Ghosts and Matter



31 OCTOBER 2019, 6-8 PM





Co-presented with Trinity Square Video


Works by Gloria Swain, Fallon Simard, Mariam Magsi, and Aaron Moore

Curated by Karina Iskandarsjah

“Haunting is a very particular way of knowing what has happened or is happening. Being haunted draws us affectively, sometimes against our will and always a bit magically, into the structure of feeling of a reality that we come to experience, not as cold knowledge, but as transformative recognition.” - Avery F. Gordon


Ghosts and Matter is a screening of video works that consider the role of haunting as a mode of knowledge and drive for social and personal transformation. Ghosts and Matter frames the confluence movement of time and the ways we interact with what haunts us: trauma, difficult histories, memories. For some, haunting can mean an individual’s experience of tragedy or violence. For others, it can be a matter of severed or silenced ancestral links caused by exile, genocide or erasure through assimilation -- a reminder that personal histories are often entwined with intense political subjects. In conjunction with the screening, the artists have provided film stills, drawings, and artefacts that will be exhibited in Glory Hole Gallery from 18 October - 24 November.


Works by Gloria Swain, Fallon Simard, Mariam Magsi and Aaron Moore prompts a reframing of haunting and trauma as a socio-political/psychological state that urges initiatives for healing and connection. The selected works help us address the following questions: How does haunting become an agent of interruption and transformation? What does cultural and intergenerational trauma look and feel like? How can haunting keep our senses open to emergent and unknown forms of belonging, connectivity, intimacy, and the unintentional, indeterminate slippages of coexistence?


CONTENT WARNING: this event presents artworks and discussions that reflect on sensitive topics such as the history of slavery, state violence, death, grief and sexual assault.


Artist Bios:


Gloria Swain is a multidisciplinary Black artist and activist. Her work stimulates an understanding of Black women’s suffrage and survival, mental health and intergenerational trauma. Swain believes in storytelling as an important tool for preserving cultural history, using photography, performance, and painting to express lived experiences of racism, sexism, classism and ageism, as well as connecting with violent, erased, and unwritten histories.


Fallon Simard is an Anishinaabe artist and scholar from Couchiching First Nation from the Grand Council of Treaty #3 Territory. Fallon’s work interrogates state violence and mental health in so far as it is perpetuated on to Indigenous bodies, with a practice comprised of video, sound and animation. He holds a Masters of Art from the Interdisciplinary Masters in Art, Media, and Design Program from OCAD University.


Mariam Magsi is a Pakistani-Canadian contemporary artist working in photography, performance, video, sound, installation, documentary, poetry and other arts. Magsi holds an MFA from OCAD University in Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design. Magsi's practice focuses on cultural research, intersectional feminism, South Asian diaspora, contemporary Islam, gender, sexuality and migration.


Aaron Moore is a Northern Irish born artist whose use of aesthetics aims to toy with viewers preconceived methods of engaging with images. Through presenting gestures, objects and pictures which try to de-concretize our view of reality, he aims to unhinge colonial and imperial modes of understanding. He graduated from OCAD University in 2017 after being awarded the OCADu Photography Medal.

Curator/Moderator Bio:


Karina Iskandarsjah is an Indonesian visual artist and curator from Singapore whose work explores non-dominant histories, hybridity, intersectionality and the experience of geographically displaced individuals. Karina is currently a Programming & Outreach Assistant at Trinity Square Video and part of the small, dedicated team that runs Glory Hole Gallery.


About the Works 

REincarnation: Water Is Life by Gloria Swain


“Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that the non-physical essence of a living being starts a new life in a different physical form or body after biological death. I have frequent dreams about a woman who stares into the bright blue sky and cold blue waters. When she turns her head, I notice she bears a striking resemblance to me. And I wonder if my love and fear of water relates to my unknown unspoken ancestral histories. 


This work questions my own unknown history, my invisible identity due to racism, my questionable relationship to this land as a descendant of stolen Black bodies and whether my dreams are inherited memories. This work inquires whether we have been here before and if we are reincarnations of lost ancestors.”


Land Becomes Ghost by Fallon Simard


In Land Becomes Ghost (2016), screenshots of news articles and protest advertisements about the Site C Dam repeat in a cycle with an anxiety-provoking soundtrack. Television static obscures the images as the title of the work reminds us that lands that people have lived on and made a living working with will soon be a distant memory. Simard’s work is firmly situated within a strong history in Canada of experimental Indigenous video art. Their experimental, politically charged work gets to the heart of issues of Indigenous sovereignty and struggle. (Cuthand, Thirza. Excerpt from Canadian Art.)


I CAN’T BREATHE by Mariam Magsi


“The moment my mother passed away at the hospital, I began to frantically collect all of the objects that surrounded her. Some of these objects were hospital property, such as clothing, oxygen masks, syringes, bandages and tubes. Most of these mundane objects would be considered discarded items, but for me they are deeply symbolic. These found objects hold traces and imprints of my mother’s body.


The 40 days spent at the hospital were traumatic, physically and emotionally taxing and extremely challenging. As the trauma is still fresh, the vivid memories from invasive medical procedures performed on my mother’s body keep playing over and over like a film in my mind. Often, these vivid visits from traumatic memories cause panic attacks and inability to breathe. Unguarded and unprotected by my mother, the first feminist I knew, my own mortality looms in front of me. After all, one of the last things we’ll learn from our parents is how to die.”


Like a Beaten Dog, Shaking as a Shadow Crosses Overhead by Aaron Moore


“In the landscape of moving-image, conversations of trauma, especially sexual traumas, are often limited to the moment of their happening. But trauma fractures memories, and shards of it are sent back and forward in time, sticking like splinters. It shifts in size and shape, and squeezes its way between the mundane and the frightening. Trauma acts as a liquid, water-logging memories leaving them heavy and stuck. While all the time shifting and turning the ground beneath. 


Like a Beaten Dog, Shaking as a Shadow Crosses Overhead exists as a narrative video piece and series of drawings/photographs/sound works both depicting and becoming a part of my own complex process of healing. A process that spans multiple psychological dimensions of time. This perpetually unfinished work seeks to act as a reminder that the process of healing will never be done.”

Thanks to the support of:

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Kat Pruss: She Had Many

19 September - 14 October, 2019


Queer Virus | Solo Exhibition by Dee Stoicescu

10 August - 3 September, 2019

Glory Hole Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of works by artist Dee Stoicescu, Queer Virus: Radical Sick Queer Softness and Romanian Diasporic Identity. Through the use of superimposed and layered imagery of the artists home, the hospital, medical terminology, and Romanian language Stoicescu affirms and asserts their own individualized experience as a queer person living with HIV, and in doing so questions and de-centres the pathologization of HIV/AIDS by society and medical professionals in both the past, and present.

About the Artist

Dee is a queer emerging artist living in Tkaronto, Ontario. Their photographic work plays with(in) the entanglement of their embodied identities: HIV+, AIDS survivor, chronically sick, mad, gender-fluid, non-binary, and Romanian diasporic subjectivity. Their multi-media practices include collage-making, curating, photography, jewelry-making, and creative writing. The methods featured in the Queer Virus exhibit include sentimental material objects found in/around their familial homes in Canada and Romania, free photo editing software, online translation tools, online searches for microscopic HIV viruses, and playfully phantasmic shadows cast by the setting/rising sun. They hold a Bachelor’s (Hons.) Degree in Women and Gender Studies from York University.

Dee is the author and content creator of Viral Tendencies (viraltendencies.wordpress.com), a literary blog dedicated to their intimate experiences as a queer, intersectional feminist living and loving with HIV. Their writing grapples with, overlaps, and contemplates themes of immigration, living at/crossing borders, ‘lost’ ancestral language, reclaimed ‘infectious’ queer sexuality, poverty, and living with anxiety and depression.
Dee is also the curator of Ruse Dream Vintage (est. 2012), an online vintage collection featuring finds ranging from the 1930’s to the early 2000’s.

Follow Dee on Instagram @viraltendencies and Facebook at Dee Stoicescu

This exhibition is made possible by generous funding contributions by Toronto Arts Council.


Pictures of Pursuit: Josie Eccleston & Vincy Lim

25 July 2019, 5-8PM

Thursday, 25 July, 5-8PM
Location: The 519, first floor glass lobby room

Come and join us for free back-to-back art-making workshops with Josie Eccleston and Vincy Lim. In conjunction with the exhibition Pictures of Pursuit, on view until 30 July. 


5:00 - 6:15 Josie Eccleston: Soft Sculptures & Everyday Materials

6:15 - 6:45 Break (food & drinks provided)

6:45 - 8:00 Vincy Lim: Drawing for Queer and/or POC Folks




Josie Eccleston is a multi-disciplinary artist currently studying integrated media at OCAD University. Growing up on a farm and currently based in Toronto, she works in video, textiles and traditional drawing mediums with a focus on queer identity, gender and the exploration of shape and colour with an emphasis on the human (and animal) form. Taking inspiration from country life, fairytales and absurdist comedy, Josie uses visual storytelling to juxtapose the fantastical/surreal with the mundane.


Vincy Lim is a Chinese-Canadian non-binary sapphic illustrator and cartoonist whose work revolves around the themes of self-love, queerness, disability, and abuse. Through graphic memoirs and fictional stories grounded in the realities of today's marginalized groups, Vincy produces work that emphasizes on loving yourself, healing, and the recovery process.


This program is made possible through the generous contribution from the Community One Foundation Rainbow Grant.

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Pictures of Pursuit

1-30 July 2019


Pictures of Pursuit is an exhibition of recent works by Callahan Bracken, Josie Eccleston, Vincy Lim, and Jesse Wardell. It focuses on intentional space-making for the private and public manifestations of queer desire and belonging. Through drawing, printmaking, and miniature installation, the artists explicitly assert their queer identities, projecting a multiplicity of unbounded subjects: memory, devotion, fantasy, attachment, passion.


“LOVE is a strategy, medium, site and scene. Love is an act. Love is not a quantifiable element able to be parsed between politics and poetics for it constantly transforms the definitions of those very terms ... Queer love exemplifies itself by its lack of singular object relations and an insistence on unstable and mutable boundaries … The theatre of queer love employs politics, poetics and aesthetics in equal measure. Queering love transforms the vocabulary with which we address our object, and ensuing acts need not be translated … Queer love is not economical and that is political. Love as a medium is part of an economy of resistance, ecstatic resistance I would say, provoking questions of memory and tactics. What does love want? Is it always discursive or sometimes outside of rational economies of getting and giving?”


Emily Roysdon - “Now, Then and Love: Questions of Agency in Contemporary Practice” (2006)

This exhibition is made possible through the generous contribution from the Community One Foundation Rainbow Grant.

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Comic and Video Game Character Workshop w. Cleopatria Peterson

10 June 2019, 5-8PM

For NUIT ROSE 2019 Glory Hole Gallery will be hosting it's first community facilitated art workshop at the The 519!

Join us on June 10th, 2019 from 5PM-8PM for a FREE facilitated workshop hosted by Cleopatria Peterson! This event is open to individuals who identify as 2SLGBTQ+ of all ages and all levels of artistic and creative experience. Individuals will be guided and given space to develop their own comic book, fantasy, or video game character, in line with this years NUIT ROSE theme "ARCADE."

This workshop is completely free, and all art materials will be provided. Light refreshments will also be served. There is LIMITED SPACE for this workshop so we please ask that you RSVP at gloryholegalleryto@gmail.com to participate.

Artists who produce works from this workshop will be additionally given the opportunity to exhibit their work in the Glory Hole Gallery gallery spaces for NUIT ROSE 2019, including the NUIT ROSE: Festival + Art Crawl - Arcade which officially opens on June 15th!

We can't wait to witness and exhibit your creative talent. ♥ RSVP today, and thank you for your continued support of Glory Hole Gallery, and 2SLGBTQ+ artists.

Location and Accessibility

The 519 is located half a block north of the Church and Wellesley intersection, on the east side of the street.
The 519 is an accessible facility with a ramp, elevator, and all-gender washrooms.


About the Facilitator

Cleopatria Peterson (they/them) is a illustrator, storyteller, and prolific zine-maker based in Toronto, Canada. They graduated from Ryerson University's Fashion Communication program and are currently in their third year at OCAD for Publications. Their work focuses on themes of nature, healing trauma and community. They are the co-founder of Old Growth Press and are determined to change the publishing landscape. They are available for commissions, projects and workshops. Feel free to get in touch.

Visit their website today for more of their works, zines, illustrations, publications, and more! https://www.cleopatria.ca/


Butterfly Hands

01 - 12 June 2019

Works by Mary Chen, Kelly Lui, Lily Yunru, and May Truong
Co-presented with Tea Base

Glory Hole Gallery is proud to present Butterfly Hands, a showcase of photographs that features massage parlour workers and their hands captured by Mary Chen, Kelly Lui, Lily Yunru, and May Truong. Co-presented with Tea Base, this show is in support of Butterfly: a local support network for the rights of Asian and migrant sex workers and Holistic Practitioners Alliance. Featured in this show are also artworks made by the workers themselves and guests who were asked to trace, cut, and decorate the shape of their hands in solidarity.

The City of Toronto is currently discussing new regulations in regards to holistic centre licensing that will affect over 2200 migrant workers who could lose their jobs and livelihoods. The current proposal largely misrepresents migrant workers as trafficked victims despite hundreds of individuals having expressed that they are neither trafficked victims nor traffickers. Butterfly Hands responds to the misrepresentation by uplifting the workers who take pride in their jobs which provide financial stability and support for their families.

Glory Hole Gallery, Tea Base, Butterfly, and the artists involved stand together to raise the voices of massage parlour workers and all sex workers to help protect their right to safe and dignified employment conditions. There will be a series of actions following up to the final vote by city councillors on June 18-19.

For more information: https://www.butterflysw.org/campaign