Curating the Self: Joni Low
The malleability of identity then and now

March 31, 2016

Or Gallery is pleased to present a talk by independent curator Joni Low for the final instalment of our Curating the Self lecture series.


Low will share her interests in the metaphor of the archive, the ways in which material accumulations perform identities and selves, and the virtual commons as a space of expressive possibility. Drawing on the idea of the archive as an extension of the self, she will discuss past curatorial projects including Fountain: the source or origin of anything, a public art and web project by Laiwan, and Hank Bull: Connexion, an exhibition of collected material traces of life lived as art, currently touring across Canada. She will also screen examples from 1970s performance and video art – including Kate Craig’s Flying Leopard and Norman Cohn’s How We Lived – reflecting on artistic strategies around the malleability of identity then, the performance of selves in our networked digital now, and the shaping of curatorial frameworks around what artists choose to reveal and conceal.


Following this lecture, Or Gallery will host a reading group focused on an essay selected by Low from Hito Steyerl’s Wretched of the Screen (Sternberg Press, 2012). The reading group will take place at the Or on Wednesday April 6 at 7PM. Space is limited so please RSVP.


Curating the Self is a lecture series that explores the construction of identity in relation to the discipline of curating as well as the many forms of cultural assemblage that have lately begun to appropriate and adapt curatorial strategies for their own purposes.

Participant Bios

Joni Low is an independent curator and writer committed to building conversations around interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives. Recent exhibitions include Hank Bull: Connexion (2015-2017, Charlottetown, Montréal, Halifax and Burnaby), Fountain: the source or origin of anything, a public artwork by Laiwan (2014, The Wall: CBC Plaza) and Idle Wild: DRIL art collective (2012, Café for Contemporary Art). She has written for catalogues and publications including Canadian Art, C Magazine, The Capilano Review, Fillip, and Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art. A member of Other Sights for Artists’ Projects and the Doryphore Independent Curators’ Society, Low has held positions at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Long March Space Beijing, and Centre A.