Un-histories: art and the unconcluded

The 2018 Contemporary Art, Design, and New Media Art Histories Graduate Student Conference at OCAD University

March 9-10, 2018

Free and open to all / OCADU is an accessible venue

Within the term “history” lies a conceptual confinement—the presumption that the topics being written about remain consigned to the past. This conference seeks to counter history’s containment and to foreground its continuing relevance in the present.

Through the notion of “un-histories,” conventional limits can be unsettled by prompting critical inquiries into how history functions: by re-organizing the composition of the past, by re-constructing methods of transmitting narratives, and by destabilizing the seeming linearity of events.

Un-histories reimagine history as a practice for addressing the “unconcluded”—subjectivities and narratives previously considered spectral, disparaged, marginalized, erased, shamed, abashed, or localized.


Keynote Address
March 9, 7:00PM 
100 McCaul Street, Room 190

Unthinking Expo 67
by Dr. Monika Kin Gagnon (Concordia University)

Dr. Gagnon will present on her co-curated exhibition À la recherche d’Expo 67 / In Search of Expo 67 (2017) which featured 19 Canadian and Québec contemporary artists taking inspiration from the landmark international event, 50 years later.

Discussing the original Expo 67 in connection to artworks by Althea Thauberger, Leisure, CINEMAexpo67, Geronimo Inutiq and others, Gagnon speaks on the distinct methods of contemporary art offers for exploring cultural history.

Engaging the process of “unthinking” developed by Ella Shohat and Robert Stam, which activates the movement between knowledge, history and media, Gagnon will show how the artworks of In Search of Expo 67 are positioned as vital forms of animating the archive and knowing the past in the present.

Monika Kin Gagnon is Professor of Communication Studies and a Concordia University Research Fellow. She has published widely on cultural politics, memory, and visual/media arts since the 1980s.

Her books include Other Conundrums: Race, Culture and Canadian Art (2000), 13 Conversations about Art and Cultural Race Politics (2002, with Richard Fung), and Reimagining Cinema: Film at Expo 67 (2014, with Janine Marchessault). Her media works include the DVD-catalogue and restoration project of her late artist-father’s experimental 1960’s film, Charles Gagnon: 4 Films (2009), and the interactive database Archiving R69 (2011). Currently, she is completing a book exploring posthumous collaborations with filmmakers as a form of creative archiving.

March 10, 9:30AM-5:00PM 
100 McCaul Street, Room 190

Conference panel presentations from graduate students, artists, and arts professionals from Toronto and abroad. Also join us for a closing reception following the conference at OCADU’s Graduate Gallery (6-8pm, 205 Richmond St. W.).

See our website for more details: 


Un-histories: art and the unconcluded

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