Rajni Perera & Nep Sidhu: Banners for New Empires

16 November 2019 – 23 February 2020

10:00 — 5:30

About the Exhibition

Curated By

Tak Pham

Organized & Circulated By

MacKenzie Art Gallery and Patel Gallery

Galleries

Kenderdine Gallery

Artists Rajni Perera and Nep Sidhu combine languages of ancestral technology and science fiction to create a parallel visual universe. Inside this world, visitors can learn and heal through stories from the artists’ new empires. The artists challenge harmful modernist notions of utopia by emphasizing an unapologetically immigrant and Indigenous forward futurism.

With over twenty artworks including collaborations by both artists, Banners for New Empires provides multiple instances for visitors to reflect on their past, to affirm their present, and to generate new knowledge for their future. Here, collective healing takes place through negotiating, acknowledging, and returning to traditions of empathy. The exhibition is anything but an escape. They are introductions to other stories, which exist in past, present, and future, traversing within and between cultures, communities and histories.

Banners for New Empires presents a different way to reimagine past, present, and future.

Works in the Exhibition

Installation view,

Installation view, "Banners for New Empires", MacKenzie Art Gallery, 2019. Photo by Don Hall.

L: Divine of Form (A Song of Rana) 7A, 54'' x 54'', 2016. Wool, cotton, paint on linen. Photo by Don Hall. R: Divine of Form (A Song of Rana) 7B, 54'' x 54'', 2016. Wool, cotton, paint on linen. Photo by Don Hall.

L: Divine of Form (A Song of Rana) 7A, 54'' x 54'', 2016. Wool, cotton, paint on linen. Photo by Don Hall. R: Divine of Form (A Song of Rana) 7B, 54'' x 54'', 2016. Wool, cotton, paint on linen. Photo by Don Hall.

Nep Sidhu,

Nep Sidhu, "In the Melody of Sacrifice Let Us Learn Your Chant", 156'' x 92.5'', 2018. Cotton, wool, gold zari. Photo by Don Hall.

Nep Sidhu with Rajni Perera,

Nep Sidhu with Rajni Perera, "SHE in (m)Otocross Form for 'No Pigs in Paradise', 6' x 1' circumference, 2018. De/reconstructed motocross wear, metal, textile, patches, beads, helmet, spraypaint, modified mannequin. Photo by Don Hall.

Rajni Perera,

Rajni Perera, "Traveler 6", 39.5'' x 39.5'', 2019, mixed media on paper. Care of RBC Corporate Art Collection. Photo by Don Hall.

Installation view,

Installation view, "Banners for New Empires", MacKenzie Art Gallery, 2019. Photo by Don Hall.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

NEP SIDHU

Nep Sidhu’s art practice resides along a continuum comprised of conceptual and technical components originating from ancestry, with relevance for the present. His sculptural practice combines language, light-baring materials, and incantation thus creating a third space that unifies endless parallels and possibilities. Sidu’s work is informed by the interplay of script, textile, the poetic wave of architecture, and an affinity for community; linking the ancient with the here and now. His work has been featured in The Museum of Contemporary Art (Toronto, ON), the Aga Khan Museum (Toronto, ON), The Frye Museum (Seattle, WA) and The Aichi Triennale (Nagoya, Japan).

RAJNI PERERA

Rajni Perera’s work explores issues of hybridity, sacrilege and irreverence, indexical sciences, ethnography, gender, sexuality, popular culture, deities, monsters, and dream worlds. All of these themes marry in a newly objectified realm of mythical symbioses, made to act as Perera’s personal record of impossible discoveries. Her work actively engages in discussion with the viewing audience about the aesthetic treatment of gender and the non-European sacred and secular body in a popular culture context. Thus, her work creates a subversive aesthetic that counteracts oppressive discourse and acts as a restorative force through which people can move out of repressive modes of being and towards reclaiming their power. Her work has been featured in the Art Gallery of York University (Toronto, ON), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Toronto, ON), and Art Fairs such as Art Toronto and Art Dubai. She lives and works in Toronto.