Vivek Shraya: Trisha, a captivating photo series in which the artist occupies spaces and wears outfits to recreate photographs of her mother from the 1970s when she was a single woman recently immigrated to Canada. The concept was born from a desire to document striking physical similarities Shraya first began to notice while transitioning. Chaich notes that Vivek’s imperfect recreations remind viewers that “queer people create our gender presentations with what’s available to us, wherever we are.” The collection’s juxtaposition of new and source images creates a dialogue across time, genealogy and gender.
Canada’s Vivek Shraya is a queer-identifying artist whose body of work spans photography, albums, films and books. Her 2017 album with Queer Songbook Orchestra, Part-Time Woman, was included in CBC’s Best Canadian Albums of 2017; her first book of poetry, even this page is white, won a 2017 Publisher Triangle Award and was longlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads and her debut novel, She of the Mountains, was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books. The founder of the publishing imprint VS. Books and a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, Vivek was a 2016 Pride Toronto Grand Marshal, has received honors from the Toronto Arts Foundation and The Writers’ Trust of Canada, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Calgary.
A reception for the exhibition will take place on Thursday July 12 at 7pm. On view through August 31.
Creative direction: Vivek Shraya; Artwork and photography: Karen Campos Castillo; Makeup: Alanna Chelmick; Hair: Fabio Persico; Clothing in 4, 5 & 8: M. Orbe; Set and wardrobe assistants: Shemeena Shraya and Adam Holman.
Image: Vivek Shraya, Trisha, Composite detail, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.