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On April 23rd, La Mackerel invites us into their studio to discuss their research and creative process. La Mackerel will also read from their poetry collection ZOM-FAM. The event will begin with an introduction by queer artist Cyrl Carter.
Kama La Mackerel is a Montreal-based Mauritian-Canadian multi-disciplinary artist, educator, writer, community-arts facilitator and literary translator who works within and across performance, photography, installations, textiles, digital art and literature. Kama’s work is grounded in the exploration of justice, love, healing, decolonization, hybridity, cosmopolitanism and self- and collective-empowerment. They have exhibited and performed their work internationally including Toronto, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, London and Johannesburg. Their poetry collection ZOM-FAM, published in 2020, was named a CBC Best Poetry Book and a Globe and Mail Best Debut Book, and was shortlisted for the QWF Concordia University First Book Award.
Cyrl Carter is a Black queer visual designer and a member of the Windsor community.
In their exhibition Breaking the Promise of Tropical Emptiness, Kama La Mackerel revisits stereotypical landscapes of Mauritius, their home-island “from beaches to waterfalls, from sugarcane fields to the seven coloured earth of Charamel,” reclaiming these sites which are so often portrayed in postcards and tourist brochures (La Mackerel). While these spaces are supposed to represent the island, they are devoid of any form of local subjectivity or Black/Brown body. This exhibition features a series of large scale, vivid and immersive photographs, taken by South-African writer and scholar Nedine Moonsamy.
In these photographs, La Mackerel redefines the aesthetics of the Mauritian postcard by positioning their Black/Brown, queer/transgender body in the foreground of cliché “tropical” landscapes, foregrounding trans subjectivity at the centre of the visual artefact. Through these visual encounters, the viewer is encouraged to consider the colonial implications of the ways in which island spaces are commodified, and how local subjecthood is uprooted by these images of the utopic, orientalist, “tropical” destinations.
The exhibition also premieres La Mackerel’s newest work, a video installation entitled Your Body Is The Ocean. In this single channel video, developed in collaboration with Mexican-Canadian filmmaker Alejandro de Leon, La Mackerel “weaves together poetry, rituals and performance to situate the queer/trans femme Mauritian body as a spiritual force that speaks to and from the island,” (La Mackerel).
Artist biography provided by Kama La MackereL
Artcite Inc. would like to thank our co-presenters for this event, the Art Gallery of Windsor and the Thrive program, and the University of Windsor’s Women’s and Gender Studies program.
We would also like to welcome our community partners River Bookshop, Pozitive Pathways and Trans Wellness Ontario.
April 23, 2021 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
109 University Ave W
Windsor, ON N9A 5P4 Canada