2024-2025 Projects

For this 2024-2025 year 113Research will be working with WIAprojects and Gallery 1313 on a Toronto Arts Council funded project, Transformative Access: Activating Disability Desires.

In “Transformative Access: Activating Disability Desires”, the “disabled” bodies we inhabit foreground our concerns as we, emerging and established artists/designers, curators, project leaders, and advisors, take on critical exploratory work. Here the thematic, creative forms, and community practices are embodied with our pain, frustration, confusions, limitations, desires, loves and cares.

As “disabled” people, our bodies exist in tension with the normalized expectations of ordered bodies. In "Transformative Access," we examine how our bodies’ experiences remake our worlds. In conversation with ideologies, people, policies, and structures, we ask, how can the "crip" body act, given its creative potential, be centred in these practices, and be resilient to ableism.

We ask, “What can a body do...?” But then further expand this to, “What can a body do to… “? What can a body do to architectural structures, institutional expectations, medical practices, and to the very conditions that first created inaccessibility? What can a body do to realize its desires for liberatory and intimate access, to press itself, in Czech feminist Katerina Kolarova’s words, to imagine “crip horizons” — alternative possibilities in which disability can be desirable, and the structures surrounding it, profoundly contested?

Project Venues
Two exhibition series are planned from September 1, 2024 to May 1, 2025 at 113Research, OCAD U, and in the Window Box Gallery, Gallery 1313. There will be two exhibits, each three months long for fall and winter, at 113Research, and four two-month exhibits at the Window Box Gallery.

113Research includes a four-windowed shallow vitrine gallery, an adjacent wall-mounted video screen, and a lounge area annex. The Window Box Gallery (measuring 66” H x 25” W) is located in the courtyard outside Gallery 1313’s entrance.

113Research is an independent non-university-funded gallery at OCAD U. As research-creation exhibition/project space, it poses questions that foreground practices, collaboration, and institutional growth and change. It welcomes evocative and provocative projects that generate a frisson between the institution and its public.

The Window Box Gallery, as a streetside window space, facilitates the production of innovative work by emerging and established artists and designers alike, on projects that surpass physical exhibition confines.

While these gallery spaces speak to very different communities and audiences, many similarities link them in this project in conversation and exchange. Both occupy window spaces -- liminal zones -- between the formal gallery and community. Given this, each invites a passerby’s unintentional viewing and further engagement through community outreach and programming.

Opening September 2024 Pam Patterson & Mel Rapp
Ocular Occurrences
Exhibition is in the vitrine galley, the lounge annex galley and the video gallery. 

“Ocular Occurrences" includes video and digital colour prints that deal specifically with how Patterson sees and processes images and how this is (differently) understood using medical testing modalities. What, she asks, is the disconnect between medical models and subjective experience? What can a body do to…?

Optician, eyewear designer and philosopher/writer Mel Rapp exercises his theory of the intersection of observation, memory, and language by responding in writing to Pam’s ironic images of vision. These texts accompany the colour print images.

Opening January 2025 nancy viva davis halifax

Curated by Megh Dorward

nancy halifax

born on the North shore of New Brunswick on Mi'gma'gi territory \ they resides on unceded territories on Wolostoqiyik lands \ they is a white, queer, mad, crip settler entwined within the colonial & nation building project of canada while also struggling hopefully towards decentring the normative

as a conceptual artist working within the social fabric halifax’s crip praxis uses handwork as a social practice & as a response to the pace of life ruled by extractive politics \  current work queries embodiment & modes of labour\  their work has been published by arts \ literary & academic presses

Megh Dorward 

Megh Dorward is a Kjipuktuk (Halifax)-based, Mad-identifying artist-curator-researcher. They hold an MA in Art Education and a BFA in Photography and Media Arts from NSCAD University, having earlier begun their BFA in Painting at OCAD University. They received the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) CGS Masters Award for the pursuit of their graduate research. Previously, Megh was Assistant Director at Studio 21 Fine Art in Halifax for five years, then independently represented a roster of Canadian artists online, curating pop-up exhibitions in a variety of venues. They sat on NSCAD University’s Accessibility Committee, numerous arts juries and boards, and have volunteered at not-for-profit galleries including the Khyber Centre for the Arts, and Eyelevel Gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Oct. 2024:Disability Aesthetics and Accessible Curation with Pam Patterson (moderator, Director 113Research), Cathy Cappon & Victoria Ho (ODESI, OCADU), Mason Smart (Window Box Gallery Curator, Gallery 1313), Jack Hawk (Tangled Arts & Disability and Co-Curator Window Box Gallery, Gallery 1313), Grace MacDonald (Curator 113Research). Megh Dorward (Curator, 113Research).

Winter 2025 Speakers (TBC): 

nancy viva davis halifax 

remaking the factory

within canada disability \ crip \ dada arts are complex & spectacularly uneven in their locations & articulations \ always working under \ alongside or within normative art scenes \ as a crip slow & chronic artist i am oriented differently - attending to the materiality of bodys \ i propose to talk about past & current work inviting audience support as i exhibit the limits of my embodiment with the intent to redistribute & resituate normative & formal expectations \ this impulse arises as most recently my praxis has been informed by chronic illness leaving me working alongside rather than in community

Jose Miguel Esteban

Access as Fugitive Practice: Abolitionist Provocations through Disability Arts and Culture

 Disability is always playing, doing, being outside normative exchanges of knowledge. As disability studies scholars we are tasked with finding solutions that would ensure disability inclusion within the university. Reflecting on my experiences as an instructor for an undergraduate course on disability arts and culture, I explore the possibilities and limits of fostering disability access within academic expectations of “success.” Rather than encountering access as the solution for inclusion, I return to access as a fugitive question—a critical and creative practice of navigating how to live with, in, and as trouble to normative expectations of be(long)ing within university spaces.

Megh Dorward

Activating Mad Art and Aesthetics:  Conscious Co-curating

I will share my recent research Activating Mad Art and Aesthetics: Transcending the Biomedical Gaze illuminating the complex synergies and differences between Disability Studies and Mad Studies that I contend gives grounds for a uniquely Mad-centred approach to Mad Art and aesthetics. Touching on this current research, I build upon the aforementioned premise by developing a related methodology for equitably co-curating exhibitions with fellow Mad and disabled artists and curators. Conscious co-curating—as I’ve named this modality—foregrounds and holds space for collaborators’ experiential knowledge, while it incorporates Mad Studies, Disability Arts, queer, feminist, slow-, and care-based frameworks.

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