This conversation with Yaniya Lee and Curtis Talwst Santiago opens up the processes and practice behind Santiago’s contributions to the Toronto Biennial of Art. Spanning from the ongoing Infinity Series–which inspired a host of responses from school students participating in facilitated workshops in the Biennial’s Programs–to J’ouvert Temple (2019)–an architectural fantasy or “capriccio” installed at 55 Unwin–Santiago reflects on the role of residual histories in the present and the possibilities of shifting scales of intimacy.
Event Note: This conversation takes place within the Programs Hub at the rear of 259 Lake Shore Blvd E.
The practice of Curtis Talwst Santiago (born in Edmonton, AB, Canada; lives in Lisbon, Portugal) is decentralized. Santiago studied as an apprentice of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Santiago has exhibited internationally at venues such as: The New Museum, New York; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Pérez Art Museum Miami; and SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah. The artist’s work was featured in the Biennale de Dakar and SITE Santa Fe, both 2018. Santiago’s work is in the permanent collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Yaniya Lee (born in Montreal, QC; lives in Toronto, ON) is interested in community organizing and collective practice. As a writer and editor, she uses interdisciplinary research to question critical-reading practices and reconsider Canadian art histories. In 2019, she co-convened the Bodies Borders Fields symposium with curator Denise Ryner. Lee, a founding collective member of MICE Magazine and current member of the EMILIA-AMALIA Working Group, works as Features Editor at Canadian Art. She is the 2019-2020 Researcher-in-Residence at Vtape.