And other monuments
And other monuments is an exhibition tracing the movement of the ‘Oriental rug’ and other orientalia in relation to colonial trade, imperial bordering, and power. The exhibition includes an interactive workbook, archival documents, Tatreez (Palestinian cross stitch) by textile artist Samar Hejazi, and an intervention of the British Museum by multidisciplinary artist Roya DelSol. Placed alongside West Asian and Middle Eastern rugs, carpet bags, and other pieces from the Textile Museum of Canada’s permanent collection, And other monuments invites a reading of textiles as maps or guides which are capable of tracing broader relationships to who moves, what moves, and how transnational, globalized mobilities of goods have always relied on ‘immobilizations’ of people.
Looking to the colonial looting of Indigenous objects-made-artifacts that now adorn the walls of museums, Ariella Aisha Azoulay suggests “It is not possible to decolonize the museum without decolonizing the world,”; connecting the object to the material conditions that determine the lives of its makers. While not all Museum collections are retrieved through plunder, the journey of a textile into a museum may tell us as much about its social history as the knotting, dyes, and patterns which characterize it. Available both in-person and online, And other monuments offers threads and links to coloniality on our walls and under our feet.
And other monuments is curated by Mitra Fakhrashrafi, an emerging curator indebted to border abolition and interested in what art can tell us of borderlands and the violent histories that underpin them.
By channeling her ancestry through the historical choreography found in craft practices, Samar Hejazi’s practice observes the complex conversations between social constructivism, ethnology and the ethos of modernity.
Samar is a visual artist of Palestinian decent raised in diverse communities in the Middle East and North America. Samar uses her art to question conceptual ideas of self identification, social construction, ethnology, and intellectual traditions. These ideas are engaged in an ongoing way through her process and development of diverse materials and forms.
Since graduating with a BFA in New Media from Ryerson University in Toronto, she has attended residencies at the Arquetopia Foundation Mexico and Peru for which she was awarded a scholarship. She also attended the Takt Art Residency in Berlin in 2016, and completed a studio residency at the Toronto Museum Of Contemporary Art in 2019 which concluded in a group show. Most recently Samar was invited to take part in the international mentorship program at the Arquetopia Foundation. Samar has exhibited nationally and internationally at the Possum Gallery in Berlin, Decentered Gallery in Puebla, Mexico. She has an upcoming exhibition at Warehouse 421 in Abu Dhabi in 2021.
Roya DelSol is a Black media artist based in Toronto. Working primarily as a lens-based artist, she aims for her work in all spheres to centre and uplift the experiences of Black, queer, and marginalized peoples. She is also an experienced arts administrator within the community arts space — dedicated to creating experiences that allow emerging artists to explore their intersectional identities, share culturally critical narratives, build community and unapologetically take up space.
This residency was made possible through a Seed Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation