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Sediment: The Archive as a Fragmentary Base

Canadian and international artists reimagine the archive as material fragments that narrate presences, proximities, and solidarities.

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Sedimentation is a geological process of settlement and solidification. Free-floating fragments come to rest at the bottom of a body of water where over time they lose their liquid content. Then gravitational pressure transforms these fragments into solid rock beds that not only become a firm base, but each layer serves as a record of human and natural activity.

The artists in Sediment: The Archive as a Fragmentary Base re-imagine the archive as material fragments that narrate presences, proximities, and solidarities. Sandra Brewster, Filipa César, Justine A. Chambers, Michael Fernandes, Louis Henderson, Pamila Matharu, and Krista Belle Stewart present image, sonic, and performance recontextualizations of state and official repositories, as well as familial and personal documents, to engage the archival image as counter-image through collapses of time, embodied memory, witnessing, and storytelling.

This presentation is an augmented version of an exhibition first produced and presented in 2023 at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University.

The exhibition is on view at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto—Justina M. Barnicke Gallery through March 23, 2024. Admission is free and all are welcome. 


Image: Louis Henderson, Bring Breath to the Death of Rocks, 2018. Super 16mm transferred to HD, 34 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.


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Contact Art Museum at the University of Toronto at artmuseum@utoronto.ca

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