Artists and their work
Details available in this document (in French).
Eloisa Aquino is a queer Brazilian artist established in Montréal. For nearly 30 years now, she has been making zines that address on the realities of queer Latinx people, which she explores in particular in her well-known series The Life and Times of Butch Dykes (2009). Eloisa Aquino is presenting her zine called Pajubá, in Portuguese, French and English. She will be speaking about her zine-making practice at a meet-the-artists event. This artist talk will give audiences a chance to develop a rich, nuanced understanding of the lives of people from Brazil’s sexual and gender communities.
Ianna Book is a multidisciplinary artist. She studied fine arts and visual and media arts and has worked as a graphic designer and editorial illustrator. Her works have been shown in many solo and group exhibitions since 2001. As a trans woman, her art centres on issues related to transsexuality and the urban context. Ianna Book is presenting her digital installation OK Lucid! in the Témoigner pour Agir exhibition. She will also be giving a presentation on her textual art practice at a meet-the-artist event. In this artist talk, she will tell audiences about the reactions, both private and social, of anonymous men when she discloses that she is a trans woman.
Jenn Clamen has been active in the Canadian and global sex worker rights movements since 2000. Her passion and work are centred around mobilizing sex workers into meaningful participation in policies and practices that impact on their lives. She has been an active member of Stella, Montreal’s sex worker organization, since 2002. In 2003, she co-founded the Canadian Guild for Erotic Labour and she is currently the national coordinator of the Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform, an alliance of 28 sex worker rights and allied groups across Canada. Jenn is also an educator in university and community settings, teaching on issues and realities affecting criminalized and marginalized communities, in particular around human rights, public space and poverty, women in conflict with the law and community organizing. Jenn Clamen will speak on a panel to mark International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers on December 17 entitled After C-36.
Kevin Crombie is an artist living in rural Quebec. He was an activist in the Toronto and Halifax queer scenes in the 1980s and 90s, and now uses writing as activism. His artist book, Gloss, will be featured in the Témoigner pour Agir exhibition. Kevin Crombie will give a presentation on his queer art practice at a meet-the-artist event. He will share his political and experiential view of the collective and personal struggles to defend the rights of gay communities.
Marilou Gagnon is a professor in the University of Ottawa’s School of Nursing. Her research interests include the criminalization, stigmatization and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV as well as questions related to the body, technology, and social justice. She is currently an activist in Ottawa, involved in harm reduction for people who use injection drugs. As part of Témoigner pour Agir, she will be presenting a work bringing together body maps created by a collective of women living with HIV about their experience with antiretroviral treatments and their side effects. Marilou Gagnon will be lecturing as part of the study day entitled Community-Based and Socially Engaged Art to discuss the production and reception of the work My Body, My Story.
Daniel-Claude Gendron’s academic career has led him to take interest in drawing, theatre, dramatic writing and television. Since he learned he was HIV-positive, he has oriented his efforts in the arts and in his community. In the Témoigner pour Agir exhibition he is presenting a collective work in collaboration with COCQ-SIDA that was created in 2007 at a workshop for people living with HIV. Daniel-Claude Gendron will be speaking at the study day entitled Community-Based and Socially Engaged Art to discuss the production and reception of the work Je t’aime.
Tracy Gregory is the founder of the Sudbury collective Sex Workers Advisory Network (SWANS) and the sex workers’ peer support development coordinator. SWANS is the community organization that instigated the ArmHer community art project. Tracy Gregory will speak at the study day entitled Community-Based and Socially Engaged Art about the production and reception of the work Land of My Body.
Shan Kelley is a queer Albertan HIV-positive artist established in Montréal. He is a member of the group Visual AIDS, which uses art to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. Since he was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 2009, he has used art as a form of activism. His works Count Me Out and Growing Concerns will be exhibited as part of Témoigner pour Agir. Shan Kelley will give a presentation on his textual art practice at a meet-the-artist event. He will discuss his understanding of the issues threaded through the lived experience of people living with HIV and his own HIV-positive experience.
Ins A Kromminga
Ins A Kromminga lives in Berlin and holds a master’s degree in fine arts from Tulane University (New Orleans, USA). As an activist for intersex people’s rights, Kromminga’s artistic work aims to raise public awareness of the issues faced by intersex people. Témoigner pour Agir presents a unique art piece: a multimedia drawing created as an in situ installation in Studio 1 of the Maison de la culture Frontenac, where the exhibition is being held. Kromminga will give the exhibition’s closing lecture, entitled Intersex People Finding Their Voice: Rising From Shame, Stigma and Speechlessness. This talk will provide a history of the social and cultural emergence of intersex people’s perspectives and will illustrate the liveliness of this new social movement.
Viviane Namaste is a professor at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute and holds the Concordia University Research Chair in HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health. She is interested in the limits of knowledge and puts forth ways in which the critical social sciences allow for better representation of populations, such as trans or bisexual people, that have not been taken into account in traditional epidemiological and public health studies. Viviane Namaste will speak on a panel to mark International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers on December 17 entitled After C-36.
Richard Sawdon Smith
British photographer Richard Sawdon Smith is an openly HIV-positive professor and artist. His photographic work consists mainly of creating self-portraits to form an autobiography. Two of his self-portraits will be exhibited in Témoigner pour Agir; they describe some of what the life of an HIV-positive gay person looks like. Richard Sawdon Smith will give the exhibition’s opening lecture, Immersion into the HIV-Positive Body: Politics of Representation – A Personal Perspective, which will mark World AIDS Day. He will give a retrospective of the last two decades during which he has created images exploring life with HIV, from his first diagnosis in the 1990s, before the existence of effective medication, to survival and life with an undetectable viral load.
Chloé Surprenant is a painter and photographer. She lives and works in Montréal and Amsterdam. Her artistic process is articulated through the representation of human beings; she takes her inspiration, among other things, from photo reports in order to find ways to evoke emotions and pay homage to people who have been forgotten. With the organization Stella, l’amie de Maimie, Chloé Suprenant created The Pink Room, exhibited in Témoigner pour Agir. She will speak on the study day entitled Community-Based and Socially Engaged Art to discuss the production and reception of the work.
Sasha Van Bon Bon
The artist known as Sasha Van Bon Bon co-founded the cabaret theatre troupe Operation Snatch in Toronto, for which she has been writing and performing since 2000. Her artistic practice is primarily inspired by her time at Concordia University (Montréal), where she studied in the English literature and creative writing program, but also by her work experience as a performer in strip clubs in Montréal and Toronto. Sasha Van Bon Bon will perform monologue excerpts from three of her cabaret plays during the After C-36 event.
Grace Van Ness
Grace Van Ness is a sex worker, pornographer, and multimedia artist. She is interested in intimacy and social justice, and places great importance on self-produced art that helps to create a new narrative about sex work and to humanize the people who practice it. She is producing a documentary memoir on these topics. Her video installation, How Sweet the Sound, will be presented as part of Témoigner pour Agir. Grace Van Ness will speak on the panel to mark International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers on December 17, entitled After C-36. She will share her thoughts about how, by centering her artistic practice on intimacy, the past and personal storytelling, she exposes herself to violence and suffering, but also opens herself to deep healing.
The exhibition catalogue contains exclusive testimonials written by the artists and by the exhibition’s co-curators. Here is the link to access the catalogue in pdf.
After Témoigner pour Agir, the Testimonial Cultures team collected the details of the activity into a report that you can consult by clicking here (in French only).