Library, Archives and Bookstore
September 7 – December 11, 2021
Curated by Charlotte Beyries and Anna Douglas
What are you reading? is an exhibition developed from an inquiry into written materials and visual articulations. After spending dedicated time with Union Gallery archives, student curators Charlotte Beyries and Anna Douglas have drawn connections between Union Gallery's historical newsletters, past exhibitions, publications and exhibition catalogues. This exhibition proposes space and time to think deeply about reading lists. As a curated space that celebrates the work of students, artists, writers, and art specialists, What are you reading? blends together texts, archival objects and images to delve into the relationship between scholarship and visual culture.
In this first iteration of an ever-evolving installation, the curators have proposed a resolve to spark dialogue between a curation of images, gallery objects and texts that are visually, thematically or conceptually related. What are you reading? aims to examine modes and forms of presentation, observation, cataloguing, curation and interaction in the recontextualized display of a library or archive's holdings. The curatorial project asks: how are you spending your time? What books and materials are you consuming? What words and images have stuck with you lately? What can be drawn in relation between the words and images that stick with us?
Gallery visitors are invited to propose their own recommendations and reading lists—a book to add to the library, a poem to read aloud, a zine to share with a friend—effectively marking and building communal presence and a multitude of voices within Union Gallery’s library and archives.
In tandem with What are you reading?, we are thrilled to host a public discussion on September 29, 2021, with Tkaronto/Toronto-based writer and editor, Esmé Hogeveen. This talk will reflect Esmé’s thoughts on cultivating an independent writing practice and some of the delights, challenges and compromises germane to contemporary art writing and publishing. Curiosity and question-asking are at the forefront of Esmé’s practice. Looking to engage students and emerging art writers, she will also propose strategies for developing dynamic research questions that can inform seeing and thinking about art, querying one’s own perspective, and then potentially pitching and writing for different audiences.
Originally from Montreal, Charlotte Beyries is a third-year art history student at Queen’s University. During her previous degree in Fine Arts, she developed a personal artistic practice and a deeper understanding of the artistic process behind artworks. Her volunteer work with Union Gallery and employment at Agnes Etherington Art Centre as a Collections Research Assistant has furthered her interest in museum archives and collections management.
Anna Douglas is an art history student at Queen’s University. Prior to her time at Queen’s, she completed a bachelor’s degree in Gender and Women’s Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax. In her academics, she is interested in the relationship between technology and art. She is currently working on a research project that analyzes artistic interventions that visualize the ways the human body and technology interact with one another.
What are you reading? is Charlotte and Anna's first curatorial project. Both curators share a passion for books and visual culture.
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