This just in from my York email account:
"The Centre for Culture and Leisure #1 closes with Emelie Chhangur’s exhibition this Saturday July 21st at 5 pm.
Passing for White, Passing for Black (or something in between) divides the space of the Centre for Culture and Leisure #1 into an exhibition space and resource centre featuring three new videos by Toronto artist Emelie Chhangur and information on the Cultural Minister of Brazil, Giberto Gil.
Passing for White, Passing for Black (or something in between) will be open today 1-5 pm and tomorrow, noon - 5 pm.
PASSING FOR WHITE; PASSING FOR BLACK IN SÃO PAULO, 2007
A first generation Canadian, who passes for black in her home country, finds herself passing for white in Brazil. In a performance for the camera, Chhangur perpetuates this position as she seeks to explore (albeit awkwardly) a suitable black cultural expression for this position (as a ‘white’ girl might try) by singing along with Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”. While Marley represents one of the first musicians to encourage black Americans (south, central, and north) to reconnect with their African roots, it is evident in this performance (out of tune singing and out of beat finger snapping) that Chhangur is neither black nor white, but brown; she can neither borrow from another culture nor be the representation of one for others.
DRIVING THROUGH THE RAINFOREST; ON THE WAY TO THE BEACH; OUT OF SÃO PAULO, 2007
Three friends, one Canadian on ‘vacation in Brazil’, a Brazilian Canadian, and a Native Brazilian, drive through the mountains and parts of the surrounding areas of one of the world’s most unique tropical rainforest landscapes on the way to the beach. Along the ride we learn as much about the surrounding physical landscape – the most polluted city in the world, the highways, and incinerators, smoke stacks and mountain tunnels – as we do the less obvious cultural landscape. Leisure becomes a lesson in which to learn about shared cultural tourism, teaching us more about ourselves than the cultures that shape us as individuals.
SÃO PAULO BUILDINGS AT DAWN, 2007
From a building on Avenida Paulista, the financial district of São Paulo, the camera captures the skyscape looking out toward the sun as it rises through the buildings in the early morning. Ziggy Stardust plays faintly in the background. When the sun comes up, the video ends; a new day begins.
The Resource Room
Built into the exhibition space is a second room that hosts a resource centre with information, music, and images of Brazil’s Cultural Minister and legendary musician Giberto Gil.
Information on Giberto Gill
The military leaders who ruled Brazil for two decades of Dictatorship considered Gilberto Gil's music subversive. He was sent to exile in 1968.
Today, as cultural minister, he is one of the country's most visible diplomats and cultural spending has increased over 50% since his term.
The 64-year-old musician, originally from Bahia, Salvador, Brazil has a career that spans four decades, covering rock, the beats of Bossa Nova and everything in between. His cover of “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley introduced Brazil to Reggae.
Gil has often received inspiration from politics. He co-founded Tropicalia — an avant-garde movement that melded musical styles — with longtime collaborator Caetano Veloso in the 1960s.
Gil passes for artist and politician, transgressor and policy maker, black and white, and throughout his career, everything in between.
It is out of enormous respect that information on his work and life is included here. We hope Toronto is ready to rock and roll, Brazilian style!
For more information….
The Centre for Culture and Leisure No. 1
83 Elm Grove, Unit 102
Wednesday - Friday | 1pm-5pm
Saturday | 12pm -5pm"
Emelie Chhangur is an assistant curator at the Art Gallery of York University.
I'm stuck in essay-land this weekend, so if anyone gets a chance to check this out tomorrow, feel free to share your thoughts on her art, her subject matter and anything else that strikes your fancy at her show. It sounds like her videos are very thought-provoking.
Support local artists!