Events > Book Launch

28 Nov. 2020

Form Follows Fiction

Art and Artists in Toronto
Luis Jacob, Emelie Chhangur, Katie Lawson, Wanda Nanibush, and Parker Kay

Art Metropole is pleased to host an online book launch for Form Follows Fiction: Art and Artists in Toronto. The book is assembled by Luis Jacob, and published by Art Museum at the University of Toronto in partnership with Black Dog Press. The launch will feature a talk by Luis Jacob, followed by a conversation with Emelie Chhangur, Katie Lawson, and Wanda Nanibush, which will be moderated by Parker Kay.

How do artists in Toronto visualise their sense of place? Are there particular ‘made-in-Toronto’ ways of thinking about the city?

With work selected by internationally renowned Toronto-based artist Luis Jacob, Form Follows Fiction: Art and Artists in Toronto considers the ways in which artists visualise Toronto, throughout a period of fifty years. Presenting a thematic clustering of works by 86 artists, the book is premised on the tendency of artists in the city to favour performative and allegorical procedures to articulate their sense of place.

Four gestures—mapping, modelling, performing and congregating—serve as guideposts to a diverse array of artistic practices. The book is a constellation of symbolic forms, or memes, that repeatedly appear in the work of artists of different generations; it presents a panorama of the blueprints that artists have drafted over many decades to give form to life in one of North America’s largest cities.

Form Follows Fiction launch from Art Metropole on Vimeo.

Luis Jacob is a Peruvian-born Toronto-based artist and curator whose work destabilizes conventions of viewing and invites a collision of meanings. He studied semiotics and philosophy at the University of Toronto. Since his participation in documenta 12, Kassel, 2007, he has achieved an international reputation with exhibitions at venues such as: Museum der Moderne Salzburg, 2019; Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, 2019; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 2018; Museion Bolzano, 2017; La Biennale de Montréal, 2016; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York City, 2015; Taipei Biennial, 2012; Generali Foundation, Vienna, 2011; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, 2010; Kunstverein in Hamburg, 2008; and Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, 2008.

Emelie Chhangur is a curator, writer, and an artist. She is the newly appointed Director and Curator of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. This appointment follows a significant curatorial career at the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU). At AGYU, she led the reorientation of the gallery to become a civic, community-facing, ethical space driven by social process and intersectional collaboration and received 25 OAAG awards for her contributions in writing, publishing, exhibition-making, and public and education programming. In 2019, she won the Ontario Association of Art Galleries’ inaugural BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) Changemaker Award and in 2020, she won the prestigious Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence. She holds a Master of Visual Studies from the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto.

Katie Lawson is the Assistant Curator at the Toronto Biennial of Art. She is a graduate of the Master of Visual Studies Curatorial program at the University of Toronto, where she previously completed her Master of Arts in Art History. She has held curatorial and programming positions at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Doris McCarthy Gallery, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, bodega (NYC), and the University of Toronto. She maintains a practice as an independent curator, arts educator, and writer working within the tradition of eco- and material feminism(s). She has curated aqueous exhibitions at Y+ Contemporary, Scarborough; RYMD, Reykjavik; the Art Museum, Toronto; and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. She was the Art Editor for the Hart House Review from 2016-2019.

Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe image and word warrior, curator, and community organizer from Beausoleil First Nation. Currently Nanibush is the inaugural curator of Indigenous art and co-head of the Indigenous + Canadian Art department at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Nanibush’s recent, touring exhibitions include Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental (AGO), Sovereign Acts (Art Museum at the University of Toronto), and Nanabozho’s Sisters (Dalhousie Art Gallery). Nanibush has a Master of Visual Studies from University of Toronto where she has taught graduate courses. On top of many catalogue essays, Nanibush has published widely on Indigenous art, politics, history, and feminism and sexuality.

Parker Kay is a multi-disciplinary artist and curator currently working in Toronto, Canada. Kay’s practice investigates the systems and structures that operate within art, architecture, and media theory. Much of Kay’s work responds to an Internet-aware culture, while also exploring the effects of Network Culture, digital embodiment, and archival practices. He is also sometimes known as Pumice Raft.


Form Follows Fiction: Art and Artists in Toronto, by Luis Jacob.

  1. Form Follows Fiction