We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time

TS Elliot, excerpt from The Four Quartets


The artists in Arrivals and Departures examine transitional moments, from falling asleep to crossing the globe. Cycles of migration, dislocation and relocation are ever-present, like the tides. Starting at birth, each day is a flow of movements and discoveries, entrances and exits. The moments of a lifetime can be understood as ever evolving arrivals. Yet each new instance can likewise be situated as a departure, right up until our unknowable final exit.

 Arrivals and Departures is a hybridization of my practice as a visual and sound artist with the creative role of a curator. Across YYZ’s three exhibition spaces, I engage with others in creations / presentations where my own creative work and the work of other artists overlap, forming layers of connective tissue that invite the participating artists, and our audiences, into a conversation about boundaries, creative authorship, and exchange. It is an experiment that pushes my comfort zone as I explore what sharing can look and sound like.


Preview, Window Gallery

Photograph: Simone Haeckel

Simone Haeckel’s photos and videos infuse humour into charged questions inherent to post-human discourses, such as the impact of humans on animals, and historic notions of hierarchy between species.

Her photograph “Europlatz” serves as the exhibition’s portal, the first note in a multisensory composition about transformation triggered by moments of arrival or departure.

There is a long tradition of circus animal parades heralding the arrival of something new – the Big Show has come to town! Haekel displays an arresting image captured at a site of historic conflict, collapse, and reconstruction: Alexander Platz, Berlin. Dated in 1989, soon after the Berlin wall came down, and before the reconstruction of the united city centre, the image has new potency at this time of European conflict. The animals are tasked with enacting a tantalizing teaser, a kind of “performance advertising”. The post-apocalyptic framing, with an air of past or impending doom, juxtaposed with a delightful, family-friendly display, may invite critical questions about the potential for joyfulness and / or destruction in human actions, whether with each other, with other species, or with the planet that we all share. The animals are “marching two by two”, reminding me of the biblical tale of Noah’s Ark; the end of all things and a simultaneous fresh start. Alarmingly, the flood story is often sighted by climate change deniers as a normal, indeed ordained, occurrence.


Arrivals, South Gallery

Videos:  Feras Azzam, Janet Biggs, Sigrun Drapatz, Gerardo Montiel Klint

Augmented Piano: Eve Egoyan

Final mix of the shared audio score, sculpture: Heather Nicol

Arriving at a new destination can be a moment to examine what things have been like, and what they are about to be. What has been left behind? Has there been an invitation?

Migration is central to life for many creatures large and small, an ongoing cycle of comings and goings. Human movements, such as expeditions, colonial settler and extraction actions (among countless other motivators) have resulted in human impacts upon every corner of the planet. Our relocations have often been triggered by war, oppression, pandemics, and more recently, climate change. Hope and curiosity have also initiated travel.

Five artists who were unknown to one another have been introduced in the form of my curatorial prompt to consider “arrivals”. Their resulting new works are united in the South Gallery in ways that were unforeseen during creation.