MOCA Toronto’s Online Platform Shift Key Launches New Film and Video Offerings for 2021/22

Toronto, ON… November 1, 2021, The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (MOCA) today shared details of its new season of programming on Shift Key, the Museum’s digital moving-image platform. Curated by Carly Whitefield, Assistant Curator, International Art at Tate Modern, What we carry forward touches upon specific questions and themes raised in the Museum’s inaugural triennial Greater Toronto Art 2021 (GTA21), and expands this dialogue with the participation of eight international artists.

What we carry forward takes inspiration from explorations of inheritance and the public realm elaborated across GTA21’s physical and digital spaces. Unfolding over the course of four months, the series pairs artists’ films, videos, and animations that together open up questions around remnants and legacies, ownership, and agency. Work by artists Allora & Calzadilla, Theo Eshetu, Mona Hatoum, Samson Kambalu, Tuấn Andrew Nguyễn, Aura Satz, Cauleen Smith, and Cecilia Vicuña will be featured.

On view on MOCA’s website November 1, 2021 through February 28, 2022, the programme begins with Samson Kambalu’s A Thousand Years (2013) and Dogs See Invisible Things (2016) and Tuấn Andrew Nguyễn’s The Boat People (2020), which take imaginative, cinematic approaches to engaging with traces of the past. Allora & Calzadilla’s Returning a Sound (2004) and Theo Eshetu’s The Return of the Axum Obelisk (2009) centre acts of reclamation and repatriation, while Mona Hatoum’s Roadworks (1985) and Aura Satz’s Preemptive Listening (Part 1: The Fork in the Road) (2018) insist on maintaining signs of public resistance and resilience. Cecilia Vicuña’s Paracas (1983) and Cauleen Smith’s Pilgrim (2017) close the programme by animating objects and sites with the creativity and generosity of spirit of those who shaped them.

“This series brings together a range of voices and artistic approaches, each prompting different ways of thinking through the question of what we carry forward. It moves from the immediacy of objects encountered in the landscape to more intangible sounds, gestures, and feelings. I’m very grateful to MOCA for the opportunity to convene and make accessible powerful works by a remarkable group of artists,” said Carly Whitefield.

MOCA launched Shift Key in spring 2020 as a way to present and support more artists via the Museum’s online platform and to expand its digital offerings. After initially curating the programme in-house, MOCA now invites guest curators to select artworks that feel relevant at this moment and can be shared online to watch for free. Previous curators have included Daisy Desrosiers and Native Art Department International (Jason Lujan and Maria Hupfield). The videos are currently posted for a period of one month. Thereafter, an image and other materials remain, resulting in an archive on MOCA’s website —in image and text—as a document of the conversations and relationships formed so far. Shift Key is generously supported by Scotiabank.

“Shift Key is a critically acclaimed and much-watched platform for the work of cutting-edge international contemporary artists and curators. This edition of Shift Key brings international perspectives to MOCA’s fall programming, and provides a dynamic portal for MOCA to engage audiences beyond the Museum proper. We appreciated the opportunity to work with Carly Whitefield given her expansive expertise in this realm”, said MOCA Executive Director and CEO Kathleen Bartels.

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