Museum in the Hallway / Boîte-en-valise 2022-23

Museum in the Hallway / Boîte-en-valise is a rotating exhibit of material culture in two display cases situated in the east alcove on the second floor between the theatre entrances of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. The program consists of five exhibits, including objects and evidence of course outcomes and workshops delivered by special guests (including a Walker Cultural Leader for 2022-23). “Boîte-en-valise” is an expression coined by avant-garde artist Marcel Duchamp to refer to the aesthetic value of collecting and assembling.

The small thematic curated exhibitions will have a duration of 4-6 weeks up to 4 months duration. The onsite program will rotate to display cases of the James Gibson Library when possible and will be amplified and celebrated in related communication pieces and image galleries posted to the STAC website.

Maddy Gordon, "Home for Myself", 2023. Graphite pencil on Stonehenge paper. Dimensions variable: 3.5” – 8.5” tall.


Museum in the Hallway / Boîte-en-valise

March 31 – August 30, 2023

Hallway Gallery,
Second Floor East Alcove between Theatre Entrances

Four artists explore the theme of “Uncertainty and the Future”, a rich, diverse platform for artistic interpretation and expression. It suggests dystopian visions, utopian dreams and speculative imaginaries. We welcomed submissions that engage with the current moment and reflect on the challenges and opportunities of our world, our community, and ourselves.

The pieces in this exhibition address the fear of the unknown and the anxiety it provokes, illustrates the visibility, invisibility, and vagueness of concepts, challenges the juggernaut of data, and imagines a process that leads to a future creation.

This project was inspired by the DART 4F56 Laser Shark premiere of Welcome Home in the MIWSFPA Theatre.

Participating artists:

Nimea Ariana
Rebecca Cowan
Maddy Gordon
Jennifer Jankowski

David Vivian, with Kosar Dakhilalian

from Meditation, by Betty. 2023.

Adaptations. Applying Constraints

Museum in the Hallway / Boîte-en-valise

April 24 – August 30, 2023

Hallway Gallery,
Second Floor East Alcove between Theatre Entrances

Media content on digital displays is viewable Monday through Thursday during business hours.

Sixteen artists and authors adapt existing texts and photographs to create unexpected associations and suggest new meanings in their own work. To do so, they agreed to apply various formal constraints during the creative process. In brief, their works express a double dispossession, as the authors and artists neither chose the topic nor the format. Yet, and however much they question the role of the author and of origins, these texts and photographs are creative and singular. Rather than engaging in a sheer act of appropriation or translation, the artists and authors participating in Adaptations. Applying Constraints invite us to meditate on and embrace the intriguing power of language and images.

Two books co-published by the Small Walker Press (Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture) and the Salon für Kunstbuch (Austria) served as starting points for the works shown in Adaptations. Applying Constraints: Paul Savoie and Mélanie Mesager’s Arc, a choreographed poem (2021), and Alejandro Cartagena, Tim Conley and Nicholas Hauck’s Built to Ruin: Between Invisibility and Suburbia (2020).

The method informing the creative process is demonstrated in Seth Weiner’s “Text-and-image Mega Tutorial” commissioned by the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture in 2023.

Participating artists and authors:

Allison Serrao
Cassandra Floyd
Hope Racey
Ivy Burns
Kassie Kuiper
Kristina Miller
Marley McLean
Ruilin Zhang
Sarah Fisher
Tim Uniac

Catherine Parayre, with David Vivian

Each monitor is playing a different program.

See the catalogue for the exhibition in the 2023 issue of STAC's journal ti<

Seth Weiner’s “Text-and-image Mega Tutorial”

Past Exhibitions

Spirit of Mali

Museum in the Hallway / Boîte-en-valise

Feb 7 – March 10

Closing Reception
March 10, 2023 at 4 p.m. (Rescheduled)

Hallway Gallery,
Second Floor East Alcove between Theatre Entrances

The Spirit of Mali exhibition is the culmination of a remarkable collective effort, orchestrated by Stève Viès and produced by several great master craftsmen of Mali: Boubacar Doumbia, Mamoudo Nango, Tiorri Diarra and Abou Konan

Bogolan textile art and sculptural art are a national pride. Bogolan means ‘the action of clay on fabric’. Earth-colored dyes are made from foliage and bark. Sculpture plays a significant role in cultural tradition and story­ telling. The puppet is used for street theatre and in folk festivals. The Dogon mask dance, or funeral dance, is a sacred and mysterious practice within the rich cultural heritage of Mali.

The Spirit of Mali Exhibition is committed to valuing and preserving traditional knowledge. More than ever, this diverse and beautiful collection of Malian culture expresses an awareness of deep wisdom and rich spirituality. It transmits to us the strength of action in solidarity, weaves the creative web that unites our differences and reminds us of the importance of cultivating peace to make room for prosperity.

Kosar's Corner

Explore more of the Spirit of Mali Exhibition with a series of short postings by the STAC curatorial assistant Kosar Dakhilalian, recently a student of the Master of Arts in Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts at Brock University. Kosar will introduce you to the backstage and onstage experiences of making meaning in material culture at the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture.

A short video about the extended project.

What I want you to see is this…

Museum in the Hallway / Boîte-en-valise

Nov. 21, 2022 – Jan. 15, 2023
(pause: Dec. 10 – Jan. 3)

HAllway Gallery,
Second Floor East Alcove between Theatre Entrances

If you had 2-3 minutes, and you wanted an audience to know what it was like, in 2022, to be you, as a student, what would you say/display? What demands does the academic institution place on you?

Image 1

Participants in Social Class and Social Conflict (Criminology, Department of Sociology, Brock University) answer these questions in short videos exemplifying individual experiences that would otherwise go unrepresented.

Image 2

The Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture invites visitors to enter a respectful space, listen to these poignant testimonials, and see what the students want us to see.

Image 3

Participating artists include: Ahaz, Shakur, Blake Gowling, Colter Styrna, Daniel Zelazko, Emilie Oakes, Ermal, Faith Westman, Gage Mitchener, Hiral, Isha Brar, Lauren, Lee Marie, Madelyn Sturgeon, Maeve Martin, Mary Oghene, Meera, Morgan Damery, Nicole N. Mellor, Nisha U, Noor Warraich, Rashika, Sara Ourga, Zonny Boateng, and two anonymous contributors.

Curators: David Vivian, Catherine Parayre, and Miles Howe
Assistant Curator: Gertrude Brew

See the catalogue for the exhibition in the 2023 issue of STAC's journal ti<

Read the essay for the exhibition catalogue in the 2023 issue of STAC's journal ti<

Q: What-happened-Then

A: This Happened: Stories and Masks

Museum in the Hallway / Boîte-en-valise

Sept 14, 2022 – Nov 20, 2022

Second Floor East Alcove between Theatre Entrances

The learning in, research about and presentation of material culture and curatorial practice is at the core of the academic program of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture and the activities of the Research Centre in Interdisciplinary Arts and Creative Culture (STAC). Courses in curatorial practice (STAC 3P40 and 3P41), writing and language about the arts (STAC 1P96, 1P97, 3P99), Critical Practice and Embodied Text: Art Beyond the Artifact (STAC 2P93, 2P94) are some of the scheduled learning opportunities in this subject field for students at STAC. This learning and research is part of all three Concentrations at STAC:  Concentration in Languages, Arts and Culture; Concentration in Cultural Transmission and Heritage Studies; and the Concentration in Cultural Management.

Following upon the learning of STAC 3P42 (2021-22) where students explored the concepts of the ‘micro-museum’/vernacular curating/everyday museum(s) STAC proposes a project that would invite students to curate a small space, bi/weekly/monthly. This would allow students to engage with material culture (integrating with a courses in STAC and VISA/HAVC), as well as explore conceptual and oscillating notions of contemporary curating, while running as an ongoing and evolving project within the walls of the school – a sort of extension of the gallery, conceptually, and to offer students a small exploratory space. Students would explore objects/themes of interest, conceptual brainstorming and participate in a short exercise in writing. This would become a student experience to support professionalization of their learning and practice of curation, providing a ‘micro’ curated piece/project, associated with the school/department, to be added to their CV. Components of the student learning experience include assisting with the development of documentation/photographing their own tiny exhibitions, and assisting with creating content to share, and/or perhaps developing an Instagram page dedicated to this project, planning forward for a renewed annual project and incorporating a catalogue and related best practices.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Dancer

Stephanie Dancer

I’ve been busy. My busyness is partially a learned behaviour, and it doubles as a coping mechanism for Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), a mental health condition that I’ve struggled with for fifteen years.

I like to describe CPTSD as drowning with a straw in your mouth. If you stop struggling you can get a few wisps of air, but it’s never enough to stop the sensation of drowning so inevitably you begin to struggle and flail for more air again.

In March 2020, when the COVID-19 lockdowns started in Ontario, I was already in poor mental health. A major relationship had ended months prior in a traumatic way and I was completely alone for the first time ever.

At this time I was just returning from a frantic trip from the US back to Canada. I returned to an empty home and had to quarantine, followed by shutting down the business that I had worked so hard for. It remained closed for a year and a half. I was devastated.

I then experienced one of the most interesting and disturbing experiences I have ever had, unregulated CPTSD symptoms. For the first time, I saw myself as myself. I had nothing and no one to use as a regulation tool and I was suddenly experiencing the unbridled waves of this condition.

Along with intense flashbacks, extreme anxiety, and paranoia to name a few of the long list of symptoms this condition brings, dissociation is among the worst of them. Being in a dissociative state sometimes feels like just waking up from a dream or being far away and watching your life happen down a hallway. There are moments of lucidity but it’s mixed in with all of the other symptoms, so they are heartbreakingly fleeting.

Time loss in these states is one of the most insidious parts. It feels like the panic you experience when you wake up and realize you’ve slept too long. Where did the time go? What did I do? How did that happen? I tried hard to not let that happen.

During a particularly intense bout of dissociation, I fell and broke my foot. I was ashamed of myself. My broken foot made everything harder. I have an eating disorder that requires proper maintenance and I struggled to shop for groceries and make food. Cleaning became an almost impossible task. My knees and back became increasingly sore from crawling my staircase and traversing my house.

I am fortunate and privileged to have a psychotherapist. Luckily, she had the foresight to recommend triple the amount of therapy during this time. I am forever grateful for that.

My life became a series of symptoms, pain, management, sprinkled with flecks of tiny improvements.

The mask I have made represents the pain that I experienced during this time. I used straight pins to represent the depth of pain and sorrow I was experiencing internally. The pins penetrate the mask and create a bed of sharp ends, while the heads of the pins create a colourful mosaic that is appealing and unassuming for any person who would see me adorned in this mask. These pins rest on my face as I read this poem, threatening to cause me pain and some succeeding.

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