Art and Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. She is the author of books and articles on photography and India and, most recently, the Lead Curator of The Family Camera exhibition. 

South Asian Visual Arts Centre
401 Richmond St W. # 450
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8

4 December 2017
Reception at 6:30pm, Talk at 7pm

Maha Maamoun

In partnership with Critical Distance, we are pleased to bring Cairo-based artist Maha Maamoun to Toronto for an artist talk as part of SAVAC’s Views on the 4th. Maha will present a broad view of her work, primarily based in video and photography, and unpack her interest in the circulation and function of images in vernacular culture, reframing these as tools for critical insights and analysis.

Maha Maamoun has exhibited her work internationally in biennials and exhibitions at such venues as the Sharjah Art Foundation, New Museum, Berlinale 64, Tate Modern, 9th Gwangju Biennale, Witte de With, MoMA NY, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Haus der Kunst. She is a co-founder of the independent publishing platform Kayfa-ta and a founding board member of the Contemporary Image Collective (CiC), an independent non-profit space for art and culture in Cairo.

South Asian Visual Arts Centre
401 Richmond St W. # 450
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8

4 March 2018
Reception at 5:00pm, Talk at 5:30pm

Suite 450
401 Richmond St. W.
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

1 (416) 542-1661

Monday - Thursday
10am - 4pm


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