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Introduction

Invisible Violence, a publication and discursive project curated by Liz Park, brings together the work of four artists – Rebecca Belmore, Ken Gonzales-Day, Francisco-Fernando Granados, and Louise Noguchi – who use photography as a point of reference for histories of violence that inform a contemporary politics of representation. Their work intentionally covers, erases, withdraws or cuts apart the main subject of the photographs, delaying the recognition of the structural and systemic violence underlying each image. Taking this interruption as its starting point, the project asks that “we” – the audience who are informed by contemporary mediascape riddled with images of violence – problematize the first person pronoun. As Susan Sontag writes, “No ‘we’ should be taken for granted when the subject is looking at other people’s pain.”

Designed to incite thoughtful conversations about the representation of violence and its politicization today, this multi-part project consists of: publication of the artists’ work as a sequence of 5”x7” cards; a series of discursive events conceived as points of distribution for the publication; and this web hub that archives reflections on the discussions that take place at each event. As a set of provocations, the parts collectively evaluate the political conditions of the production, circulation and consumption of violent images.

All events are free and open to the public. Publication distributed free at the events.

A series of commissioned texts in the form of blog posts will summarize and respond to each of the events below:

February 15
Artspeak in partnership with Simon Fraser University Community Engagement, Vancouver, BC, CA

Feb 20, 7:00pm
Gallery TPW, Toronto, ON, CA

Feb 27
CEREV – Centre for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence at Concordia University, Montreal, QC, CA

March 2
Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, NY

If you would like to obtain a copy of the publication, but are unable to attend the events, please inquire about the availability of a copy by email: info@artspeak.ca

Liz Park gratefully acknowledges the support of Canada Council for the Arts for the Grant to Professional Independent Critics and Curators, British Columbia Arts Council for Project Assistance, and Center for Photography at Woodstock for supporting the writing of the curatorial text through its critical studies residency program.

A special thank you goes to Judy Ditner for the support and ongoing collaboration.

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Liz Park

Liz Park is a curator and writer committed to creating discursive spaces and generating forums to engage an audience with discussions of contemporary political and social realities. She received a Masters of Arts in Art History / Curatorial Studies at the University of British Columbia. In 2011/2012, she was Helena Rubinstein Fellow in the Curatorial Program at the Whitney Independent Study Program.