Open Space Lab 01: Gita Hashemi

January 31 - February 11, 2017

Gita Hashemi’s practice draws on visual, media, performance, site-specific and live art strategies.

Open Space Lab (OSL) turns the empty gallery into a space for research, creation and collaboration ( OSL offers artists whose work is performance-based, exploratory and multi-disciplinary the space to explore, develop and initiate dialogue about ideas and art.

Join the inaugural OSL artist Gita Hashemi in the gallery and online as she creates a major new work, Grounding I: States of Gender, a durational performance that combines life writing with live writing. Hashemi’s performance takes place daily from 11 am – 2 pm (except Sunday 5 February and Monday 6 February).

In this work, Hashemi writes life stories shared with her by an Iranian woman named Zahra, in Farsi. The narrative has been emerging through conversations between Hashemi and Zahra about how their lives are marked by gender. Hashemi plays the role of scribe; what is shared is Zahra’s.

Exploring social relations and the intersections of language and culture, Hashemi’s work is centred on marginalized histories and contemporary politics, often with an eye on women’s experiences. A trained calligrapher, she draws on written text as the premise for large multi-platform projects that blur the boundaries between artistic disciplines.

Visitors are advised that Hashemi’s artwork contains written descriptions (in Farsi) of sexually explicit content and sexual violence.

This exhibition won the “Exhibition of the Year Award” at the 40th annual Ontario Association of Art Galleries Awards in Toronto (2017).

Curated by

Anna Khimasia

Artists in the exhibition

Gita Hashemi


OSL is generously supported by the Stonecroft Foundation for the Arts and an Ontario Arts Council Culturally Diverse Curatorial Projects grant.