AGO | Art in the Spotlight: Talking Queer Photography
For the Festival’s 25th anniversary, CONTACT, Gallery TPW, and Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies present We Buy Gold, an exhibition featuring ten emerging LGBTQ photographers living and working in Canada.
Join guest curator and Toronto Photo Laureate Michèle Pearson Clarke for a conversation with Sophie Hackett, AGO Curator, Photography, artists Jess T. Dugan and Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and artist and curator Ka-Man Tse about these and other queer photographic practices.
They’ll consider the themes taken up by the artists in the exhibition, while also contextualizing their work within a broader discussion on current strategies and directions in queer photography.
This talk is presented by the AGO in partnership with Gallery TPW.
Michèle Pearson Clarke is a Trinidad-born artist, writer and educator whose work situates grief as a site of possibility for social engagement and political connection. Clarke has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including in Chicago, Lagos, Los Angeles and Montréal, and she has forthcoming solo exhibitions at Mercer Union, Toronto and the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Based in Toronto, Clarke holds an MSW from the University of Toronto, and in 2015 she received her MFA in Documentary Media Studies from Ryerson University. She is currently the inaugural 2020-2021 artist-in-residence at the University of Toronto’s Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, and the Photo Laureate for the City of Toronto (2019-2022).
Sophie Hackett is the AGO’s Curator, Photography. Since 2006 when she joined the Photography Department, she has curated many exhibitions and collection installations, written and contributed to a number of publications, participated on international juries and maintained an active academic profile. She is currently an adjunct faculty member in Ryerson University’s Master’s degree program in Film + Photography Preservation and Collections Management, and was a 2017 Fellow with the Center for Curatorial Leadership. Hackett’s areas of specialty include vernacular photographs; photography in relation to queerness; and photography in Canada from the1960s to the 1990s.
Jess T. Dugan is an artist whose work explores issues of identity through photographic portraiture. Dugan’s work has been widely exhibited and is in the permanent collections of over 35 museums throughout the United States. Dugan’s monographs include To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults (Kehrer Verlag, 2018) and Every Breath We Drew (Daylight Books, 2015). They are the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, an ICP Infinity Award, and were selected by the Obama White House as an LGBT Artist Champion of Change. They are represented by the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, IL.
Paul Mpagi Sepuya is a Los Angeles-based artist working in photography and Acting Associate Professor at UC San Diego. His work is in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Getty and Guggenheim Museums, LACMA, MoMA, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Whitney Museum, among others. Recent exhibitions include solos at Vielmetter Los Angeles and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, a survey of work at CAM St. Louis, and a project for the 2019 Whitney Biennial. Currently, Paul’s solo “Stage” is on view at Document in Chicago, and a publication with TBW Books is forthcoming.
Ka-Man Tse has exhibited her work at Para Site, Videotage, Lumenvisum, WMA’s Transition, and Eaton Workshop all in Hong Kong. In the U.S., she has mounted solo shows at Aperture in New York, the Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh, PA, and the New York Public Library. She is the recipient of the Robert Giard Fellowship, a Research Award from Yale University Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies, the Aperture Portfolio Prize, the Aaron Siskind Fellowship, and was Artist in Resident at Light Work in Syracuse, NY. She has taught at Cooper Union and Yale, and is currently Associate Director of BFA Photography at Parsons.