Emelie Chhangur (1977-) is an artist and award winning curator and writer based in Toronto, where she works as the Assistant Director/Curator of the AGYU. Over the past decade, she has developed an experimental curatorial practice in collaboration with artists. Recent projects include The Awakening a three-year multi-faceted participatory performance with Panamanian artist Humberto Vélez, no.it is opposition., an exhibition and two-year collaboration with Brazilian artist-curator Carla Zaccagnini, Imaginary Homelands, a three-year residency project and exhibition featuring the work of nine young Colombian artists, and the Centre for Incidental Activisms (CIA), a radical proposition of gallery “in-reach,” where participatory, activist, and research-based practices were emphasized over conventional methods of exhibition display. Her upcoming collaboration with Trinidadian artist Marlon Griffith will be a large-scale public street procession programmed in conjunction with the Para Pan Am Games.
Chhangur has published a number of texts, which follow the principles and strategies of the artists she works with such as the hybrid screen play and curatorial text Mechanisms at Play: a genre bending adaptation of Oliver Husain’s Hovering Proxies; a song for the artist collective Fastwürms entitled AGYU Flava: Learning to Play Donky; the relational text/diary Walking into and along-side Diane Borsato’s Walking Studio and a performative text that mimicked the work of Indigenous Blackfoot artist Terrance Houle entitled Indian Givn’r. Her most recent publications, entitled Aesthetics of Collaboration and Will Munro: History, Glamour, Magic are distributed by DAP, New York. Upcoming publications include: Imaginary Homelands, Provenance Unknown (Sara Angelucci), and Sum of its Parts (Anitra Hamilton). Chhangur has presented presented papers at a number of international conferences (most recently Decolonial Aesthetics and upcoming for Envisioning a Practice: International Symposium on Performing Arts Curation and Encuentro 2014 hosted by the Hemispheric Institute of the Americas) as well as participated in a number of artist and curatorial residencies most recently at Onagawa AIR and Kamiyama AIR (Japan) and Fundación Gilberto Alzate Avendaño (Colombia).
Chhangur is interested in how exhibitions and texts perform to create unique interpretative experiences as well as in finding ways to enact activisms from within an institutional framework. As an Assistant Director of a public, university-affiliated, contemporary art gallery, Chhangur believes that the contemporary art gallery must serve a social as well as aesthetic function. In fact, other than, as an artist making single channel videos and installations, which are shown nationally and internationally, questioning the nature and function of a contemporary art gallery is her primary art project at the moment.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE title image was created by Ms. Chhangur and the project was inspired by the work.