Is Love a Synonym for Abolition? presents the question - can dreams exist in the temporal space of Black life devoid of subjection? Artists, Isabel Okoro and Timothy Yanick Hunter’s practices consider the impact of colonial, capitalist histories, and the lasting effects present in Africa and throughout the Diaspora; particularly in observance of our current age of anxiety, a global pandemic, uprisings and ecocide. Together, their work will espouse telluric and transcendent imaginings of love and freedom. Working collectively with curator Liz Ikiriko and with the support of scholar Katherine McKittrick, Is Love a Synonym for Abolition? is a speculative research space honouring Blackness as an absented presence, capable of everything including liberation in the future or why not right now?
reset the centre is a collaborative web-project by Timothy Yanick Hunter and Isabel Okoro. The site features reference materials from both artists related to their research for the artwork included in the related exhibition Is Love a Synonym of Abolition? Available on the site is a podcast that features a conversation between curator Liz Ikiriko, artists Timothy Yanick Hunter, Isabel Okoro and scholar Katherine McKittrick, hosted by Lillian O’Brien Davis.
Isabel Okoro is a Nigerian, Toronto-based self-taught photographer. Okoro uses photography to visualize an imagined worlds and eternity, as a space to immortalize family, friends & those she meets along the way. Her governing photographic thesis is predicated on the creation of a Black utopia; a world free of the anxiety, violence and oppression experienced by those of the African diaspora. Her work has been featured online with i-D Magazine, WePresent by WeTransfer, Nataal Magazine and Der Greif Magazin.
Timothy Yanick Hunter is a multidisciplinary artist and curator based in Toronto Canada. Hunter's practice employs strategies of bricolage to examine non-neutral relationships relating to Black and Afro-diasporic experiences as well as concurrent strategies of decolonization. His approach alternates between exploratory and didactic; with a focus on the political, cultural, and social richness of the Black Diaspora. Hunter's work often delves into speculative narratives and the intersections of physical space, digital space, and the intangible.
Liz Ikiriko is a biracial Nigerian Canadian artist and curator. She is committed to the creation of embodied experiences that utilize accessible platforms to share moments of vulnerability and care for all of us on the margins. As an independent curator she has exhibited across Canada and facilitated projects with Ryerson University, Wedge Curatorial Projects, Gallery 44. Her work has been published in Public Journal, MICE Magazine, C Magazine, Akimbo and The Ethnic Aisle. She holds an MFA from OCAD University (2019) and is currently Assistant Curator at the Art Gallery at York University.
Katherine McKittrick is Professor of Gender Studies at Queen’s University. She authored Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle (UMP, 2006) and edited and contributed to Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis (DUP, 2015). Her most recent monograph, Dear Science and Other Stories (DUP, 2021) is an exploration of black methodologies.
Presented in partnership with CONTACT Photography Festival.
In-kind support from:
We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.