Tout-Monde: Markham

Tout-Monde: Markham

Varley Art Gallery of Markham
September 14, 2019 – January 5, 2020 | Main Gallery

     Photo: On set of Andrew Chung’s White Elephant. 2019. Photo by Ifenna Okeke. Courtesy of the artist.

Artists: Andrew Chung, Annette Mangaard, Julieta Maria, Calyx Passailaigue,
              Roberto Santaguida, Alice Shin
Curated by Catherine Sicot and Anik Glaude

Tout-Monde: Markham seeks to engage with the delicate, yet timely, discourse about encountering and representing the other. The project is inspired by the ideas of Martiniquais poet and philosopher Edouard Glissant (1928 – 2011). Building on his in-depth explorations of the history of slavery, and of créolisation, Glissant imagined le Tout-Monde (“the whole-world”) where “relationships between two or more identities that are masters to themselves, would rely on changing by exchanging”.

With its diverse communities, Markham offers an interesting context within which to explore Glissant’s ideas. Six artists working with film were commissioned to engage with community members from backgrounds different from their own, thus stimulating the exploration of various means of perception and interaction with others. Ultimately, this project aims to generate a series of personal or collective encounters between artists and communities, as well as between neighbours, between friends and between strangers.

The artworks presented in the exhibition Tout-Monde: Markham are commissioned by Elegoa Cultural Productions and is part of the multi-layered project Facing: The Stories of Others (an exploration of nations from the "outside-in") curated by Catherine Sicot, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, New Chapter Program, in partnership with the Varley Art Gallery of Markham, and made with the support of the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)

Join us at the opening of Tout-Monde: Markham! The night will feature an engaging panel discussion, performances, refreshments and more! Panel discussion will occur from 6 – 7 PM (this is full) and the reception will be 7-9 PM. Please RSVP as limited spots are available.

    Photos: On set of Andrew Chung’s White Elephant. 2019. Photos by Ifenna Okeke. Courtesy of the artist.

"I grew up in majority-minority neighbourhoods in Markham and Scarborough. With the current rapidly increasing immigrant population, I wonder if we are heading toward a moment of cultural war or of cultural exchange. White Elephant explores how a South Asian teenage girl's identity is distorted by what she sees in movies and TV. When she falls for a local White teenage boy, tensions rise amongst their group of friends. But this isn't a love story - it's a self-love story." ­– Andrew Chung, director and producer of White Elephant, 2019.

   Photos: Annette MangaardCome Into My Kitchen - Helen's Kitchen (above), Jennifer's Kitchen (below), 2019,
                  still from 4K video, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

"As immigrants to Canada from Denmark my family initially camped not far from the Varley Art Gallery and later settled in Scarborough. I recall on my way to school tossing my mother’s carefully prepared open-faced smørrebrød (sandwich) consisting of liverwurst and sliced pickles on dark rye bread. I looked longingly at the Wonderbread and peanut butter consumed by the other children.” Annette Mangaard, filmmaker of Come Into My Kitchen.

    Photos: Julieta Maria, Redbird and other birds, 2019. Film still. Courtesy of the artist.

    Photos: Calyx Passailaigue, Zeen?, 2019, Short Film. Courtesy of the artist.

“Zeen?" is a Caribbean patois word originated from Jamaica, meaning “do you understand?” Or, more casually, “Do you get me?” - Calyx Passailaigue, director and co-producer of Zeen?, 2019.
Script co-written with Richard Walters.
Calyx Passailaigue

      Photos: Roberto Santaguida, West of Greensborough, 2019, Production Still, screen 3. Courtesy of the artist.

"West of Greensborough is informed by methods of coping, the thought isometrics that ease pain and the disquiet of the mind.Part community art project, part found footage film, part personal documentary, the multi-channel installation invites testimonies from residents, facing mental health and cognitive challenges.” - Roberto Santaguida, director of West of Greensborough, 2019.


    Photos: On set of Alice Il Shin's, Signal Fire, 2019. 

“I strive to create films focusing on Asian storytelling where unspoken encounters and actions take over dialogues. ‘Signal Fire’ explores how non-verbal communications and actions prompt change between people.” – Alice Il Shin, director and co-producer of Signal Fire, 2019.
Co-produced with Eiko Brown.

Catherine Sicot wants to thank Alexander Morales Carbajal for his introduction to Edouard Glissant in a chaotic moment, Lucile Montigaud for reminding her of Glissant in another chaotic moment and for contributing to researching this project. She also wants to thank project sponsor and partners:



Varley Art Gallery

Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto

Alice Shin would like to thank the RBC Arts Access Award, Neighbourhood Arts Network, and Toronto Arts Foundation for their assistance in making her project Signal Fire possible.