The Making of an Archive

Sat Jan 18, 2014 - 12:00 pm - Sat Jan 18, 2014 - 5:00 pm @ Art Gallery of Ontario

Gendai presents the third "module" in our Model Minority series:

The Making of an Archive
An artist led workshop
With Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Location: Art Gallery of Ontario, Seminar Room 1 (lower level)
317 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Free and Open to the Public

Bring with you: your family photo albums, your family members and your friend!

During the workshop, artist Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen will facilitate scanning and conversation sessions around your photos. Your photos and stories will then become part of the collective narrative of immigration in Canada through their inclusion in The Making of an Archive.

The Making of an Archive is an online archive, recording the everyday life by immigrant and amateur photographers in order to investigate the ideological formation of multiculturalism in Canada and the limits of its representation.

Artist Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen will lead a workshop hosted at the Art Gallery of Ontario that will be the first instance of a cross Canada collaboration in building the online archive.

This project further develops a set of inquiries that arose during Jacqueline's research for her mock documentary, sci-fi film 1967: A People Kind of Place. In the course of developing this film, Jacqueline realized that most national archives in Canada have almost non-existing entries under the tag of "multiculturalism". This lack of representation is paradoxical for a country that thrives over a long-standing and celebrated narrative of hospitality and, subsequently, so-called diversity. Because of this visual deficiency, Jacqueline became increasingly interested in the everyday routines, daily realities, and struggles of immigrants in Canada, particularly in its ordinary context.

In particular, Jacqueline drew inspiration from the photo albums of her father, an amateur photographer, who took countless images of his daily life when he arrived, from Vietnam, to Canada in 1975. His photo collection is stored in a basement, hidden away like other albums of immigrants who documented their life when they came to a country that professed hospitality. These images will soon disappear, becoming forgotten or lost in the rise of digital photography.

The aim of The Making of an Archive is to garner these photographic documents by inviting newcomers to share their family photo albums so that they can be digitized and recorded, thereby preserving records of personal histories from which the Canadian state has benefited and often capitalized. Jacqueline's research targets immigrants who came following the implementation of the point-based system, i.e. 1967 and onwards, and made Canada internationally known as the successful model of multiculturalism.

The Making of an Archive investigates self-representation by immigrants and amateur photographers while unpacking the politics of the ordinary. In contrast to given, state constructed narratives, the everyday migrants' story is disordered, uneven and complicated. To fulfill the act of recording and preserving these histories is to provide substance to the construction of what is supposed to be multicultural Canada.

Quebecois-Canadian of Vietnamese origin, Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen is a research-based artist currently living and working in Brooklyn (US) and Stockholm (SE). Nguyen recently completed the Whitney Independent Study Program (Studio 2010-11), and obtained her MFA and a postgraduate diploma in Critical Studies at the Malmö Art Academy (2003-05). She has been awarded a number of distinguished grants and has exhibited both internationally and nationally.

For more information on The Making of an Archive visit the website here.
For more information on Model Minority visit our blog here.

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