Strata 1–24 is a series of hand-cut, collaged works that are part of the artist’s ongoing visual novel Sea Change (2011–), which comprises hundreds of works and chronicles the disappearances of nine characters over nine chapters that unfold over the artist’s lifetime. Part of Chapter 1, Strata 1–24 consists of fragmentary field notes by the novel’s main character, who appears to be on a quest to find quartz crystals lost amongst rubble and rock. In exploring these material traces, viewers come to understand this character’s search as two simultaneous investigations: the finite exploration of the soul and the infinite nature of the cosmos.
Nearby, Untitled (MAP) is a classified map of the largest offshore oil field in the world, located 265 kilo- metres north of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where the artist spent her youth. The work is altered, folded, and elongated, suggesting a subterranean mountain range or active pulse line at the heart of geopolitical warfare. Untitled (MAP) speaks to the fact that surveillance does not live solely on a horizontal plane or two-dimensional map, but manifests as a vertical occupation on a scale that reaches from satellites in the sky to below the surface of the sea.
Hold Everything Dear, a related exhibition of work by Waheed, is currently on view at The Power Plant. For more information, please visit thepowerplant.org.
Hajra Waheed (born in Calgary, Canada; lives in Montreal, Canada) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work ranges from interactive installations to collage, video, sound and sculpture. Among other issues, she explores the nexus between security, surveillance and the covert networks of power that structure lives while also addressing the traumas and alienation of displaced subjects affected by legacies of colonial and state violence. Hajra has participated in exhibitions worldwide, including at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017); the 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016); and at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2016).
Small Arms Inspection Building (2019)
Small Arms Inspection Building was originally part of a large munitions plant built in 1940 before it was acquired and renovated as an art centre by the City of Mississauga in 2018. With its female dominated workforce, Small Arms Limited manufactured thousands of rifles daily for the Canadian and Allied forces in WWII. In 1990, the TRCA conducted an environmental audit of the site, revealing the presence of polychlorinated biphenyl, volatile organic compounds, and combustible gases across nineteen acres. More than 70,000 tons of contaminated radioactive soil was removed to eventually transform the Arsenal Lands into a park.
1352 Lakeshore Road East