The Politics Of Sound

Canfor Gallery – January 20th to April 10th, 2022

Curated by Tyler J Stewart, with artworks by jamilah malika abu-bakare, Adam Basanta, Michèle Pearson Clarke, Marjie Crop Eared Wolf, Maskull Lasserre, Benny Nemer, and Jessica Thompson.

Is it possible that our ears can no longer hear? The Politics of Sound investigates the often overlooked (or more appropriately – silenced) role of sound within social relations of power. While sound has been used by those in power to intimidate and dominate, artists have also in turn used sound as a form of resistance against inequitable social structures.

The artworks in this exhibition expand the understanding of how sound has varying material effects within society, based on historical and social patterns of exclusion, cultural erasure and destruction. Important questions are brought up here, such as who gets to speak and who is silenced? For what reasons? What might we do to remix these societal ‘sound structures’ and create more equitable auralities? In an ocular-centric society, how can we emphasize the importance of listening to better inform and enrich the human experience?

This group exhibition collectively demonstrates the potential of sound to bring communities together, rather than sonically divide them. By exploring the potential of sound-based art to create new meanings and understandings in relation to social issues, these artworks create a deeper appreciation for the psychological experience of listening – over the physical act of hearing. By making this spectrum of sonic relations more audible, The Politics of Sound challenges visitors to question their own location within the soundscape and what responsibilities that position might ask of them.

Featured artwork: Marjie Crop Eared Wolf. Niitsi’powahsin Secwepemctsín (detail), 2021-2022. Installation.

January 20 — April 10
5:00 pm (1920h)

Skip to content