Curated by Valentine Umansky
Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum explores the notion of nomadism via alter egos. The works of this Botswana-born, Toronto-based artist reflect the idiosyncrasies of her upbringing across three continents, while discussing broader notions of time and place. Shifting transnational identities swim and pool in her various drawings, gouaches and graphite wood panels. In these ephemeral scenes, her avatars collectively cobble alternate worlds and communities which her frescoes and videos further elaborate. Fluidity is the core of Sunstrum’s work: a fluidity of space, which leaves in question the exact geographies of the backgrounds she invents; a fluidity of being, allowing space for both the physical and the metaphysical realms; a fluidity of time, where avatars and embodiments escape particular geographies to float between worlds. As one of her essays aptly describes, her work is about leaping outand liminality. Together, the works boldly declare that maintaining fluidity can be synonymous with entering radical spaces. Defying time and location, they conjure political utopias and offer future, alternative possibilities. Employing fluidity as a counterpoint to rigid conservatism, Sunstrum’s tableaux are both airy and grounded in the political. They command an attention to fluid meanings; an embrace of flux, in-betweens and confusions. In so doing, they induce conversations about migration, borders, invisible matters or post-colonialism proposing a reevaluation of the radical role of imagination
The exhibition will present the largest display of works by Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum to date, and will be accompanied by the launch of the first monograph devoted to the artist’s work, co-published with Tiwani and Gallery MOMO (UK/South Africa.)
Exhibition Date: July 12 through October 27, 2019
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