Unsettling Imaginaries examines the practices of four Filipinx artists in Canada:
Kuh Del Rosario (Vancouver/Batan), Julius Poncelet Manapul (Toronto), Marigold Santos (Montreal/Calgary), and Leslie Supnet (Winnipeg/Toronto).
In the dominant Canadian imaginary, Filipinx subjects are largely seen as serving the neoliberal priorities of the nation’s economy. These perceptions figure the Filipinx as the “perpetual newcomer” and always on the periphery of national belonging. As a counternarrative, the Filipinx artists in this exhibition exceed these stereotypical scripts and are unsettling the dominant structures of privilege and power in Canada. The artists each take on various decolonial diaspora aesthetic strategies and are creating expressions that surpass normative conceptions of gender and sexuality and multiculturalist categories of race and citizenship.
Curated by Marissa Largo, Unsettling Imaginaries comprises of artists who imagine Filipinx subjectivity in excess to the dominant stereotypes that persist in the midst of racist and colonial discourses that are enmeshed in the political, social, and cultural dimensions of Canadian society. Their anti-essentialist expressions delve into the supernatural (Santos and Supnet), alternative forms of belonging beyond the nuclear family and nationalisms (Manapul and Supnet), past the limiting politics of visibility/invisibility and into abstraction and non-representational form (Del Rosario and Supnet), and into representations of gender and sexuality that are informed by decolonial recuperations, queer aesthetics and feminist self-representation (Manapul and Santos).
Together, these works present unruly expressions of Filipinx subjectivity in Canada that are unhinged from multiculturalist and neoliberal tropes. Through queer, feminist, racialized, and diasporic lenses, these artists engage in a decolonial diaspora aesthetic practice that confronts white supremacy, heteronomativity, and patriarchy in ways that reimagine Filipinx subjectivity beyond the dominant narrative of the settler colonial state.
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