Joanna Black OISE

Sex/ism: ECHoes & 'ReVERBS' @ Ivory Towers
an exhibition by
Joanna Black

May 02 – July 1st, 2016
Opening: May 02, 5.30 - 6.30pm
Informal Discussion with Artist: 6pm
CWSE Hallway Gallery
2nd Floor, OISE 252 Bloor Street West
(Bloor & St George)


Winnipeg artist/researcher Joanna Black explores prejudice in academia in Sex/ism: ECHoes & ‘ReVERBS’ @ Ivory Towers. The abundance of articles and reports about longstanding persistent sexist problems in our universities informed the content of this work. For this exhibition in particular, attention has been given to the University of Toronto (U of T).

Sexism at U of T was established in the university's founding year, 1850. Its illustrious professor and president John McCaul firmly exclaimed at the time that the university doors would never be open to women in his day! (Canadian Encyclopedia, 2016). Even though the doors have been opened – and indeed during his day no less! – today’s glass ceiling remains intact: existent sexist attitudes are prevalent, and old boys’ networks stand strong at universities across Canada and internationally (ACPPU Bulletin, March 2016).

For this exhibit, images are made using a stream-of-consciousness approach, in which text and imagery interact. Appropriation, multi-layering, ‘gazing’, and contextualization are used to create montages in which digital photographs are interlaced with grouped text and digital screen shots. The mundane, ubiquitous computer screen is stilled and magnified making it more distant and unfamiliar.

Black’s intent, in using this approach, is also to address the challenges resulting from the democratization of photography: our society has created streams of cheap imagery and easily accessible digital multi-modal texts. This results in an image proliferation or what Bielicky (2008) calls, ‘cultural pollution’. We often do not take the time to gaze at these fleeting digital images.

We live in an era where so many images proliferate in our culture yet we have saved so few. Creating playfully montaged, layered, and appropriated digital texts, by using humor, and by paying homage to the well-known feminist artist group, The Guerrilla Girls, Black highlights sexism within our academic walls.

Joanna Black is an emerging artist from Winnipeg Manitoba. She recently collaborated with ARTIFACTS artists, Pam Patterson & Leena Raudvee and Miklos Legrady as performance artist/composer/interpreter in/for Babble (Babel) at Hart House, U of T, 2013/14. Black works in traditional and new media specifically with video, photography, painting, blogs spaces, computerized art and sound developing arts-informed research. Black is a professor at the University of Manitoba cross-appointed with the Faculty of Education and School of Visual Arts. She has exhibited her work in the United States and Canada.


WIA - CWSE
web page by Miklos Legrady






Sex/ism: ECHoes & 'ReVERBS' @ Ivory Towers
click on pictures to view a larger size


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