Location: Artspace Building, corner of Bannatyne @ Arthur [sidewalk level]

window is pleased to present our forty-eighth installation:


Reproduction of original artwork,

mixed media on inkjet print.

By Rajni Perera, on view until April 30, 2020.


When I was first returning to my practice after having my daughter, I visited an exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum curated by Deepali Deewan called The Art Of The Embellished Photograph. While I had figured this medium existed I had never really seen them in person and they had a striking magical beauty about them. The history of the medium is also rooted in legacies of royal spectacle and making impossible worlds for the exalted and untouchable. But the medium itself struck me as a sort of proto-photoshop, where you don't know where the photo ends and the painting begins. And the narrative itself doesn't care about that. It floats in another dimension. In terms of my relationship with the work made for SFG and the way I think about it now, of course it's evolving. I look back at the work I made and wonder about its place in terms of critique vs ornamentation, but I think it did well either way. For me it created an opportunity to analyze my relationship with colonial ideology, being an immigrant in a colony, and revisiting my colonized country of birth. In North America, where I live and make my work, the critique despite the ornamentation and embellishment is understood and felt. Abroad, I would say it has been more about just the aesthetics. So it could be that it is a diasporic perspective that is more wholly received in cities or hubs where there are many immigrants and some more postcolonial theory discourse being thrown around.

-Rajni Perera in conversation with Jyoti Dhar,


About the artist:

Rajni Perera was born in Sri Lanka in 1985 and lives and works in Toronto. She explores issues of hybridity, sacrilege, irreverence, the 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. They are flattened on the medium and made to act as a personal record of impossible discoveries. In her work she seeks to open and reveal the dynamism of these icons, both scripturally existent, self-invented and externally defined. She creates a subversive aesthetic that counteracts antiquated, oppressive discourse, and acts as a restorative force through which people can move outdated, repressive modes of being towards reclaiming their power.

window is located on Treaty 1 Territory, the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples and the homeland of the Metis Nation. Window is co-curated by Noor Bhangu, Mariana Muñoz Gomez, and Sarah Nesbitt.

This installation was made possible with the generous support of the Winnipeg Arts council and Manitoba Arts Council.