Jessica Karuhanga, "Carefree, Fine and Mellow," 2016.

Jessica Karuhanga, “Carefree, Fine and Mellow,” 2016.

Saturday, 23 July 2016, 9 PM

As part of JOUEZ @ BIG On Bloor Festival of Arts and Culture, Trinity Square Video will be presenting a new performance work by Jessica Karuhanga, as well a short program of films in collaboration with Mercer Union.

Jessica Karuhanga’s Carefree, Fine and Mellow (2016) is a performance work that considers the force of language in shaping our understandings of the world. The term “carefree” draws from a hashtag that is simultaneously embraced and revoked, while “fine and mellow” riffs off a lamentation. Karuhanga will enact a series of movements in response and re-action to an assemblage of public videos found on various social media platforms archived through the hashtags #carefreeblackgirl and #carefreeblackboy.


Fraser McCallum's "Come Live with Us," still from video, 2016.

Fraser McCallum’s “Come Live with Us,” still from video, 2016.

Following this, in partnership with Mercer Union, TSV will also be presenting a screening of video works. Mercer Union will be showcasing recent works by artists Bridget Moser and Jon Sasaki. More information can be found here. Trinity Square Video will reflect on the history of Bloor Street, presenting historical and contemporary interpretations of Rochdale College, Toronto’s infamous experiment in alternative education and communal living, which opened in 1968 and closed seven short years later.

Raphael Bendahan’s Rochdale College 1970 (1970) is a portrait of Bloor Street’s Rochdale from deep within it. Bendahan paints the College as an experiment with new ideas and ways of living that simultaneously confront conventional pressures to live within an old, dead civilization and its structures. The results, perhaps inevitably, are steeped in confusion and angered disillusionment. Bendahan’s film proposes that the new ideas and ways of Rochdale, which were not allowed time to evolve and produce positive results, were smothered for the sake of convenience and convention.

Fraser McCallum’s Come Live With Us (2016) exhumes and critically examines this history. Made up of site visits to the former College site, meetings with residents and artworks responding to Rochdale’s visual culture, this video considers the conditions of possibility that first allowed the College to be formed, as well as its place in Toronto history. Come Live With Us reflects on Rochdale’s archive from a positioning that is emphatically within the contemporary university. Forming a dialogue between past and present, university and free college, McCallum uses technological reproduction as a means of reanimating the forms of life tried out at Rochdale College.

Between the two videos, a portrait emerges of some of Bloor Street’s lurid history, asking questions about what the passage of time erases or, conversely, makes visible.

Thanks to Maximilian Suillerot for his assistance in programming this screening, and to Pleasure Dome and Art Metropole for their structural support.

Further information about JOUEZ @ BIG On Bloor Festival of Arts and Culture programming can be found here.


Jessica Karuhanga is a Toronto-based artist working in drawing, video and performance. She holds BFA from Western University and a MFA from University of Victoria. Her visual art has been presented at various centres internationally including Goldsmiths, The Royal Conservatory, Deluge Contemporary Art, Whippersnapper Gallery, OCAD University, Videofag, Nia Centre for the Arts and The Drake Hotel. Karuhanga was featured in FADO Performance Art Centre’s 2014 Emerging Artist Series. She has lectured for The Power Plant, Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum as well as New York University’s Black Portraitures Conference Series.

Raphael Bendahan‘s films and videos have been shown nationally and internationally in various venues. He has taught photography, film and video production at The Okalakatiget Society in Nain, Labrador, the Fine Arts program of Concordia University and the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal. Currently he divides his time between Toronto and Montreal.

Fraser McCallum is an interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto. He holds a Master of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto (2016), was a recent participant in the Demos: Life in Common residency at the Banff Centre (2015), and a research fellow for the Curatorial Incubator program at Vtape (2013).

Mercer Union, A Centre for Contemporary Art is an artist-run centre dedicated to the advancement of contemporary art. We provide a forum for the production and exhibition of Canadian and international contemporary art and related cultural practices. We pursue our primary concerns through critical activities that include exhibitions, lectures, screenings, performances, publications, events and special projects.


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