Joi T. Arcand (Ottawa), Shahrzad Changalvaee (Brooklyn), Aaron Jones (Toronto), Zinnia Naqvi (Montreal), and Karinne Smith (Los Angles)
Nov 1 - Dec 1, 2019
Curated by Matthew Kyba
Reading Silences is a 5-person group show that elucidates and responds to the ways in which Western photo-archives subjugate, erase, and control communities to dictate prevailing histories. Each artist questions photographic records to undermine Western archival practices by problematize privilege, racial bias, cultural monolism, colonial framing, and linear temporality inherent in Euro-centric archive photography. Through both outwards and self-referential criticism of archival agency, the artists attempt to respond to different archival silences through the process of mining personal & cultural histories.
Recognizing that the seemingly “neutral Western criteria and classifications are in fact tools for maintaining the role of an archive as an imperial project of domination and affirmation” , Reading Silences asks: what do certain histories look like if they weren’t traditionally dictated by systems of subjugation and marginalization? By appropriating photographic archival tendencies to reconcile historical erasures, oppression, and colonization, included artists attempts to prove how archives can act as sites of resistance, to work against their original objectives, and ultimately undermine sovereign historical propaganda by unearthing and presenting challenging cultural contents.
 Decolonising Archives, Introduction (5)