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Esmé Hogeveen

Esmé Hogeveen holds an MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research from the Pacific Northwest College of Art and is based between Montréal and Toronto. She is a staff writer at Another Gaze: Feminist Film Journal and her work has appeared in Artforum, Canadian Art, Frieze, and Hazlitt, among others.

Laurie Kang: Her Own Devices

In Her Own Devices—an installation featuring 35 unique photograms—Kang refocuses attention on skin and permeability in a way that feels simultaneously gentle and insistent.

Age of Who?

Walking into Age of You, a group exhibition spanning two floors at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Toronto, one might fairly mistake the abundance of PVC board infographics for a slick elementary school science fair or leaked storyboards for a future season of Black Mirror. Numerous rectangular panels are suspended in rows and printed with words and images that address relationships between the digital self and techno-politics.

News From Prescient Yesterdays

Ayo Akingbade’s trilogy No News Today made me reconsider the ways in which living situations are deeply intertwined with various forms of wellness, a topic that has taken on increasing weight during pandemic times.

Rajni Perera: Traveller

Sleek, yet ornate; futuristic, yet traditional; feminine, yet androgynous. Mixed media portraits of powerful figures line the walls of Traveller, a solo exhibition by multidisciplinary artist Rajni Perera.

Bambitchell: Bugs and Beasts Before the Law

“All beasts and birds, as well as creeping things, were devils in disguise.” So whispers the narrating voiceover in Bambitchell’s experimental film installation Bugs and Beasts Before the Law. Developed with support from the Henry Art Gallery and showing for the first time at Mercer Union in Toronto, Bugs and Beasts reflects Bambitchell’s (the shared moniker of multimedia artists Sharlene Bamboat and Alexis Kyle Mitchell) interest in juridical histories.

Staging Xenophobia: The Legacy of German Iconoclast Christoph Schlingensief

Foreigners Out!, the title of Schlingensief’s art project-cum-reality television parody, was created in response to the formation of a far-right, anti-immigration Austrian coalition government the same year. Inspired by the Y2K affinity for 24/7 reality programming, Schlingensief used the Big Brother format to capture the lives of twelve real asylum seekers.

Surveying the Demos: Reviving Civic Dialogue in Astra Taylor's What is Democracy?

Though the film begins with allusions to rule and justice from Antiquity and the Renaissance, What Is Democracy? is very much about the global present.

A Rich and Revitalizing Legacy: Ephraim Asili’s The Inheritance

Ephraim Asili’s debut feature, inspired by his own youthful experiences participating in a Black Marxist collective, fuses fiction, documentary, and bold formal experimentation to exuberantly and innovatively remind us of the legacies of Black thinkers, activists, and artists.

Speaking and Recording and Broadcasting Their Truths

Over the past few years, much has been said—hastily, thoughtfully, and above all with conviction and abundant evidence—about the gendered experiences faced by women working in the film industry.

Replete and Incomplete Portraits: Documentaries at TIFF 2019

As the cinema lights come up after Cunningham, Alla Kovgan’s dazzling 3D documentary about 20th-century American dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham, the audience makes a trilling noise—it’s the rare sound of strangers noting shared delight. This is only the third day of the Toronto International Film Festival and while audience members remove their 3D glasses and decide whether to settle in for the Q&A, I wonder whether it’s too soon to consider Cunningham a festival highlight.

Rosanna Mclaughlin’s Double-Tracking: Studies in Duplicity

From fashion to architecture, interior design to website layout, mixology to vacation planning, high-low hybrids are white hot. Rather than persuade the reader of her observations’ legitimacy, Mclaughlin instead presents us with a compelling lens through which to consider the middle-class infatuation with workwear, utilitarian design, and retro aesthetics.

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The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2020

All Issues