Events > Artist Talk/Lecture

13 Jun. 2009

Public talk with Janine Marchessault and Gunalan Nadarajan

Janine Marchessault and Gunalan Nadarajan
South Asian Visual Arts Centre
2 pm

Art Metropole and SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) are pleased to present REPLYall, a collaborative online exhibition with Daniel Barrow (Winnipeg), Divya Mehra (Winnipeg/New York), Lorna Mills (Toronto), Peter Morin (Victoria) and Shaan Syed (Toronto/London, UK). REPLYall is available online at – the live online collaboration will take place from May 1, 2009 to June 11, 2009. The results will continue to be available for viewing at the REPLYall site.

To cap the exhibition, there will be an art talk with Janine Marchessault and Gunalan Nadarajan at Art Metropole on June 13, 2009 at 2 pm, titled Ephemeral Art in the Digital Age.

BA( Concordia), MFA, PhD (York)
Canada Research Chair in Art, Digital Media and Globalization
Professor: Cinema and Media Studies
Department of Film, York University

Janine Marchessault holds a Canada Research Chair in Art, Digital Media and Globalization at York University. Her research over the past five years has focused on urban space and cartographies of place, with a lens on Havana, Helsinki, Berlin and Toronto. Over the past twenty years, she has worked with the curatorial collective Public Access, to investigate new models of urban public art and has curated several large scale public art exhibitions (The Leona Drive Project, 2009 is the most recent). She is the author of Ecstatic World: Media, Humanism, Ecology (forthcoming, MIT Press); Marshall McLuhan: Cosmic Media (Sage Publications, 2005); and co-editor of Cartographies of Place: Navigating the Urban (forthcoming); Fluid Screens, Expanded Cinema (University of Toronto Press, 2007) as well as Wild Science: Reading Feminism, Medicine and the Media (Routledge, 2000). Marchessault has recently received the prestigious Trudeau Fellowship Award to support her research.

She is currently the co-curator of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche’s monumental exhibition (Museum for the End of the World).

Gunalan Nadarajan is an art theorist and curator working at the intersections of art, science and technology. His publications include Ambulations (2000), Construction Site (edited; 2004) and Contemporary Art in Singapore (co-authored; 2007), Place Studies in Art, Media, Science and Technology: Historical Investigations on the Sites and Migration of Knowledge (co-edited; 2009), The Handbook of Visual Culture (co-edited; 2012) and over 100 book chapters, catalogue essays, academic articles and reviews. His writings have also been translated into Mandarin, Indonesian, Korean, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Romanian, Serbian, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, Valencian and Spanish. He has curated twenty international exhibitions including Ambulations (Singapore, 1999), 180KG (Jogjakarta, 2002), media_city (Seoul, 2002), Negotiating Spaces (Auckland, 2004) and DenseLocal (Mexico City, 2009). He was contributing curator for Documenta XI (Kassel, Germany, 2002) and the Singapore Biennale (2006) and served on the jury of a number of international exhibitions, like ISEA2004 (Helsinki / Talinn), transmediale 05 (Berlin), ISEA2006 (San Jose) and FutureEverything Festival (Manchester, 2009). He was Artistic Co-Director of the Ogaki Biennale 2006, Japan and Artistic Director of ISEA2008 (International Symposium on Electronic Art) in Singapore.

He is active in the development of media arts internationally and has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Inter Society for Electronic Art and is on the Advisory Board of the Database of Virtual Art. Presently, he is also working on a National Science Foundation funded initiative to develop a national network for collaborative research, education and creative practice between sciences, engineering, arts and design. He is a member of several professional associations including Special Interest Group in Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH), Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), College Art Association, National Council of University Research Administrators, International Association of Aesthetics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2004, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art.

He has served in a variety of academic roles in teaching, academic administration and research for over two decades. Prior to joining U-M, he was Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies at the Maryland Institute College of Arts. He also had previous appointments as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the College of Arts and Architecture, Pennsylvania State University and Dean of Visual Arts at the Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore.

SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) is the only non-profit, artist-run centre in Canada dedicated to the development and presentation of contemporary visual art by South Asian artists. Our mission is to produce innovative programs that critically explore issues and ideas shaping South Asian identities and experiences. We encourage work that is challenging, experimental and engaged in critical discussions on visual forms and processes, and which offer new perspectives on the contemporary world.

SAVAC develops and produces exhibitions, and a range of contemporary visual art interventions and programs. SAVAC works without a gallery space, and typically in collaboration with other artist-run centres, public galleries and visual arts organizations. This collaborative process of working allows us to foster important ties with the mainstream art community, encouraging an exchange of ideas and perspectives, and increasing our organizational reach and visibility.

SAVAC’s programming is national in scope, but we are actively engaged with regional and international discussions informing the development of contemporary South Asian art. SAVAC plays a vital role in the visual arts sector in Canada by advocating for South Asian artists and culturally diverse issues and practices.

In 1993 a progressive group of artists came together to program exhibitions of contemporary visual art for Desh Pardesh, an annual multi-disciplinary arts festival in Toronto. Four years later SAVAC was formally established as an artist-run centre, producing exhibitions and contemporary art projects in collaboration with other artist-run centres.

In 2001 SAVAC was incorporated as a non-profit arts organization with Rachel Kalpana James as the Founding Director. Haema Sivanesan led the organisation as the Executive Director from 2006 – 2011. Ambereen Siddiqui was appointed Executive Director in early 2012.

Srimoyee Mitra served as the Programming Co-ordinator from 2007- 2011. Sharlene Bamboat is the current Programming Coordinator.

In 2008 SAVAC changed its name from “South Asian Visual Arts Collective” to “South Asian Visual Arts Centre.” The new name is a more accurate reflection of SAVAC’s structure as an artist-run centre, which has a membership, is board mandated and receives operational funding.

SAVAC was registered as a Charitable Organization in 2009.