Adad Hannah

Dad and David Visiting

2010, Video, 7 min 22s. Edition of 5.

Dad and David Visiting was produced while my father and his boyfriend were visiting us from San Francisco. They were sleeping on a mattress on our floor. When I was walking past them one morning I realized the beauty of the scene and grabbed my camera.

From Adad Hannah’s website

Michele Pearson Clarke

“Parade of Champions” (2015) explores the grief experiences of three black queer people, following the deaths of their mothers. Although grief is borne from loss of any kind, for an adult child, a mother’s death is incomparable. As universal and inevitable as it might be, this suffering is complicated by the restriction on mourning in our culture. Grief upsets us. It makes us uncomfortable. The bereaved are expected to mourn in private or at the very most, publicly for a short period only. For black queers, already unseen and othered, grieving a mother’s death requires a further pushing back against notions of disposability and invisibility.

Drawing on my own experience after my mother’s death in 2011, Parade of Champions centres this black queer counter-narrative in creating a poetic encounter with loss. Employing still video portraits and audio interviews, this immersive three-channel installation invites viewers to bear witness to this black queer grief. From

Mom and Dad

Antoni MomDad.jpg
Mom and Dad, 1994, Silver dye bleach prints (triptych), 24 x 19 7/8′ each

“In Mom and Dad (1994), Antoni made up each of her parents in the guise of the other, photographing them together in three different permutations with either one or both of them costumed in this way.”


Momme, 1995, C-print, 35 x 29 1/3′

“For the 1995 photograph Momme, Antoni hid under her mother’s dress, her own adult body bulging like a pregnant belly.”

Gillian Wearing: 2 into 1 LINK

The short video projection 2 into 1 (1997) features a mother and her two sons, one generation lip-synching the dubbed words of the other. It is hypnotically disturbing to watch a pair of 10-year-old twins take turns speaking their mother’s exasperated love for them. “I think Lawrence is absolutely adorable, he’s gorgeous, I love every inch of him,” Lawrence says, in a slightly raspy woman’s voice. “But he’s got a terrible temper.” Halfhearted affirmations of self-esteem also figure in the mother’s monologue, along with deep fatigue, all sounding precociously sympathetic–if not a touch demonic–coming from her children’s lips. Equally unnerving is the mother’s mimed recitation, heard in the soft, clear voices of clever preadolescent boys, of her sons’ accounts of her. We hear their criticism of her driving (“too slow”) and clothes (“she doesn’t dress too well”), and their complaint that she goes out to clubs too much (slightly disheveled and obviously anxious, she looks like she could use the break). For their part, the boys, baby-faced and natty but incipiently loutish, are hardly ingratiating. A dazzlingly deft expression of the complex pushes and pulls in the mother-son relationship, 2 into 1 is an even more concise articulation of the triangulated relationship between artist, subject and viewer. Treating emotional truth as if it were the coin under the three fast-shuffled cups of a sidewalk con artist, this video pictures the circulation of meaning as a kind of vaudeville act, fast, funny and a little cruel.

Basil AlZeri

Basil AlZeri is a Palestian artist based in Toronto working in performance, video, installation, food, and public art interventions/projects. His work is grounded in his practice as an art educator and community worker. He explores the intersections between the quotidian and art, and strives for interactions with the public, using social interactions and exchanges to create gestures of generosity.

AlZeri’s performance work has been shown across the Americas.

The Mobile Kitchen Lab

AlZeri Basil artinfo_mobilekitchenlab_01

With The Mobile Kitchen Lab (2010 – present), AlZeri performs simple and generous gestures, inviting his guests to identify the Palestinian stories of land, resources and labour that are built into his recipes.

Initiated in 2010, his durational performances feature live projected instructions provided by his mother, Suad, via Skype.

Hear a radio interview on the project here.

Patty Chang

2002.24_ph_web.jpgPatty Chang, In Love (2001) SEE VIDEO HERE

“Exploring the darker side of femininity and socially constructed notions of desire, Patty Chang often takes a corporeal, visceral approach to performance, an art form that underlies her work in video and photography. Like female pioneers of performance in the 1970s, such as Marina Abramovic, Eleanor Antin, and Hannah Wilke, Chang uses her body to address issues of the objectification of women and their representation in art history and popular culture. Chang’s work is often inflected with humor and often pushes commercial and popular female stereotypes to their extreme. In the photograph Melons(1998), for example, she uses cantaloupes as prosthetic breasts. How consumption and desire are inscribed upon the female body is addressed in Chang’s art, but equally so is a woman’s own desire of self.

Much as Janine Antoni, Sally Mann, and Gillian Wearing have explored the sexuality and conflicts inherent to the parent-child relationship, Chang examines the territory of the primal, parental connection in her work In Love (2001). In this dual-channel video, two separate scenes of the artist with a parent are juxtaposed. Chang faces her mother and, in the adjacent frame, appears face–to–face with her father. Simultaneously both images show the artist’s and respective parent’s faces pressed together in what at first appears to be a deep kiss. Gradually it becomes evident that the video is running in reverse time, and that they share not a kiss but rather an onion from which they both eat. They bite into it slowly, pausing as they take turns offering it to each other, as if it suggests the proverbial, forbidden fruit. Parent and child swallow before they take additional bites, blinking hard to hold back tears from the onion’s sharpness and pungency. However, in the video’s reversal of time, the onion is reconstituted and the tears disappear—wholeness is thus regained.”

Text from the Guggenheim

Every five years, artist Ragnar Kjartansson asks his mother to spit on him for several minutes in front of a camera. The Icelandic mother and son here discuss the fascinating performance, which Kjartansson argues has become “like a part of our family life.”

In 2000, Kjartansson asked his mother if she wanted to spit on him for a video project, which she immediately accepted without any further need for convincing. While spitting, Guðrún Ásmundsdóttir, imagines that her son is one of the businessmen that got Iceland into the financial crash. “When I feel that spit it never feels violent or something, she is just helping her son to do an art piece” Ragnar says, and goes on, “There has always been a lot of friendship in our relationship.”

Kjartansson furthermore explains that both of his parents were “militant feminists”, and that there are feminist undercurrents in his work, such as the spitting echoing how women got ‘a voice’ and were able to ‘spit’: “Being raised by an actor, you start to understand these emotional tools that actors – and directors and people making theatre – use … they use humour and confrontation as tools in making a composition.” Always seeking not to be too literal in his art: “It just doesn’t turn me on.”

Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976) is an Icelandic artist, whose work ranges from paintings and drawings to videos, music and performance. 

See also Evergon:


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In 1990, my younger, gay brother died of AIDS and other complications. In 1992, my Mother, Margaret Lunt, modelled as Ramba Mama in my work, Ramboys: A Bookless Novel. In 1993/4, because of her modeling and because of her relationship as my Mother, she participated in the TV special Evergon on Adrienne Clarkson Presents. Immediately after the viewing, my Father went on a tirade because photographs of my Mother’s bared breasts had been shown on television. She had not told him of the modeling session and he had not seen any of my exhibitions since 1976. Two days later, he was admitted to the hospital with a heart attack, brought on by anger and rage.

Three years ago, my Father died of cancer. In the Fall 2000, while driving Margaret to Montreal to be with me for two weeks, she suddenly stated: “You don’t photograph me nude anymore.” I had never photographed my Mother totally nude. So during that visit, we completed a ‘nude Margaret’ photographic shoot. These images of Margaret, started during that visit, have continued on each successive visit. She is well aware of the power that these nude photographs have. They profile her as a strong woman within her aging body. The mirroring image of myself has been a response to the images of my mother and to our relationship as the sole survivors of our family and mirroring compatriots. Although, I can see my behavioural and physical traits inherited from my Father, I see and feel many more traits from my Mother. Margaret is now eighty-two. I am fifty-five.

– Evergon

See also: Jim Verburg, and Sarah Polley in studio.

Student works on the theme:

What Would Your Life Be Like Without Me?

These are stills from a video of my parents describing the lives they could of had, if they remained childless. C. Wisdom 2019

Icing a Cake for My Father, Sydney Coles

For Lack of a Better Word… White.

This is a still from a video of my parents. I asked them about their experiences with race and prejudices. The video aimed to highlight their contrasting experiences, however the results showed some endearing similarities and how their relationship has altered and shed light on their individual experiences.

Two Into One is a video that borrows the lip synching strategy from Gillian Wearing’s original video of the same name. I filmed my parents one Saturday morning for as long as they would let me. As I continued to antagonize them they became more and more self conscious. I later dressed in quick drag and lip synched to their complaints and concerns regarding the camera to create an abject and heightened reality of their own fears of being shown “not at their best”. Emily Reimer

To Look At Your Face and See Myself, 2022 – Claire Wright

Discussing Abstract Art

My parents were pulled away from their regular evening activities and sat down individually to discuss my most recent series of abstract paintings. They weren’t told to analyze them or criticize them, they were just told to talk about them. They also weren’t shown or told what the other had already said. This video reflects not only their relationship to me as their daughter and the art I produce, but also to how they go about viewing art in their own separate ways. Rachel V.

Aislinn Thomas, Food Portraits
Jim Verburg, For a Relationship

My video is composed of cut together clips of my mom and my dad each describing where they want to be buried. I chose this because I know they each have very specific spots, and have had them for a long time, which have a lot of family history tied to them. My mom, coming from Quebec and my dad, coming from Saskatchewan, both have multigenerational Canadian families, and then they met in the middle and had me. My sister and I were both born in Manitoba and now live here, so even though my parents both have such strong connections to these places, I don’t have any of the generational ties and memories that they have. It’s interesting to see how, although they’re married and have their own children in central Canada, they still have a connection to their hometowns, which leaves my sister and I in the middle to eventually chose our own plots. I thought this would be a neat way of getting them to explain a bit about their families without asking for a direct description. I even filmed the video on their dining room table, which has fittingly been passed down a couple generations and was made by a relative from my mom’s side.

Here are the separate, uncut videos of my mom and my dad’s maps and descriptions:

Anastasia Flynn, 2022
Julianna Wright
Daniel Tyler Harper, Mom’s Smile, 2023
Alexia Castiglione, 2023, Now I Know My ABCs
Heirloom (Looking for a Likeness) Mackenzie Anderson

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