AISLE 4 | On The Table
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On The Table

is a politically engaged artist project that incites dialogue around gender-based violence and sexual harassment in licensed establishments. In response to the direct correlation between alcohol consumption and incidents of sexual violence, four Toronto-based artists have created original artworks that speak to issues that affect both staff and patrons in hospitality environments. These artworks are printed onto recyclable beverage coasters for wide distribution at select bars across the city during the Toronto Design Offsite Festival, January 16-22, 2017. Through the use of visually compelling designs and charged messaging, each work generates a nuanced conversation around what constitutes respectful behaviour, empowering audiences to take part in advocating for safe, inclusive, and equitable spaces for all genders. Mobile and collectible, the coasters are meant to be shared to extend the conversation, both in person and online through the hashtag #OnTheTable.
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AISHA SASHA JOHN (2016)

This piece empowers audiences to be guided by their intuition, and to recognize and respond confidently to the no’s their bodies announce, and to the no’s communicated by other people’s bodies.

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HAZEL MEYER (2016)

This piece references renowned feminist and social activist bell hooks in recognizing the primary force behind incidents of gender-based violence, patriarchy. Seen as something that negatively impacts all genders, not just women, the coaster urges audiences to use empathy as a means to fight against it. Read more about bell hooks’ “imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” here.

A little knowledge can go a long way
A sincere effort is all you can ask
A single event can have infinitely many interpretations
Abuse of power comes as no surprise
Action causes more trouble than thought
All things are delicately interconnected
Ambivalence can ruin your life
 

 

From Jenny Holzer, Truisms, 1978-1983

Organizations

BASH (Bartenders Against Sexual Harassment)

Rally for increased sexual harassment training at local bars

 

Canadian Women’s Foundation

Empower women and girls in Canada to move out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership

 

Works from the premise that #ConsentComesFirst, with a focus on survivors to guide the process

 

Ontario Women’s Directorate

Works to increase women’s economic security and to end violence against women

 

SACHA (Sexual Assault Centre Hamilton Area)

Supports survivors of sexual assault while working to end violence in our community

 

Springtide Resources

Develops and implements programs aimed at responding to the growing prevention, intervention and educational needs of those working toward ending violence against women and their children

 

WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre 

A group of women working in the interests of women who have been victimized by sexual assault

 

White Ribbon

The world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity

Continue the Conversation

Share your perspective on social media through #OnTheTable

hashtag

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LIDO PIMIENTA (2016)

This piece uses illustration, a soft colour palette and script handwriting to offer a gentle-yet-firm message that encourages healthy, safe relationships and sexual encounters in which communication, respect, and consent are paramount.

Where to Find Us

BASH!  January 16, 8pm-2am @ Parts & Labour

TO DO Festival Party  January 16, 7-11pm @ Church of the Holy Trinity

BQM King West  901 King St W; Sun-Thu 12-10pm, Fr-Sa 12pm-12am 

Cold Tea  60 Kensington Ave; Weds-Sun, 8pm-2am

Get Well  1181 Dundas St W; Nightly 5pm-2am

Gladstone Hotel  1214 Queen St W; Mon-Sat, 5pm-late

Hole in the Wall  2867 Dundas St W; Nightly 4pm-2am, Sun 12pm-2am

Laylow Beer Bar & Eatery  1144 College St; Sun-Thu 5pm-12am, Fr-Sat 5pm-2am

The Beaver  1192 Queen St W; Daily 10am-2am

The Ram in the Rye (Ryerson Student Centre)  63 Gould Street, Mon-Fri, 8am-2am

The Yukon  1592 Queen St W; Mon-Sat 4pm-2am, Sun 4pm-12am

Track & Field  860 College St; Nightly 5pm-2am

Unlovable  1215 Dundas St W; Nightly 7pm-2am

Wenona Craft Beer Lodge  1069 Bloor St W; Sun-Th 5pm-12am, Fr-Sat 5pm-2am

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JESSE HARRIS (2016)

This piece can be read in two ways: Men Are All Lies or Men Are Allies. The intent is to provoke discussion about the disconnect between the statistic listed on the back and the fact that sexual assault and harassment are very real and prevalent issues that women experience. The coaster speaks to men’s roles as active allies to women in combating gender-based violence and promoting personal safety.

Artist Biographies

JESSE HARRIS is a Toronto-based artist and graphic arts worker. His message-oriented art is a platform for personal politics and discussion of the limits to free expression in culture. Harris sources forms, language, symbols and strategies from radical art history and associated countercultures, producing slogans and ephemera such as fanzines, posters, and buttons to disseminate them. He produces paintings, sculpture and objects concerned with discourse, facsimile, sliding-scale economies and grassroots community-building. Harris is represented by COOPER COLE (Toronto).

 

HAZEL MEYER is an interdisciplinary artist who works with installation, performance, and textiles to investigate the relationships between sport, sexuality, feminism, and material culture. Her work aims to recover the queer aesthetics, politics, and bodies often effaced within histories of sports and recreation. Drawing on archival research, she designs immersive installations that bring various troublemakers—lesbians-feminists, gender outlaws, leather-dykes—into the performative spaces of athletics. Recent projects include a solo exhibition at MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie) and a public art commission for Cambridge Gallery’s Idea Exchange. In 2015 she was Scrap Metal Gallery’s (Toronto) inaugural artist in residence, where she produced a large-scale installation and public performance based on her ongoing project Muscle Panic (2014– ).

Artist Biographies

LIDO PIMIENTA is a Toronto-based, Colombian-born interdisciplinary artist-curator and musician. She has performed,  exhibited, and curated around the world since 2002. Her work explores the politics of gender, race, motherhood, identity and the construct of the Canadian landscape in the Latin American Diaspora and vernacular. In 2007, Pimienta created The Tiny Box Collective alongside Kyle Mowat and Toni Darling in London, Ontario, the collective focused on marrying art, music and performing arts as a way to integrate the artistic community in the city. In 2010 supporting the release of her first album Color LP Pimienta toured Latin America, USA and Europe gaining international recognition not only as a music performer but as advocate for Women in technology and arts and the reformation of immigration policies in Canada. In 2012, she created Bridges, a multi-disciplinary festival featuring artists and musicians from South America and Canada working in similar ways as a way to break with Latin pre-conceptions. 

 

AISHA SASHA JOHN is a dancer and poet. She’s the author of THOU (BookThug 2014), a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and the ReLit Poetry Award, and The Shining Material (BookThug 2011). I have to live., John’s forthcoming collection, will be published by McClelland and Stewart this spring. John makes solo performances (The Aisha of Oz, VOLUNTEER) and is a member of the performance collective WIVES whose performance of a live action movie, ACTION MOVIE, will debut in Montreal at La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines in January 2017. In February 2017, John is invited by Art Metropole to be in residence at Union Station in a collaborative public art project she’s calling Five doves.

Acknowledgements

Aisle 4 would like to thank Jesse Harris, Aisha Sasha John, Hazel Meyer, Lido Pimienta, White Ribbon, Phil Cacace from Wenona Craft Beer Lodge, and the Toronto Design Offsite Festival.

 

On the Table was produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

 

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About the Toronto Design Offsite Festival

The Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) is Canada’s largest cultural celebration of design with over 100 exhibitions and events forming Toronto’s annual design week. Each year, TO DO transforms Toronto into a hub for creativity, taking design and art out of the studio and into the urban sphere, bringing people together to celebrate contemporary culture and providing opportunities for emerging talent.

 

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