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Shift Key

MOCA launched Shift Key in spring 2020 as a way to present and support more artists via our online platform and to expand our digital offerings. After curating the first 6 months, the MOCA team has invited guest curators to continue the programme with artworks that feel relevant at this moment and can be shared online to watch for free. The videos are currently posted for a period of one month. Thereafter an image and other materials remain, resulting in an archive, which exists below—in image and text—as a document of the conversations and relationships formed so far.

Shift Key is generously supported by Scotiabank.

LATEST

Samson Kambalu

A Thousand Years | Dogs See Invisible Things

November 1, 2021
 — November 30, 2021

Samson Kambalu, A Thousand Years, 2013. 50 sec″ Dogs See Invisible Things, 2016. 31″. Courtesy the artist.

A Thousand Years and Dogs See Invisible Things form part of Samson Kambalu’s ongoing “Nyau Cinema” series, a group of short films featuring spontaneous site-specific performances in public space often recorded by strangers. Each is silent and under a minute in duration. The films are informed equally by the aesthetics of early cinema and the improvised screenings Kambalu attended as a child in Malawi in the 1980s, which were often subject to power cuts.

Artist Samson Kambalu works in a variety of media, including site-specific installation, video, performance, and literature. He approaches art as an arena for critical thought and expressions of radical subjectivity and sovereignty. Kambalu is the winner of London’s 2022 fourth plinth commission in Trafalgar Square.

Tuấn Andrew Nguyễn

The Boat People

November 1, 2021
 — November 30, 2021

Tuấn Andrew Nguyễn, The Boat People, 2020. Single-channel video, 4k, Super 16mm transferred to digital, color, 5.1 surround sound. 19′46″. Courtesy the artist and James Cohan, New York.

Set at the precarious edge of humanity’s possible extinction, The Boat People follows a group of children who travel the seas and collect the stories of a world they never knew through objects that survived through time. Arriving in a coastal region formerly known as Bataan, they come into contact with the rich layers of intermingled histories and eras embedded in the land and water. They encounter objects from a refugee crisis, a world war, and some of the earliest migrations in human history. Conversing with, replicating and burning these remnants of material culture, they navigate political and spiritual forms of release of the spectres they encounter.

Tuấn Andrew Nguyễn is an artist working in video and sculpture. His practice explores strategies of political resistance by re-working historical, fictional and supernatural narratives. Nguyễn is a founding member of The Propeller Group, a cross-disciplinary platform for collective thinking and coordinated action.

Guest Curator: Carly Whitefield

What we carry forward

November 2021–February 2022

What we carry forward takes inspiration from explorations of inheritance and the public realm elaborated across GTA21’s physical and digital spaces. Unfolding over the course of four months, What we carry forward features pairings of artists’ films, videos, and animation that open up questions of legacies and spectres, ownership and agency. The programme begins with Samson Kambalu’s A Thousand Years (2013) and Dogs See Invisible Things (2016) and Tuấn Andrew Nguyễn’s The Boat People (2020), which take imaginative, cinematic approaches to engaging with material traces of the past. Allora & Calzadilla’s Returning a Sound (2004) and Theo Eshetu’s The Return of the Axum Obelisk (2009) centre acts of reclamation and repatriation, while Mona Hatoum’s Roadworks (1985) and Aura Satz’s Preemptive Listening (Part 1: The Fork in the Road) (2018) insist on maintaining representations of resilience and resistance. Cecilia Vicuña’s Paracas (1983) and Cauleen Smith’s Pilgrim (2017) close the program by animating objects and sites with the creativity and generosity of spirit of those who shaped them.

This edition of Shift Key is curated by Carly Whitefield, Assistant Curator, International Art at Tate Modern, London.

Samson Kambalu

A Thousand Years | Dogs See Invisible Things

November 1, 2021
 — November 30, 2021

Samson Kambalu, A Thousand Years, 2013. 50 sec″ Dogs See Invisible Things, 2016. 31″. Courtesy the artist.

Tuấn Andrew Nguyễn

The Boat People

November 1, 2021
 — November 30, 2021

Tuấn Andrew Nguyễn, The Boat People, 2020. Single-channel video, 4k, Super 16mm transferred to digital, color, 5.1 surround sound. 19′46″. Courtesy the artist and James Cohan, New York.

Guest Curator: Native Art Department International

Protection Spells

February–July 2021

Native Art Department International (NADI) looks to begin 2021 by extending a different view of the social function of artists or artist groups; place and belonging. NADI is a long-term collaborative project created and administered by Toronto-based artists Jason Lujan and Maria Hupfield.

Tea Andreoletti and Eero Yli-Vakkuri

Tasting is the process of comparing two or more ingredients to each other

July 1, 2021
 — July 31, 2021

Tea Andreoletti and Eero Yli-Vakkuri, Tasting is the process of comparing two or more ingredients to each other, 2021.

Three Point Nine Art Collective

Black Magic

June 1, 2021
 — June 30, 2021

Three Point Nine Art Collective, Black Magic, 2021: Ramekon O’Arwisters – Strength / The President’s Chair, 10′42″; Rodney Ewing – Ritual / Game Theory Part 2, 6′26″; Ron Moultrie Saunders – Meditation / Meditate. Rejuvenate. Regenerate, 3′48″; Jacqueline Francis – Ritual / RUN, 3′24″;  S. Renée Jones – Ritual / In/to’ Black, 3′29″.

Guest Curator: Daisy Desrosiers

September 2020–January 2021

Independent curator and interdisciplinary art historian Daisy Desrosiers’ selection looks at the poetics of slowness and the complex relationships between collective narratives and memory as modes of becoming.

The selection by Desrosiers included participation from:
Jesse Chun, David Hartt, Oliver Husain, Steffani Jemison, Erin Johnson, Kapwani Kiwanga, Celia Perrin Sidarous, Erin Shirreff and Zadie Xa.

Kapwani Kiwanga

Vumbi

December 19, 2020
 — January 10, 2021

Kapwani Kiwanga, Vumbi, 2012. HD video, color, sound, 31′00″. Courtesy of the artist.

Erin Shirreff

Still

December 5, 2020
 — December 18, 2020

Erin Shirreff, Still, 2019. Colour video, silent, 39′00″ loop. Courtesy of the artist and Bradley Ertaskiran, Montreal.

MOCA Toronto

Selected by the programme team:
Rui Mateus Amaral, Sabrina Maltese and November Paynter

March-August 2020

The selection was made to present artists already working with MOCA on our digital platform and to support additional artists during the first museum closure that started in March 2020. In addition this first phase of programming included partnerships with the National Film Board of Canada, Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, Mercer Union and Protocinema.

The selection included participation from:
Basma AlSharif, Deanna Bowen, Fatma Bucak, Robin Cameron, Petra Cortright, Sara Cwynar, Shezad Dawood, Nicholas Galanin, Deniz Tortum & Kathryn Hamilton, Yazan Khalili, Vvzela Kook, Evelyn Lambart, Mark Lewis, Jon Rafman, Megan Rooney, Gun Roze, Victoria Sin, Krista Belle Stewart and Wu Tsang.

Vvzela Kook

Columbus of Horticulture

August 15, 2020
 — August 31, 2020

Vvzela Kook, Columbus of Horticulture, 2019, Animation, 5′15″.

Wu Tsang

The Shape of a Right Statement

August 1, 2020
 — August 14, 2020

Wu Tsang, The Shape of a Right Statement, 2008, HD Video with stereo sound, 5′00″. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Isabelle Bortolozzi, Berlin.