Artist Talk & Meal Shellie Zhang as part of MONTRÉAL MONOCHROME VI: SANCTUARY CITY?
Shellie Zhang is interested in flushing out the realm of possibilities that food can offer for reclaiming culture and space, and resisting white supremacy. She will present her research process on Accent, a three-part project that examines the history of MSG from before it came to the western world, to its antagonization and now subsequent revival. She will use MSG as a metaphor in reflecting on who the authority voices behind ‘ethnic’ foods are and how she sees hope in shifting this narrative through art. She will also highlight artists whose work around food, advocacy and resistance has shaped her optimism.
Shellie Zhang is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto/Tkaronto, Canada. She is a recipient of grants such as the Toronto Arts Council Visual Projects grant, and the Canada Council Project Grant to Visual Artists. Recent projects include a residency at the Art Gallery of Ontario with EMILIA-AMALIA, the 2017 Creative Time Summit, and an ongoing year-long peer mentorship program with Whippersnapper Gallery. By uniting both past and present iconography with the techniques of mass communication, language and sign, her work deconstructs notions of tradition, gender, identity, the diaspora, and popular culture while calling attention to these subjects in the context and construction of a multicultural society. She is interested in exploring how integration, diversity and assimilation is implemented and negotiated, how this relates to lived experiences, and how culture is learned and relearned.
Montréal Monochrome is an annual event which aims to address the mis- and under-representation and systemic oppression of marginalized groups in Montréal’s contemporary art milieu. The event works toward imagining and nurturing new and existing bonds, solidarities and friendships between Indigenous artists, thinkers and cultural workers and their racialized allies. This sixth edition of Montréal Monochrome wishes to explore the different meanings and socio-political ramifications that the concept of “sanctuary city” includes or suggests, especially if it is used to speak to notions of an unceded Indigenous territory. What does the city of “Montréal” represent for its inhabitants? A land of opportunity or the continuation of a colonial project? If not a sanctuary for its inhabitants, how can the city generate its own safe spaces? How do people belonging to marginalized communities develop their own survival strategies, self-protection, and self-care? The projects of this sixth edition speak to themes of sanctuary city, the sacred, the colonial project of Canada, and the right of peoples to self-determination.
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articule thanks our partner Programme Montréal Interculturel (PMI).